The RV Learning Center announced it has renewed its partnership with the Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) to provide online training for RV dealership personnel through the Distance Learning Network (DLN). According to a press release, this is the seventh consecutive year the organizations have joined forces to promote the program.
The subscription includes unlimited access to more than 50 DLN training sessions, coursework reviews, and test preparation sections, which are available anytime throughout the program year. The 2012-13 DLN program includes a range of subject matter to improve the performance of dealership personnel, including:
• RV Technician Certification Preparation Course: More than 40 hours of instruction will help train and prepare RV service technicians for the RVDA-RVIA RV Service Technician Certification test and completion fulfills recertification requirements.
• Service Writer/Adviser Course: This three-hour program is ideal for both veteran service writer/advisers and new hires. Presented by service writer/adviser veteran Andrea Blackmon, the program helps prepare your personnel for the RV Learning Center’s Service Writer/Adviser Certification test. Completion of the course counts toward recertification requirements.
• Advanced/Manufacturer Specific Training: Features product-specific training from RV manufacturers and suppliers from within the RV industry.
• RV Greeter-Receptionist Course: A 50-minute program that covers: the importance of customer service; the skills and expectations for the RV receptionist; the importance of making the right first impression; communicating on the phone; handling difficult customers; and organizational techniques for the workplace. The program is suitable for all persons needing customer service skills. The program includes a final exam and certificate of completion.
“The DLN gives dealerships the opportunity to engage in group training with a mentor,” said FRVTA Executive Director Lance Wilson. “It is extremely cost-effective training, delivered right to the dealership. FRVTA also provides mentor support and encouragement throughout the year, once the dealership is signed up for the program.”
“This program is available immediately for dealerships who want to get started on a comprehensive training program,” said RV Learning Center Chairman Jeff Pastore of Hartville RV Center in Hartville, Ohio. “With the RV industry outlook improving, and dealers hiring new people, the DLN is an ideal way to get employees on the road to success.”
The only requirement to participate is a high-speed internet connection. A video cable connected to a television is also useful for group training. A one-year subscription to the program costs $995 per dealership location. The subscription term is Aug. 1, 2012 to July, 31, 2013.
For more information and a sign-up form, visit www.rvlearningcenter.com, www.rvtechnician.com, www.rvda.org, www.frvta.org, or call the RV Learning Center at (703) 591-7130 or FRVTA at (386) 754-4285.
Dealers can learn more about the DLN and other training programs during a special workshop at the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo on Oct. 4. FRVTA’s Director of Training Jim Carr of Florida Gateway College will present “RV Service Employee Improvement: A Service Manager’s Responsibility,” a workshop designed for service managers, general managers, and others responsible for the daily operations of an RV service center. Attendance at the program is applicable to Certified Service Manager and Service Advisor recertification continuing education requirements. To register for the convention, visit www.rvda.org.
The RV Learning Center has teamed up with the Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) for the seventh consecutive year to provide online training for RV dealership personnel through their respective online RV Technician Training programs. The courses run Aug. 1 to July 31, 2013.
According to a press release, the programs improve the performance of both experienced and novice technicians and service writers/advisers. The Florida Distance Learning Network’s program also includes a 50-minute greeter receptionist module addressing the basics of customer service.
Both programs are based on the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) RV Technician Training textbooks and include advanced product-specific training from RV manufacturers and suppliers, mentor support to apply ongoing distance learning and a technical help line.
Dealerships receive unlimited access to train and prepare technicians for the RVDA-RVIA technician certification, or recertification. The subscriptions include unlimited access to training sessions, reviews and test preparation sections, which are available anytime throughout the program year to suit your operation’s and your technicians’ paces.
Online training eliminates many of the training costs associated with travel and time of out of the shop, and are also useful for getting new technicians started on training immediately.
The annual subscription fee is currently $249 per technician, with discounts for four or more registrants. Registration includes password access to online modules and resources. For businesses, the annual subscription fee is currently $995. This flat, fixed fee covers an unlimited number of trainees at your location. Registration includes password access to online modules and resources.
For questions concerning the interactive training program, contact the RV Learning Center at (703) 591-7130, or RVDA of Canada at (604) 718-6325. To register, contact the RV Learning Center at or download the registration form at http://www.rvlearningcenter.com.
The Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) board at its July meeting added seven new students to the FRVTA Scholarship. According to a press release, this brings the total number of students on the scholarship program to 25 full-time and five part-time students.
The FRVTA Scholarship began in the fall of 1990 and since that time over 95 students have received an under-graduate degree with the aid of the scholarship. The scholarship pays students $500 per semester or up to $1,000 per year for a total of $4,000 per student. Students must attend an in-state college and maintain a 3.0 grade point average.
“Every year we get a lot of qualified applicants,” said Nelda Iacono, chairman of the FRVTA Scholarship Committee. “I wish we could give them all scholarships, but I’m real pleased with the applicants we’ve chosen. We base the scholarship not only on academic achievement, but upon financial need and extracurricular activities. I feel this is one of the most important membership benefits our association offers.”
