Those attending the 42nd Annual Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show at Hersheypark in Hershey, Pa., that kicks off with ”Trade Days” Monday (Sept. 13) and Tuesday will find a much larger show than last year.
With more than 1 million feet of indoor and outdoor space booked, the show will be 41% larger than last year, said Heather Leach, director of marketing and education for the sponsoring Pennsylvania RV and Camping Association (PRVCA).
”We are feeling pretty good about the way things are shaping up,” Leach told RVBUSINESS.com.
The gates open for consumers on Wednesday with the show completing its run on Sunday. The recovering economy has put the Hershey Show in good stead.
”Last year definitely was not our best year as far as exhibit space, but people came last year and bought RVs,” Leach said. ”We felt pretty good about that and we are optimistic about this year.”
Sixty-two manufacturers represented by 89 dealers will display approximately 1,000 towable and motorized RV at the show, which last year set a record for attendance with 32,033. Many of the manufacturers will be giving consumers their first look at 2011 models.
Included will be 11 recreational park model manufacturers who will display their cottage-like trailers, also known as park models, in a “Park Model Village.”
Advance dealer registration is running about the same as last year, and dealers wishing to attend can register on the spot, Leach noted. In 2009, 1,048 dealer representatives attended.
Marking the RV industry’s 100th anniversary, Al Hesselbart, historian for the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Ind., will give lectures each day on the RV industry’s history in a display that will feature a camper mounted on a 1915 Model T Ford.
Again this year the Hershey Show will serve as a venue for Home & Garden TV (HGTV), which is returning to film its annual special “RV 2011” one of the cable network’s most-watched specials which will air next spring.
Presenters for dealer seminars on Monday and Tuesday include Barb Darkes of McNees, Wallace and Nurick, Don Bray of Northampton Community College and Bill Garpow, executive director of the Recreation Park Trailer Industry Association, consultant Gary Bunzer, sales trainer Grayson Schwepfinger, Robert Basha with Auction 123 and consultant Suzanne Mark.
On Tuesday NFL Hall of Fame member Mean Joe Greene will be present to sign autographed merchandise to raise money for PRVCA’s political action fund.
For consumers, RVer John Holod and Walter Cannon of the RV Safety and Education Foundation (RVSEF) will conduct seminars along with Mark.
Also present during the show will be the ”Centennial Charlie,” a stuffed bear that has been the RV Centennial mascot that toured the country earlier this year.
For the 13th consecutive year, Home and Garden Television Network (HGTV) is planning a one-hour special on RV innovations and product trends. “RV 2011″ is scheduled to air next March and will re-air several times throughout the year. Chi-Lan Lieu — a self-proclaimed karaoke addict and gadget geek — will be hostess of the show.
HGTV is planning to shoot at the Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show in Hershey from Sept. 14-19 and is seeking press information and product literature for new RV models that will be on display, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) reported. The network is particularly interested in the latest industry innovations and cutting-edge RV features and would like to receive materials as soon as possible.
All materials should be sent via mail or e-mail, to senior producer, Bart Makatche, at the following address:
Bart Makatche, senior producer, Nancy Glass Productions, 211 Rock Hill Road, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004; (610) 668-1668; email@example.com.
For more information, contact Fran Connors at RVIA’s PR agency, Barton Gilanelli & Associates, (215) 592-8601 or firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>.
The Pennsylvania RV and Camping Association (PRVCA) continues to be pleased by the industry response to its 42nd Annual Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show, set for Sept., 13-19, in Hershey, Pa.
Show space requests at the May 4 space drawing were up 119% from last year and the current manufacturers’ count is at 53, reports Heather Leach, PRVCA marketing and education director.
Show staff hoped to sign up three additional manufacturer exhibitors soon, she said.
“We are definitely pleased with the sales this year,” she said. In addition, 90 industry suppliers have signed on for the show.
As of today (July 9), sold display space totaled 549,230 square feet, 22% larger than the 2009 show, she added. Space will be sold up until the show opening, as long as space is available.
This year’s show will include at least 31 recreational park trailers. This is down from the 37 at the 2009 show, but represents a near sell-out of the available space in the park trailer village, due to reconfiguration of the village, she explained.
The PRVCA is hoping for another good crowd at this year’s show. Last year, the show drew a record attendance of more than 33,000 during Public Days and another 2,048 during Trade Days.
“We hope for a similar attendance,” she said. “We got a good response from last year’s show and our marketing plan is similar.”
