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Dealers Head to Vegas for Education, Networking

September 27, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The RV Dealers International Convention/Expo kicks off Sept. 30 with board meetings for the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) and RVDA of Canada, and continues through the week with education workshops, brand committee meetings, general sessions, networking events, and annual meetings for both organizations.

Themed “Education: Your Competitive Advantage,” the convention program has been enriched to reflect the importance of training and education for all dealership staff.  The meeting runs through Oct. 4 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino.

According to a press release, the advance registration deadline has passed, but onsite registration is available. Full details about the event are available on the RVDA website, including an electronic version of the onsite program and a mobile app that puts all the convention details onto a smartphone or tablet. The app allows users to plan their schedule and share information with colleagues using social media.

New this year are education workshops designed for “Young RV Executives” attending the meeting and two days of longer vendor-sponsored education under the category of Vendor Training +plus.These innovations are part of an effort to expand the learning opportunities available throughout the week and add value to the event.

Beyond continuing education, the meeting also features a three-day long expo of the RV industry’s top companies offering a broad array of products and services to help dealers improve profitability. RVDA’s Partners in Progress Brand Committees will also meet to work on important dealer-manufacturer issues on Sept. 30 Oct.1.

Visit www.rvda.org and www.rvlearningcenter.com to register for the convention and for regular updates. You can also get convention updates on LinkedInTwitter, and Facebook.

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RVDA Confab Panel to Key on Inventory Control

September 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

A general session panel at the 2013 RV Dealers International Convention/Expo will explore ways to manage inventory using logic, not emotion, and how to respond proactively to changes in the retail market.

According to a press release, the 90-minute panel discussion entitled, “Managing Inventory with Logic Not Emotion,” will feature Tom Walworth of Statistical Surveys Inc./The Thrive Group; Andy Baer of KZ RV L.P.; Will Jarnot of PleasureLand RV Center; Mike Regan of Crestview RV Center; and Ernie Schumacher of Bank of America Merrill Lynch. It will take place at 8 a.m. on Oct. 3.

A changing retail environment has led to new dealer strategies for managing inventory and this diverse panel will provide fresh ideas and insights for dealers who want to keep unit inventory on the right side in 2014 and beyond. During this session, attendees will learn why and how to develop a plan for purchasing inventory; techniques to buy the correct inventory at the proper levels at the right time of the year ; and why the discipline to stick to the plan is so important.

The convention/expo, sponsored by the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), RVDA of Canada and the RV Learning Center is slated for Sept. 30-Oct. 4 in Las Vegas at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino. It is the premier education and networking event of the year for North American RV dealers and their staffs.

Convention registrants can download the free app from Guidebook to add complete convention information to any smartphone or tablet.

This year for the first time the convention will have education workshops geared toward young RV executives. The 2013 convention will also feature an exhibit hall filled with the RV industry’s top suppliers offering products and services to help dealers improve profitability. RVDA’s Partners in Progress Brand Committees will also meet to work on important dealer/manufacturer issues.

Companies interested in partnership or sponsorship opportunities and exhibitor information can contact RVDA at (703) 591-7130 or send an e-mail to Julie Newhouse at jnewhouse@rvda.org. To register and find more information on the Convention/Expo, visit www.rvda.org.

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RVDA Confab’s First Two Days are ‘Must-Attend’

August 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The first two days of the 2013 RV Dealers International Convention/Expo have turned into “must-attend days” with more than a dozen proprietary training sessions and 10 brand committee meetings taking place. According to a press release, many dealers have responded to changes in the program by signing up more staff to attend the Convention/Expo than in prior years.  The convention is scheduled for Sept. 30–Oct. 4 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

To make the event more affordable for more staff to attend, registered dealer principals can bring additional staff for the first two days of training, “Vendor Training +plus,” for only $179. For that price, registrants are entitled to training on Monday and Tuesday and to attend the Expo, which will be open from 1-6 p.m. Tuesday, concluding with a reception during the last two hours.

These added options bring more value to the convention experience by giving dealers a bigger ROI for staff education and the flexibility to pay less for staff who cannot attend a full week of education. It’s also a convenient and affordable way for eligible staff members to earn continuing education credits toward certification.

On Monday and Tuesday, leading industry experts will be presenting proprietary sessions on critical topics including: digital marketing strategies, methods for increasing profits, improved financial management, maximizing use of dealership management software, parts and accessories innovations, profiting through new technologies, ramping up sales, managing leads more effectively, and driving up profits and customer satisfaction through service. These sessions allow presenters the opportunity to focus on their brand of products and services.

