A series of plenary sessions and workshops at the 2nd World RV Conference in Tampa, Fla., served as a centerpiece for the Jan. 17-20 event, offering attendees insight into RV markets and issues around the globe.
According to the host Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), the six presentations provided key market statistics and trends; reviewed popular RV products; and examined the future prospects and challenges for each world market. The reports included:
• “Europe” presented by Stephane Cordeille, CEO of Thetford Corp.
• “Japan” presented by Keiki INOMATA, a director with the Japan RV Association (JRVA) and executive managing director of Neat RV Co.
• “Australia” presented by Stuart Lamont, CEO of the Caravan, RV and Accommodation Industry of Australia (CRVA).
• “China” presented by Ye Shengji, deputy secretary general of the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).
• “South Africa” presented by Keith Laing, managing director of Jurgens Ci and a member of the Leisure Industry Manufacturers Association (LIMA).
• “North America” presented by Richard Coon, president of RVIA.
“The world is getting smaller, and it’s important that we understand not only what is going on in our own market but also what’s happening in other markets,” said Lamont. “What happens in Europe or the United States may happen in Australia, and vice versa. That is why it is critical for us to communicate and share information.”
Cordeille added that while RV markets have inherent differences based on their location, there are fundamental basics contributing to RVing’s global appeal. “RVing gives people freedom and gets them back into nature,” he said. “Our business…our way of vacationing and traveling is a great way of linking family generations together. That is the true value of our product,”
The 2nd World RV Conference also featured a series of concurrent workshops on Jan. 18 that focused on various industry-related topics. The sessions included:
• The “World Product Standards Workshop” moderated by RVIA Vice President of Standards and Education Bruce Hopkins with a panel composed of Ron Chapman, chief executive officer of Caravanning Queensland in Australia; Jost Kruger, technical director of the Caravaning Industrie Verband (CIVD) in Frankfurt, Germany; Keith Lang, managing director of Jurgens Ci and representative of South Africa’s Leisure Industry Manufacturers Association (LIMA); and Kent Perkins, senior director of standards at RVIA.
• The “Advertising and Promotion Workshop” presented by James Ashurst, RVIA’s vice president of public relations and advertising.
• The “World Campground Standards” session moderated by Kathy Palmieri, owner/operator of the Yogi Bear Jellystone Park in Estes, Colo., with a panel of campground experts that included Ian Beadel, an owner/operator of an award-winning campground in Australia; Nick Lomas, director general of The Caravan Club in England; and Jeff Sims, director of state relations and program advocacy at the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds.
• The “RV/Caravan Rental Business Workshop” presented by Joe Laing, director of market and business development for El Monte RV.
• The “RV/Caravan CEO-Chairman Panel Discussion” featuring a rotating panel of association leaders from across the world, including Richard Coon, RVIA president; Tim DeWitt, executive director of the Michigan Manufactured Housing, RV and Campground Association; Klaus Foertsch, managing director, Caravan GmbH in Germany; Eleonore Hamm, president of RVDA of Canada; Jeff Hirsch, chairman of RVDA; Phil Ingrassia, president of RVDA; John Lally, director general of the National Caravan Council in England; and Lamont. The panel was moderated by Matt Wald, park trailer executive director for RVIA.
• The “Newest Emerging RV/Caravan Markets Workshop” was moderated by Craig Kirby, vice president of international business and general counsel at RVIA, and featured panelists Marcius Pinto Matheus, co-owner of Motor Trailer do Brazil, and Gregory Tempkin, president of Russian Standard.
RVIA reported that the conference drew 216 RV industry leaders from 16 countries to the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel. It was announced that Australia will host the 3rd World RV Conference in 2015.
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) hosted industry executives from around the globe at an unusual, social-networking and intelligence-gathering event — the 2nd World RV Conference, Jan. 17–20 at the Marriott Waterside Hotel in Tampa, Fla.
The conference, held concurrently in Tampa with the Florida RV Trade Association’s (FRVTA) Florida RV SuperShow, drew 216 business people from the U.S. and Canada as well as Europe’s Common Market, China, Australia and more remote RVing locales like Russia, Brazil and South Africa – 16 countries in all.
