The Florida RV SuperShow drew heavy traffic last week as more than 50,000 consumers gathered at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa to scope out the new 2013 models of recreational vehicles.
Investors Business Daily reported that the show, which ran Jan. 16-20, is a venue for dealers to sell the products on display from the manufacturers they represent.
Thor Industries Inc. had a strong presence in Tampa, where all its subsidiaries and brands were represented.
Thor President and COO Bob Martin gave an upbeat early read on the show, noting, “Attendance at the Tampa show is up from last year, early indications suggest that retail sales are strong, and our dealers remain upbeat,” Martin told Investors Business Daily Jan. 17. “These are all very positive signs for growth for Thor and our industry this year.”
The warm reception at the show is in keeping with the overall climate for the RV industry, which has seen demand heat up after cooling off in a big way during the recession.
The industry started to move on the comeback trail in 2010, and has been gaining speed ever since. RV wholesale shipments are estimated to have grown to 277,000 to 285,000 units in 2012, says Kevin Broom, a spokesman for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). That would be up from 252,300 units in 2011. Forecasters call for a 4% to 5% rise in RV wholesale unit shipments in 2013, says Broom.
Thor, which makes the whole gamut of RVs, has been cashing in on the rebound. Sales have climbed by double digits in all but one of the past 13 quarters. And profits have risen by double digits for two straight quarters.
First-quarter fiscal 2013 sales popped 30% to $875.6 million, the highest level of sales growth in over two years. Profits climbed 41% to 58 cents a share.
Thor, which also is a major builder of commercial buses and ambulances, saw total RV sales rise 36% to $761.14 million from a year earlier. Its biggest piece of business is in towable RVs, which enjoyed a 28% pop in first-quarter sales to $639.2 million. Motorized RV sales surged 95% to $122.2 million.
First-quarter results were supported by dealer optimism and strong orders at its open house for dealers in Elkhart, Ind., in September, said Thor Chairman and CEO Peter Orthwein in a statement.
The 28th Annual 2013 Florida RV SuperShow, hosted by the Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA), is set to run Jan. 15-20 at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa.
As in past years, “Industry Day” will be held on Jan. 15 followed by “Public Days” for the remainder of the show. According to a press release, the theme of the 2013 Florida RV SuperShow is “Now’s The Time,” conveying the idea that there will never be a better time to buy an RV.
Those attending the show will be the first U.S. consumers to get a look at the North American recreational vehicle industry’s 2013 lineup, all assembled at one time in one coordinated retail exposition.
After a series of late year, trade-only industry events at which manufacturers first unveiled their latest products to dealers, attendees will be able to view 1,100 units while 450 vendors will be on hand to service the RV-enthusiast public.
“The SuperShow as well as all our regional shows provide our manufacturers and dealers with excellent opportunities to display their new products all over Florida,” FRVTA Executive Director Lance Wilson told RVBUSINESS.com. “With a record attendance in 2012 of over 54,000, we are expecting the 2013 SuperShow to be even bigger and better than ever.”
Along with the displays of the nation’s largest and best known manufacturers, show attendees will be able to view altogether new brands from some authentically new companies, including:
• An all-new upscale fifth-wheel lineup from LIFESTYLE Luxury RV, a new sister company to Middlebury, Ind.-based EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC.
• Entirely new from-the-ground-up SporTrek towables manufactured since July by Venture RV, a new stand-alone subsidiary of KZRV LP, Shipshewana, Ind.
• The inaugural unveiling of an entirely new lineup of extended stay, Solitude-brand fifth-wheels from Grand Design RV Co., a fledgling Indiana-based towable RV manufacturing firm that’s been drawing a lot of initial attention.
• The first Flex-brand travel trailers and fifth-wheels from Augusta RV, a new company that opened its doors this year in Bristol, Ind.
• The rollout of Ocean One Class B motorhomes built on Mercedes Benz Sprinter platforms by Advanced RV, an Ohio-based startup.
• The North American debut of European-built RVs from one of the more unusual exhibitors at this year’s SuperShow, HYMER AG, Europe’s largest RV builder. HYMER executives say they’re taking a look at the U.S. market and gauging consumer tastes in showing several European-built coaches. The end result is that HYMER could well become a significant player in the U.S. RV marketplace.
In addition to the RVs on display, the event will offer a host of educational seminars while several of Florida’s campgrounds and resorts will have booth exhibits. Camping accessories and supplies will be shown in an on-site Camping World store.
RV writer Bob Marx will host two seminars daily, including “Tips for Buying an RV” and “Full Time & Extended RV Travel.” Additional seminars focus on basic RV maintenance, weight and tire issues and “RVing 101-Everthing You Need to Know.”
The Super Rally celebrates its 26th year at the event. The rally is open to RV clubs and the general public, and includes a number of amenities for the show.