Presenters include: Blue Ox, NCompass RV, RVT.com Classifieds, Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc.-SAL (IA-SAL), Wheeler Advertising, Auction 123, IDS Integrated Dealer Systems, Everlogic, The Mobile Outfitters/Lippert Components Aftermarket Solutions, Stag Parkway, Zamp Solar, Livin Lite Recreational Vehicles, Quantech Software, and RV DealerPro.

The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association’s (RVDA) Partners in Progress Brand Committees also meet during the first two days of the convention to work on important dealer/manufacturer issues. Brand Committees meeting on Sept. 30, are Keystone and Dutchmen. The remainder will meet on Oct. 1, including Jayco; Crossroads/Redwood; Forest River; Skyline; Winnebago Motorized & Winnebago/Sunnybrook Towables; Heartland; Prime Time; and KZ.

For details about proprietary and Vendor Training +plus sessions pertinent to your staff and information about educational track workshops, consult the RVDA website. For more information about continuing education credits and professional certification available through the RV Learning Center, contact Liz Shoemaker at lshoemaker@rvda.org or stop by the RVDA Booth during the Convention.

The convention is sponsored by RVDA, RVDA of Canada, and the RV Learning Center. To register and find more information on the Convention/Expo, visit www.rvda.org.

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RVDA: Vehicle & Booth Space Limited for Expo

August 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Vehicle space is almost sold out with six weeks to go until the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo, Sept. 30 – Oct. 4 in Las Vegas.

According to a press release, the expo showcases top industry products and services along with RV manufacturers’ latest lines, complementing the premier dealer education event of the year. The expo is open Oct. 1–3 for convention registrants at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino.

“Having the vehicles at the show adds a great deal of excitement and provides a strong visual image of what our industry revolves around,” said Julie Newhouse, marketing manager for RVDA. “We have limited space to accommodate vehicles in the expo hall and it’s almost all booked, so we’re looking forward to an amazing show this year.”

Booth sales are also progressing at a brisk pace, according to Newhouse, with fewer than ten booth spaces remaining.

For convention information, a map and full list of exhibitors, go to the RVDA website or download RVDA’s convention app. The app, for tablets and smartphones has complete information about the education programs, convention partners and exhibitors. Users of the app can plan and save their convention schedule and share information about the event with their social media connections and email contacts if they choose.

In addition to the expo of the RV industry’s top suppliers, the meeting brings together the top dealership staff from North America for a week of industry-specific training and education. RVDA’s Partners in Progress Brand Committees also meet to work on important dealer/manufacturer issues.

Companies interested in partnership or sponsorship opportunities and exhibitor information can contact RVDA at (703) 591-7130 or send an e-mail to Julie Newhouse at jnewhouse@rvda.org.  To register and find more information on the Convention/Expo, visit www.rvda.org.

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RVDA Confab Expands Parts, Service Education

August 13, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Parts and service professionals attending the 2013 RV Dealers International Convention/Expo will find more education offerings at this year’s gathering, according to a press release.

The convention, running Sept. 30–Oct. 3 in Las Vegas, will offer nearly a dozen learning opportunities each for parts and service professionals with the addition of sessions on Monday and Tuesday.

These sessions add value to the convention experience by giving dealers a bigger ROI for staff education. Vendor Training +plus allows longer, more in-depth training, and this year’s proprietary workshops span two days, covering critical skills and topics presented by industry leaders. Fixed operations leaders attending the Convention/Expo can earn continuing education credits toward professional certification through their participation in educational workshops.

Beyond the numerous proprietary workshops and Vendor Training +plus on Monday and Tuesday there is a slate of targeted education track workshops in every time slot on Wednesday and Thursday, many of which feature new presenters. These were designed to meet the challenges faced by parts and service managers who need to keep up on the very latest trends and technologies while increasing profits by employing new tactics and strategies.