Students currently on the FRVTA Scholarship are Christy Alba, Brittany Masterson, Lindsay Crisp, Katelyn Searcy, Jessica Meyer, Rachael Williams, Brittany Scanlon, Stephanie Scanlon, Katie Farney, Courtney Runte’, Evan Richardson, Ciara Sibbick, Brittani Worden, Tahni Carver, Ethan Merryweather, Lisa Sansbury, Ryan Lynch, Cody Cochran, Michael Ryan, Cameron Purton, Charles O’Neil, Benjamin Molay, Samantha Rapp, Courtney Craig, Dalton Dee, Trey Poehlman, Kevin Smith, Alexandra Spitzer, Jessica Williams and Jennifer Postlewaite.
The Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) will be holding its 32nd Annual State Convention Sept. 6-9 at the Hyatt Coconut Point Resort, located just south of Ft. Myers. According to a press release, the theme for the convention is “The RV Mardi Gras…Let The Good Times Roll!” that will feature a “Voodoo Lounge” hospitality room.
Scheduled events during the convention include:
• Sept. 7: A general session kicks off in the morning with an all-industry panel that includes Mark Beecher from Bank of the West; a representative from GE Capital; Don Emahiser from Crossroads/Redwood RV; Bobby Cornwell from the Florida Association of RVs and Campgrounds (FARVC); a representative from NTP Distribution; Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) President Phil Ingrassia; and Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) President Richard Coon. In addition, FRVTA Education Director Jim Carr and General Council Marc Dunbar will offer an update on the RV training program and the recent legislative session.
• Sept. 8: Morning break-out sessions will provide detailed information to attendees in smaller, more intimate class-room settings. Sheril Vergarra will present selling through social media; Allen Monello will cover dealer compliance issues; Jim will go more in depth with his training session; Scott Stropkai from Statistical Surveys Inc. will take a look at the industry numbers; NTP Distribution will show how to make parts departments more profitable; and Kim McCorvey from the Department of Revenue will cover issues from the State of Florida.
Other activities will include the “Big Easy” Golf Tourney and the “Crawfish” Outing on Friday afternoon and a “Masquerade Ball” Costume/Dinner Party that evening. Saturday’s lunch will again feature “Doubloon Dave” and his “Jazz It Up” Game Show. The convention wraps up that evening with the “Fat Tuesday” Awards Banquet and Silent Auction.
FRVTA said it still has a few sponsorship opportunities and is still taking prize donations for the silent auction and the game show luncheon. For more information or to make a donation, contact FRVTA at (813) 741-0488.
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 2011 Florida RV SuperShow earned the No. 14 ranking in the recently released 2011 Top 250 Trade Shows compiled by the Tarsus Group’s Trade Show News Network (TSNN), according to a news release.
Culled from show management and data supplied to TSNN, the list represents the top 250 trade shows held last year in the U.S. ranked by net square footage. The full list can be found at http://www.tsnn.com/datasite-us.
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., was ranked No. 17 and the Pennsylvania RV and Camping Association’s Hershey Show in Pennsylvania was ranked No. 20.
“We’re happy to get the recognition,” Lance Wilson, executive director for the Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) which annually host the Tampa show. “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 2013 SuperShow is already looking like another winner.”
The 2013 Florida RV SuperShow will be held at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. Industry Day is Jan. 15 with Public Days running January 16-20. The 2nd World RV Conference will be held in Tampa at the same time.
For more information on exhibiting or attending the 2013 Florida RV SuperShow, contact the FRVTA State Office at 10510 Gibsonton Drive, Riverview, FL 33578 or call (813) 741-0488 or visit www.frvta.org.
The Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) reported that numbers have been strong at the eight regional shows held throughout the state this year.
According to a press release, the show season kicked off with the Fort Myers RV Show in January. Marking its 27th year, the event featured 15 Gulf Coast dealers along with over 100 vendors. Show Chairman Chris Morse reported heavy traffic of over 11,500 attendees along with steady sales by participating dealers. “While customer traffic was very good, our dealer body was very pleased with the many sales made at the show and afterwards,” he said.
Results from other shows included:
• The Ocala RV Show, held the last week in January, drew over 5,300 people despite a day of rain on Friday and moving to a new location this year. “This was the first year at the new location adjacent to the Super Flea Market, which gave us great visibility from I-75,” said FRVTA Marketing Director Dave Kelly. “It’s easier to get to and we are closer to town than the old location. I believe we would have had a better crowd if not for the big accident on I-75 on Sunday morning.”
• The Jacksonville RV Show returned for the third year to the Jacksonville Equestrian Center. “We used a new promotion to prompt visitors to go to every dealer and get a card stamped that made them eligible for a drawing every hour for a $50 gas card,” said Region 6 President Tom Tibbitts. “This not only got people to visit every dealer, it also gave every dealer the chance to interact with every visitor.”
• The Central Florida RV Show, held at the Volusia County Fairgrounds in DeLand the third weekend of February, was impacted by poor weather and competing with the new dates for the Daytona 500. “We really felt the effects of the new dates for the Daytona 500 and the bad weather didn’t do us any favors either,” said Ken Prentiss, Region 4 President. “We will be addressing these concerns at our next meeting to make sure we don’t get into the same situation next year.”