For more information on the 2013 Florida RV SuperShow or to attend “Industry Day,” contact FRVTA at 10510 Gibsonton Drive, Riverview, Fla., 33578, (813) 741-0488, or visit www.frvta.org.
The Florida RV Trade Association’s (FRVTA) space drawing for the 2013 Florida RV SuperShow yielded a 12% increase in manufacturer space over last year’s show, according to a press release.
FRVTA reported that the order in which space was selected during the drawing, held in the FRVTA office via phone and Internet, was determined by the “Grandfathered Drawing Order.”
“We want to thank all our manufacturer members for their continued support,” said FRVTA Executive Director Lance Wilson. “The SuperShow as well as all our regional shows provide our manufacturers and dealers with excellent opportunities to display their new products all over Florida. With a record attendance in 2012 of over 54,000, we are expecting the 2013 SuperShow to be even bigger and better than ever.”
The theme of the 2013 Florida RV SuperShow, held at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, is “Now’s The Time!” FRVTA said the theme emphasizes there won’t be a better time to buy an RV as dealers are highly motivated and interest rates may never be this low again. It is also an invitation to discover what so many people have already found out – RVs offer freedom, flexibility and fun not found in any other activity.
Industry Day at the 2013 Florida RV SuperShow will be Jan. 15 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Attendees will be treated to coffee and donuts in the morning and a free lunch. Public Days will run Jan. 16-20. Hours for the show are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, and Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday is Senior Citizens Day with seniors receiving $1 off the cost of admission (not valid with other discounts).
For more information on the 2013 Florida RV SuperShow or to register for Industry Day, contact the Florida RV Trade Association at 10510 Gibsonton Drive, Riverview, Fla., 33578 or visit our www.frvta.org.
The Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) will hold the space drawing for the 2013 Florida RV SuperShow on Aug. 7-9, according to a news release.
FRVTA reported that each manufacturer that has returned its contract with a deposit will be called during the drawing to pick a space in the show. The “grandfathered drawing order” will determine the order in which space is selected.
In conjunction with the SuperShow, the 2nd World RV Conference will be held Jan. 17-20, 2013, at the Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina in Tampa. Hosted by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), the conference will draw RV industry executives and leaders from around the world.
The event 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 interconnected world market. In addition to compelling keynote speakers and general and breakout conference sessions, the 2nd World RV Conference will also include trips to the 2013 Florida RV SuperShow and Lazydays RV Super Center.
Industry Day at the show will be held Jan. 15 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Attendees will be treated to coffee and donuts in the morning and a free lunch. Public Days will run Jan. 16-20.
The RV SuperShow hours are Wednesday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday is Senior Citizens Day with seniors receiving $1off the cost of admission (not valid with other discounts).
For more information on the 2013 Florida RV SuperShow or to register for Industry Day, contact FRVTA at 10510 Gibsonton Drive, Riverview, Fla., 33578 or visit www.frvta.org.
The Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) will host the 27th Annual 2012 Florida RV SuperShow Jan. 11-15 at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. RV Industry Day will take place on Jan. 10 and all RV industry personnel may attend for free.
According to a news release, the show will have representation from every major RV manufacturer as well as hundreds of accessory booth exhibitors. “We will have more supplier booths and every type, size and style of RV on the market,” said FRVTA Marketing Director David Kelly. “With the addition of new entertainment and more seminars, we’re anticipating record crowds this year. We’re also renewing the two-day pass so the public will have two full days to see everything at the SuperShow at no additional cost.”
The theme of the 2012 Florida RV SuperShow is “Take Another Look,” conveying the idea that “if consumers haven’t seen all the new and exciting changes in today’s RVs it’s time to take another look,” according to FTVTA. Entertainment will feature clowns, unicycle riders, barbershop quartets and bagpipe bands, and a free shuttle service inside the SuperShow will be available to transport visitors throughout the fairgrounds.
Seminars include Tips for Buying an RV, Basic RV Maintenance, Weight and Tire Issues, How to RV to Alaska and Full Time and Extended RV Travel, explaining how RV travelers deal with banking, bill paying, telephone communications, e-mail, mail forwarding, medical care and other concerns while on the road for extended periods of time.
The “Super Rally” celebrates its 25th year at the SuperShow. The RV rally is open to any RV club and the general public, and includes a number of amenities including free admission to the SuperShow all five public days, meeting facilities for clubs, free coffee and donuts every morning, and seminars. Three nights of entertainment and refreshments are also included and will feature “The Rivoli Revue” music by Kay and Ron Rivoli, a fun evening with Rick Arnold and turning back the clock with Malt Shoppe Memories. There will also be a collection of antique RVs from the members of the Tin Can Tourists.
For more information visit the FRVTA website at www.frvta.org.
The Florida RV Trade Association’s (FRVTA) Florida RV SuperShow has been named to Tradeshow Executive’s Gold 100 largest trade shows in the United States for the 14th straight year.
