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Lively Keynote Highlights ‘Con/Expo’ in Vegas

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November 7, 2018 by   Leave a Comment

Jason Dorsey signs books following his keynote at Con/Expo 

While preliminary events such as the Society of Certified RV Professionals reception took place a day earlier, the National RV Dealers Association Convention & Expo officially got underway Tuesday (Nov. 7) with a full day of Vendor Training +Plus sessions with suppliers and dealers, a Mini Rental School, the opening of the Expo floor itself, an RVDA of Canada reception, and several presentations including a lively keynote from Jason Dorsey. (To view a slideshow scroll to the right side of the RVBUSINESS.com home page. Photos by Shawn Spence).

Set to run through Friday (Nov. 9) at Paris Las Vegas, the Con/Expo is hosted by the National Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), RVDA of Canada, and the Mike Molino RV Learning Center.

RVDA reported that the turnout for the event was up 16% from last year as preregistrations were the most in a decade.

In addition to the Expo trade show re-opening, another full day of events and activities are scheduled for today including educational workshops, Partners in Progress meetings between dealers and manufacturers, membership meetings for both associations and a Young RV Executives reception.

Tonight will culminate in the RVBusiness Top 50 Dealer Awards ceremony and reception, which will recognize those dealerships deemed by an independent panel of industry judges to exhibit an exemplary quality in their overall operations, with special emphasis on customer service and community involvement.

Indeed, several people told RVBUSINESS.com that the keynote by Dorsey, which was sponsored by Wells Fargo CDF, was one of the better presentations they had experienced. Dorsey is a leading Millennials and Gen Z researcher and speaker who has been featured on 60 Minutes, 20/20, The Today Show, and more than 100 TV interviews.

While his keynote presentation certainly was entertaining and humorous, it was also enlightening. Among the insights he shared was that Millennials — those born between 1977-1995 — have a “delayed adulthood.” Specifically, he said Millennials enter the workforce at an age older than any other previous generation. Similarly, the age group waits longer to get married and have children than other generations.

Dorsey, himself a Millennial, also challenged the widely conceived notion that the group is tech-savvy. Instead, he suggested Millennials are tech-dependent.

“So after you’ve hired us at your dealership and you’re looking for us because you want us to focus, focus, focus – you can’t find us. We’re in the bathroom, talking on our cellphone, using the speaker,” he said.

Dorsey also mentioned Millennials is the largest consumer generation ever, having outspent the Baby Boomers in 2017. He added that there are more Millennials in the workforce right now than any other generation, and they represent the greatest lifetime value, in terms of a consumer demographic, than any other generation before it.

He finished his keynote with a heartfelt thank you to the audience, saying the greatest memory of his parents, who divorced when he was 8, was when the family went on an RV vacation before they separated.

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