• The 6th Annual Spring Clean-out RV Show took place the last weekend in February. The admission-free event is held in conjunction with an annual home and garden show at Germain Arena, which is situated along I-75 and adjacent to a large outlet mall. Beautiful weather drew an increased patron count of more than 3,500 attendees over three days to see new and used product from seven dealers. “This event is designed to attract those undecided customers from our January event,” explained Show Manager Jack Carver. “We also target the many RVers in the Naples-area market where no RV Dealers are located.”
• The Destin Commons RV Show was held in the parking lot at the Destin Commons Mall in front of the Bass Pro Shops which drew a lot of outdoor enthusiasts. This show is free to the public so there is no record of actual attendance. The three participating dealers even had good crowds during the set up of the show. “I think we all sold something even before the show opened on Thursday,” said Region 5 President Neal Stewart. “We are looking at other facilities that will allow us to set up a paid gate.”
• The West Palm Beach RV Show was staged during the second week of March. Held in the parking lot of the South Florida Fairgrounds, this show had about the same attendance as last year in spite of rain on three of the four days. Over 4,500 people attended the event over the weekend with most of the dealers reporting good sales.
• The final show in March was the Tampa Bay Spring RV Show held in the middle of the month at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. Moving the show from last year’s Plant City site proved to be a winning strategy as the event, which drew 2,500 last year, attracted close to 3,000 consumers over the four days of the show. Additionally, great weather and an aggressive ad campaign added up to a busy weekend.
The FRVTA will stage two more RV Shows this season before wrapping things up. The 17th Annual RV SuperSaver Show in Fort Myers in mid-April and the Stuart RV Show in May are expected to continue drawing consumers interested in the RV Lifestyle.
For more information, contact the FRVTA at 813-741-0488 or www.frvta.org.
The Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) opened the 27th Annual Florida RV SuperShow today (Jan. 11) and the crowds rolled in, despite a little rain in the morning.
“By noon we were done with the rain and we even saw the sun,” FRVTA Executive Director Lance Wilson reported in a press release. “We opened the show with good crowds and the rest of the weekend we will have great weather so we’re anticipating huge crowds.”
Over 800 RVs motored in today for the Super Rally. Attendees will camp out right on the grounds and enjoy coffee and donuts each morning, entertainment and snacks in the evenings and unlimited access in and out of the SuperShow.
Seminars this year include Tips to Buying the Right RV, Extended and Full Time RVing, Tire and Weight Issues, RVing to Alaska and Basic RV Maintenance. The slate of entertainment features mime statues, jugglers, clowns, unicycle riders, bag pipe bands, dog shows, one-man-bands and a Kid’s Zone on the weekend with rock climbing, bounce houses, face painting and balloons.
The SuperShow runs through Sunday. Contact FRVTA for more information, 813-741-0488 or www.frvta.org.
The Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) will hold the space drawing Aug. 2-4 for the mid-January 2012 Florida RV SuperShow, according to a news release.
FRVTA said that each manufacturer that has returned their 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.
The theme of the 2012 Florida RV SuperShow is “Take Another Look!” The FRVTA said it emphasizes that “people who haven’t been in an RV lately will be shocked to see all the new technology and comforts of today’s RVs.”
Industry Day for the show will be held Jan. 10 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Attendees will be treated to coffee and donuts in the morning and a free lunch. Public Days will run Jan. Jan. 11-15. The RV SuperShow hours are Wednesday-Saturday 9 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday 9 a.m.-5p.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 2012 Florida RV SuperShow or to register for Industry Day, contact the Florida RV Trade Association at 10510 Gibsonton Drive, Riverview, FL, 33578 or visit our website at www.frvta.org.
Region One of the Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) returns for its 16th annual admission-free recreation vehicle show at the Lee County Sports Complex/Hammond Stadium in south Fort Myers April 1-3, Nelda Iacono, president of Region One, announced in a news release.
The three-day RV SuperSaver Show will feature 10 dealers from throughout Florida’s Gulf Coast displaying a wide selection of new, used and leftover recreation vehicles of all styles, brands and price ranges. RVs on display will include gas and diesel motorhomes, travel trailers, toy haulers, fifth-wheels, park models and van and folding campers. RV suppliers also will be on hand.
“This event is held just before the summer traveling season, so consumers can make their plans to see our great nation,” Iacono said. “Dealers also need to reduce their inventory from the busy winter season, so prices for new and used RVs have been reduced as well.”
With a recovering economy, the RV Industry has traveled along as well. Financing for both dealer inventory and qualified buyers has improved, resulting in a market that has seen RV sales markedly recover for both new and used merchandise. In fact, the national Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) reports that January 2011 wholesale RV shipments tallied 17,800, up a healthy 12.7% from the January 2010 total of 15,800.
“Statistics continue to show that an RV vacation is much less expensive than other vacation travel options, even when a purchase is factored in,” Iacono continued, “Add in the security complications and additional expenses of air travel today and an RV vacation is a bargain.”
Go to www.FRVTA.org/rv-shows for more information.