As listed in the annual Tradeshow Executive’s Gold 100, the 2010 Florida RV SuperShow ranked No. 12. The RVIA National RV Trade Show was ranked No. 7.
“We’re happy to get the recognition,” said FRVTA Executive Director Lance Wilson. “The FRVTA is committed to making the Florida RV SuperShow not only the largest but the most profitable and successful show for our exhibitors, and the 2012 Super Show is already looking like another winner.”
The 2012 Florida RV SuperShow will be held at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. Industry Day is Jan. 10 with Public Days running Jan. 11-15. For more information on exhibiting or attending the 2012 Florida RV SuperShow, contact the FRVTA state office at 10510 Gibsonton Dr., Riverview, FL 33578 or call (813) 741-0488 or visit www.frvta.org.
Interest in RVs among consumers remains high, RVIA maintains, with more than 44,000 people attending the Florida RV Super Show, 35,000 showing up for the Utah RV Show and 30,000 crowding the Maryland RV Show. The large crowds at these shows and others have pleasantly surprised organizers and dealers, says RVIA, adding that people are not just looking at RVs, but buying them, too.
“Our sales were up 20% over last year’s (Maryland RV) show,” says Charlie Wolf, sales manager for Beckley’s Camping Center. “People are still buying RVs. They still want to go camping, get away and have fun.”
And while RV manufacturers have requested about 35% less space for the upcoming National RV Trade Show, slated for Dec. 1-3 at the Kentucky Exposition Center, some in the industry feel that the show still promises to fulfill its designated role in a big way this year in terms of business relationships as well as outright wholesale trade.
“The National RV Trade Show remains one of the most important and valuable events on the RV industry’s calendar,” says RVIA’s Mary “Mike” Hutya, vice president of meetings and shows. “In addition to providing the opportunity to launch new products, the show is invaluable for helping companies gauge trends and generally stay competitive.”
There are those who contend that trade shows, especially important during a down economy, are a highly cost-effective means of reaching potential customers. An Exhibit Surveys Inc. study indicates that the average trade show enables exhibitors to reach more prospects in three days than they could with their sales force in three months, RVIA reports, adding that the average cost of reaching a trade show visitor is $177 compared to the average $295 cost of a field sales call.
Trade shows also require less closing effort – 0.8 calls to close a qualified lead compared to 3.7 calls to close a typical business sale, according to the study. And, on average, 54% of all orders placed as a result of a trade show lead require no personal follow-up visits, according to a separate McGraw-Hill Research Foundation study.
One of the biggest benefits of trade shows is the opportunity they provide for face to-face meetings with prospects, typically the fastest way to build relationships.
“In any industry, these shows provide a huge amount of networking,” says Peter MacGillivray, vice president of communication and events for the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA), Diamond Bar, Calif. “In this day and age, you’ve got websites that offer virtual networking on line. But nothing can replace face-to-face meetings. When you see how much networking takes place at a show, you realize what a bang for the buck they provide.”
“Whether they’re trade or consumer, these shows provide the most economical use of people’s time and money, enabling them to ‘do it all’ in one place,” maintains Ben Wold, executive vice president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) in Chicago. “We live in a three-dimensional environment, and the Internet only gets you so far. The ability to meet, talk face to face, see products is vitally important for staying on top of what’s happening in the industry and also for staying one step ahead of the competition. And that’s true in good times or bad.”
Jayco Inc., Middlebury, Ind., still hosts its own dealer meetings/shows. Even so, says Jim Jacobs, vice president of sales and marketing, no individual manufacturer’s show can provide the cost efficiency of a national show like Louisville in terms of reaching dealer customers and prospects. “We feel it’s extremely cost effective for showcasing products, getting with current dealers and signing up new ones,” Jacobs says, adding that the company tends to drive its new products around its June/July dealer meeting and follow that with the Louisville Show.
Dropping out of the show altogether, RVIA maintains, can pose risks to a company’s image and reputation. SEMA’s MacGillivray agrees, adding that exhibit size isn’t as important as just showing up. “You don’t have to spend a lot of money (on a trade show),” he said, “but it’s important to be part of the mix, part of the industry. If you’re not at the show, you’re really doing your business a disservice. If you miss out and rely on hearsay, you’re giving up a competitive edge. Once consumers get back to spending money, you won’t have your pulse on the latest products and technology, if you skip such a major event.”
Skipping a show can also send a strong negative message about a company’s commitment to its market and dealers and its financial conditions, which competitors can exploit. As Jayco’s Jacobs points out, “A lot of dealers will question your staying power.”
RVIA is currently offering exhibit space for the 2009 National RV Trade Show and the deadline for securing exhibit space is July 7. To reserve space, contact RVIA at (703) 620-6003 ext. 305.