The show set an opening day record of 5,959 last year. Opening day is also senior day which gives a “buy one, get one free admisison” for senior citizens.
For a current list of the exhibitors, click here.
For more show information, visit www.prvca.org.
RV season will soon be in full swing and the Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show, billed as “America’s Largest RV Show,” is preparing for another record-breaking show in Hershey, Pa., according to a news release.
“The 2009 PA RV and Camping Show had a record year with over 34,000 people in attendance,” said Rebecca Lennington, Pennsylvania RV and Camping Association (PRVCA) executive vice president. “We are determined to exceed expectations once again in 2010 with increased marketing and a new Industry Days format that better benefits exhibitors and attendees.”
“The PA RV and Camping Show is the first show in the nation with 2011 products and has the largest display of recreational park trailers in the country,” she continued. “There’s no better place for companies to promote their latest products, talk to their current customers and network with new contacts. The show is also unique because it incorporates both trade and retail days creating a successful hybrid show that benefits the RV industry and consumers alike.”
The deposit deadline to participate in the show drawing is April 8 and the drawing will be held May 4.
For more information on how reserve your space at the show or to register for the event, visit www.largestRVshow.com or call (888) 303-2887.
See video footage from Hershey Show at right.
RVs of all shapes and sizes pulled in to Hersheypark and the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa., for the 41st annual Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show. The show kicked off on Wednesday (Sept. 16).
This show is the first in the country to show off the new 2010 models of towable RVs and motorhomes.
“There’s so many different varieties here that you can pick and choose instead of going from dealer to dealer. They’re all here,” Ellen Fugere, of Mechanicsburg, Pa., told Fox News.
Roger Fugere, of Mechanicsburg, said, “It gives you the opportunity to see all of the up-to-date things in the RVs, all the changes they keep making year after year.”
The show continues through Sunday.
Public Days for the 41st Annual Pennsylvania RV & Camping Show opened today (Sept. 16) with an unexpected crush of humanity waiting at the gates of the Hersheypark Entertainment & Resorts Complex in Hershey, Pa.
Lines began forming by 8:30 a.m. for the 9 a.m. opening and the lines have been steady through at least 1 this afternoon. Temperatures in the low 70s, a slight breeze and partly cloudy skies made for perfect outdoor fall show weather.
“This is what our Saturday crowd usually looks like,” said Heather Leach, marketing and education director for the Pennsylvania Recreation Vehicle and Camping Association (PRVCA), one of several PRVCA staffers pressed into selling tickets when the long lines began forming early. “We are very excited.”
The show features 60 manufacturer exhibitors and more than 110 vendor booths covering a total of 1.6 million square feet.
“Last year we had 75 manufacturers and 140 booth vendors. So we are behind compared to last year, but we are still very happy about it being that there are several manufacturers that are no longer in the industry,” Leach told RVBUSINESS.COM.
“For as busy as it is, I have not heard any complaints form anybody,” she said.
What she was hearing was exhibitors saying they are busy “which is our main goal,” Leach said.
“We’ve been slammed since it opened,” said Ron Dickeson, East Coast sales rep for Elkhart, Ind.-based Heartland Recreational Vehicles LLC. “It’s absolutely crazy. The crowds have been overwhelming at our display. I think we’re even missing some people because we’re moving so quickly.”
In the opening hours of the show, Heartland noticed the biggest interest in its larger fifth-wheels. The company, which is the nation’s third largest seller of fifth-wheels according to the latest Statistical Survey Inc. report, was seeing buyers moving down from Class A and C motorhome owners into fifth-wheels, he said.
The age of the shoppers is “anywhere from early 40s and up,” he estimated.
“Attitudes are very positive. I have not heard anything negative at the show,” he said.
There is a chance of rain on Thursday, “but the rest of the week looks pretty good,” Leach said.
Public Days come on the heels of two Trade Days where dealers interfaced with the manufacturers.
Nearly 30,000 people are expected to attend the show, which draws consumers from across the Eastern U.S. and Canada.
The show is important for manufacturers, dealers, vendors and park owners as the show features the first look at one site of many manufacturers’ 2010 products.
“RV Buddies” will be shooting upcoming segments for its Internet television show at the 41st Annual Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show from Sept. 16-20 in Hershey, Pa.
Billed as the “The Largest RV show in America” and featuring over 58 leading manufacturers and 110 supplier vendors, this year’s PRVCA show is expected to draw over 35,500 attendees.