That exceeded the trade group’s own conservative projections, according to Jay Landers, RVIA’s senior director of government affairs and chairman of the 2nd World Conference, the first of which was held four years ago in Germany.
“We were very pleased with the turnout,” said Landers, who said he hoped that new business connections might spring from the Florida meeting. “It slightly exceeded our expectations in terms of attendance. Originally, my big concern was, putting on an event like this, you have no idea whether people are going to actually travel tens of thousands of miles to come to the function. And so my biggest fear was that we would plan a big conference and 75 people would show up. Through our persistence, we were able to get commitments from a number of other folks that ultimately came.”
Converging for a full schedule of informative workshops, speakers and social interaction — including a dinner cruise around Tampa Bay — were RV manufacturers, suppliers, dealers, campground people and trade association representatives. Together, they shared market information and statistics, discussed technical issues and standards, and explored how RV companies can work together in an increasingly interconnected world market.
Adding to the global aspect was keynoter Marco Annunziata, chief economist and executive director of Global Market Insight at General Electric Co.
Beyond the considerable novelty of the event itself, three consistent themes seemed to emerge – the first being the relative health of the U.S. market versus Europe’s, which continues to trail America’s recovery from the global recession, especially in southern Europe.
“Well, I think we have a really good story,” RVIA President Richard Coon told RVBUSINESS.com. “I think if you sat there and listened to the presentations of the Europeans, you’ll find that they’re back on their heels economically. So are some of the other markets that we’re hearing about. And yet the U.S. is moving forward and doing much better from an economic standpoint with regard to both our manufacturers and dealers – coming out of a bad time and continuing to grow.
“And that gives a lot of people hope because what you’ll find is that Europe traditionally has followed U.S. markets by about six or eight months,” added Coon, who presented an overview of the North American marketplace. “So, I think the people who were here from throughout the world want to see the United States do well and come back, and that gives them a lot of encouragement that things are going to get better. When the U.S. economy gets better, the whole world gets better.”
Another pervasive conference theme had to do with the younger generation in a variety of countries and their likelihood to embrace camping at any level, given their short attention spans and unpredictable buying habits.
“Europe has an aging customer base and one of the biggest challenges that we’re going to have in the coming years is to link the generations and make sure our children and the children of our children continue to go RVing,” said Thetford Corp. CEO Stephane Cordeille, who’s based in Etten-Leur, The Netherlands and was a presenter for the round of plenary sessions at the conference.
The third major talking point among the attendees: A general consensus among some of the non-North American attendees that there’s a need to work better together within given countries and especially among Europe’s varied Common Market nations to develop a conjoined message to the masses, not unlike that of the Go RVing Coalition’s marketing campaign in the U.S. and Canada.
Attendees also visited the nearby facilities of Lazydays RV Super Center plus the Tampa Show as part of a conference sponsored by Carefree of Colorado, the Canadian Recreational Vehicle Association, Cummins/Onan, Dometic Group, FRVTA, Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp., GE Capital, Lazydays, Thetford, RVDA of Canada and Thor Industries Inc.
It was announced that Australia will host the 3rd World RV Conference in 2015. The first World RV Conference was held in Dusseldorf, Germany in 2008.
RV industry members are urged to register now for the 2nd World RV Conference with the event nearing capacity and the registration deadline approaching. Hosted by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), the 2nd World RV Conference will take place Jan. 17 – 20, 2013, at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel in Tampa.
According to a press release, a full schedule of “informative meetings, compelling speakers and festive social events will highlight the event,” which is bringing together RV industry leaders from around the world to share market information and statistics, discuss technical issues and standards, and explore how RV companies can work together in an increasingly interconnected world RV market.
Speakers and Sessions
Marco Annunziata, chief economist and executive director of Global Market Insight at General Electric Co., will be the event’s keynote speaker at the luncheon on Jan. 18. In his remarks, he will examine how the increasingly complex global economy impacts business trends and markets.
The 2nd World RV Conference will also feature a series of plenary sessions the mornings of Jan. 18 and 19. These presentations will provide attendees with reports on established and emerging RV markets throughout the world from industry leaders in Europe, Japan, Australia, China, South Africa and North America.
The afternoon of Jan. 18 will feature a series of concurrent workshops focusing on critical topics facing RV executives. The sessions include: “World Product Standards Workshop,” “Advertising and Promotion Workshop,” “World Campground Standards,” “RV/Caravan Rental Business,” “RV/Caravan CEO-Chairman Panel Discussion,” and “Newest Emerging RV/Caravan Markets.”
The 2nd World RV Conference will also give attendees ample opportunity to network and socialize at numerous festive social events, including special lunch and dinner events. Visits to the Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) Florida RV SuperShow and Lazydays RV Super Center are also on the schedule.
For more information and a comprehensive event schedule, click on the 2nd World RV Conference button on www.rvia.org.
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) has opened an additional room block at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel and Marina for the 2nd World RV Conference with the original hotel block selling out five months ahead of the event.
“The pre-registration for the event and demand for hotel rooms has been very strong,” RVIA President Richard Coon stated in a news release. “We are encouraging those who have not made arrangements to do so now. We only have a limited number of rooms in the extended room block, and we are nearing capacity for the conference registration.”
The 2nd World RV Conference, hosted by RVIA, will draw RV industry executives and leaders from around the world. Taking place Jan. 17 – 20 2013, it will feature an informative conference agenda that will provide attendees the opportunity to share market information and statistics, discuss technical issues and standards, and explore how RV companies can work together in an increasingly interconnected world market.
In addition to compelling speakers and insightful general and breakout sessions, the 2nd World RV Conference will also include fun-filled social events along with trips to the FRVTA Florida RV SuperShow and Lazydays RV Super Center.
Online registration materials and full program information for the event is available by clicking on the “2nd World RV Conference” tab at www.rvia.org. To make hotel reservations, contact the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel and Marina at (888) 789-3090 and ask for the “2nd World RV Conference Room Block.”
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) has finalized the roster of speakers for the “RVing and Caravanning Around the World” Plenary Sessions at the 2nd World RV Conference, taking place Jan. 17–20, 2013, at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel and Marina in Tampa, Fla.
According to a press release, the special sessions will give attendees the opportunity to learn more about established and emerging RV markets across the globe as RV industry leaders from various geographic regions share information about their marketplace and prospects moving forward.
The presentations, which are 45 minutes each, will take place the mornings of Jan. 18-19.
Friday, Jan. 18
• 9:30 a.m. Europe; Stéphane Cordeille, CEO, Thetford Corp.
• 10:45 a.m. Japan; Keiki Inomata, Japan RV Association (JRVA).
• 11:45 a.m. Australia; Stuart Lamont, CEO, Caravan, RV & Accommodation Industry of Australia (CRVA).
Saturday, Jan. 19
• 9:30 a.m. China; Wu Wexue, vice president, China Tourism Association (CTA).
• 10:45 a.m. Japan; Keith Laing, managing director, Jurgens-Ci.
• 11:45 a.m. North America; Richard Coon, president, RVIA.
Registration for the 2nd World RV Conference, hosted by RVIA, is available by clicking here. Registration has been heavy and will close when capacity is reached. For more information about the event contact RVIA’s Jay Landers at email@example.com.
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) announced that online registration is now open for the 2nd World RV Conference, taking place Jan. 17–20, 2013, at Florida’s Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel and Marina.
The 2nd World RV Conference, which will draw RV industry executives and leaders from around the world, will feature an informative conference agenda providing attendees the opportunity to share market information and statistics, discuss technical issues and standards and explore how RV companies can work together in an increasingly interconnected world market.
In addition to compelling keynote speakers, including GE Chief Economist Marco Annunziata, and insightful general and breakout conference sessions, the 2nd World RV Conference will also include trips to the Florida RV SuperShow and Lazydays RV Super Center. A preliminary schedule is available online.
Industry members are encouraged to check the “2nd World RV Conference” tab at www.rvia.org for updates. To make hotel reservations, contact the Marriott Waterside Hotel and Marina at (888) 789-3090 and ask for the 2nd World RV Conference room block.