“Not only is it the largest RV show in the country, but it’s the first chance to see the new 2010 models and all the latest accessories,” said Mark Summers, “RV Buddies” host and producer. “We’re as excited as our viewers to see what’s new for 2010.”
“RV Buddies” plans to shoot a minimum of 10 comprehensive RV reviews featuring both motorized and towable products. In addition, 10 segments will cover accessories and the RV lifestyle at the show. “It’s an aggressive schedule,” said Summers, “but after a successful first season shooting over 35 segments and a full length documentary, the cast and crew are up to the challenge.”
In addition to filming RVs and accessories at the show, hosts Robert Wittenburg and Elise Baughman will be shooting a special segment in and around Hershey. For his part, Summers has several interviews scheduled with top RV industry executives. “Our interview with Bob Tiffin was very well received,” said Summers. “It still remains in the top 10 videos viewed on the site and so we want to do more.”
Exhibiting vendors are encouraged to contact RV Buddies as the production schedule isn’t completely locked down. Summers can be reached at Mark@RVBuddiesOnline.com.
The Pennsylvania Recreation Vehicle & Camping Association (PRVCA) is a nonprofit corporation representing nearly 400 RV dealers, manufacturers, campgrounds, component part suppliers, lenders, insurance and service companies. Its show is held annually at the HERSHEYPARK Entertainment Complex – GIANT Center, in Hershey.
“RV Buddies” is an RV adventure-lifestyle show featuring reviews of RVs, accessories and gear. The show chronicles Mark, Elise, Robert and their two dogs as they visit America’s most beautiful campgrounds and resorts. The program is distributed as an Internet Television production on its own website, on Apple iTunes, and through other distribution channels.
“RV Buddies” films and produces tailored videos for RV manufacturers and suppliers, as well as providing internet marketing and consulting services to the RV industry.
The Recreation Vehicle Education Safety Foundation (RVSEF) will take on an expanded role educating consumers about RVs and the RV lifestyle during a Sept. 13-16 clinc prior to the Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show in Hershey, Pa.
“The number of RVers attending rallies is down, but the percentage of people attending our weighing and driving seminars actually is up,” said Walter Cannon, executive director of the Merrit Island, Fla.-based RVSEF.
Seminars will be presented by Workhorse Custom Chassis Inc., Spartan Chassis Inc., Freightliner Custom Chassis Inc., Cummins Inc.’s Onan generator division and Gary Motley of Motley RV Repair, Oklahoma City, Okla., in addition to the Geeks on Tour, who will teach Internet-related subjects, Nick Russell, publisher of Gypsy Journal, an RV lifestyle magazine, and Mac McCoy, who will instruct on fire and personal safety.
Cannon’s foundation has a full-time team on the road attending about 40 rallies a year sponsoring safety seminars focused on weighing loaded RVs and providing weight-safety instruction. RVSEF — the successor organization to “A’Weigh We Go” founded by John Anderson in Chucky, Tenn. — weighed about 1,500 motorhomes and towable RVs last year.
“We are seeing a decrease in the number of RVers who are overloading their tires,” Cannon said. “The tire manufacturers … have convinced RV manufacturers to install tires for how RVers are using their coaches.”
E-mails promoting the Pennsylvania clinic have gone out to potential RVers visiting the Go RVing Coalition’s gorving.com website, with another round of e-mail and postal mail followups planned early this summer.
The RVSEF clinic at the Wildwood Conference Center at Harrisburg (Pa.) Community College, in a manner of speaking, will fill a vacancy left by the poplar Life On Wheels program, which shut its doors in October following the death of founder Gaylord Maxwell. Maxwell sponsored his last Life on Wheels conference the week before the 2008 Hershey Show.
Dry camping for 100 rigs will be available at the college, and those attending for $249 for the first person and $199 for the second also will receive a three-day pass to the Hershey Show Sept. 16-20. Retail days are Sept. 14-15.
“The general need for a program like this is two-pronged,” Cannon said. “For the new owners, it enables them to understand their RV and the RV lifestyle so that they can get the most enjoyment out of their RV dollar.
“The second thing is that 30% of the attendees at Life on Wheels were non-RV owners. They were educating themselves about RVs before committing themselves to the expense. And about 90% of them purchased an RV during the next six months. It wasn’t a dealer or manufacturer talking to them, and they left Gaylord’s clinics feeling that they had the tools to make a decision about how to spend their money wisely.”