Parts track workshops include the following topics and an asterisk denotes a new presenter:

• Discover Hidden Profits in Your Parts Department, presented by Mark De Lucia*

• Growing a Dealership with Parts, Accessories & Service, presented by Gary McGugan*

• The Art of Successful Selling in the Parts Department, presented by Michael Doyle*

• Creating a Winning Display: Turn Your Parts Display into a Visual Experience, presented by Barry Siskind*

• “Rooftop” Measurements for Effective and Profitable Fixed Operations, presented by Mike Nicholes*

• Stock the Right Part at the Right Time, presented by Chuck Marzahn

• A Day in the Life of a Successful Parts Manager, presented by Mike Nicholes*

• Let’s Get Visual: Merchandising’s Secret Weapons, presented by Linda Cahan

Service track workshops are as follows:

• Inspection Processes & Tools, presented by David Foco

• Let’s Put the “P” Back in Service, presented by Jim Carr

• Crucial Accountability: Tools for Resolving Broken Promises and Violated Expectations, presented by David Nelson*

• “Rooftop” Measurements for Effective and Profitable Fixed Operations, presented by Mike Nicholes*

• How to Utilize Email Marketing to Increase Your Fixed Ops Revenue, presented by Peter Martin*

• Boomer Power: Meet the Best Buyers on the Planet, presented by Linda Cahan

• Customer Service or “Am I Selling?” presented by Paul Webb*

• New Hires with a Customer Service Mindset, presented by Ricardo Roman

For details about these workshops, and the variety of proprietary and Vendor Training +plus sessions pertinent to your staff, consult the RVDA website. For more information about continuing education credits and professional certification available through the RV Learning Center, contact Liz Shoemaker at lshoemaker@rvda.org or stop by the RVDA Booth during the convention.

 

 

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Young Executives Format Slated at RVDA Expo

July 31, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

A series of track workshops has been tagged for young RV executives attending the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo, Sept. 30 – Oct. 4 in Las Vegas.

According to a press release, the Convention/Expo Committee also developed two special workshops designed to appeal to the needs and professional development goals of these younger members.

A special session on Wednesday (Oct. 2) features new presenter David Nelson of VitalSmarts, and Thursday’s special session will be presented by Jim Rogers, chairman and CEO of Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA).

A new logo added to the convention matrix of events will note workshops that have been recommended for young RV executives.

Results from a spring survey of young RV executives and input from volunteer members were the basis for the content of the workshops chosen. This emphasis on younger members is part of an outreach effort initiated by RVDA Chairman Jeff Hirsch earlier this year.

The goal is to meet the needs of younger members and to support future leadership for the organization.

David Nelson of VitalSmarts will present a session created especially to appeal to young RV executives on Wednesday afternoon. “Influencer: The New Science of Personal Success” will give attendees powerful strategies to create rapid, dramatic and permanent change in others.

Nelson will share the six sources of influence that make organizational change inevitable and identify high-leverage behaviors that lead to swift change.

Immediately following this session, a brief networking reception for young executives will take place.

The final session in the program will feature the Rogers as he shares his premise that “Luck is When Preparation Meets Opportunity.” Rogers, noted most recently for his television appearance on “Undercover Boss,” began at KOA as a management trainee in 1972, and following a successful career with Harrah’s returned to his roots at KOA as chairman and CEO. Young executives attending his session will learn his theory of how businesses need to build their own future.

Below is the full listing of education events carrying the young RV executives tag. A full description and schedule appears online. There is at least one session in every time slot.

Wednesday, Oct. 2

• “Nobody Moved Your Cheese!” Presented by Ross Shafer.

• “Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High.” Presented by David Nelson.

• “Crucial Accountability: Tools for Resolving Broken Promises and Violated Expectations.” Presented by David Nelson.

• “Still Surprised by Why People Do What They Do?” Presented by David Spader of Spader Business Management.

• Special Session: “Influencer: The New Science of Personal Success.” Presented by David Nelson.

Thursday, Oct. 3

• “Grow Your Leadership & Management Skills.” Presented by Paul Webb of Paul Webb Training/WebbVT.

• “Dealership Culture – The Ultimate Differentiator.” Presented by Gary McGugan of NEEDS Selling Solutions.

• “A Day in the Life of a Successful Sales Manager.” Presented by Michael Rees.

• Special Session: “Luck is When Preparation Meets Opportunity.” Presented by Jim Rogers.

For more information about the young RV executives program, contact Julianne Ryder at RVDA by email at jryder@rvda.org or phone at (703) 591-7130, ext. 111.

A free app from Guidebook.com is available for registrants, featuring a complete agenda, expo map, and the ability to create and save a personal schedule. The app gives users regular updates, allows information sharing within social networks, and works on any mobile device.

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RVDA Offering Mobile App for Expo Attendees

July 22, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

RVDA Convention phone app

The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) has added a mobile app for the 2013 RV Dealers International Convention/Expo in Las Vegas, Sept. 30–Oct.4, to enhance the convention experience for dealers and exhibitors at the event. Free and easy to use, the app allows users to view a complete list of events and create a personalized schedule and to do list, according to a press release.

“We’re pleased to be able to offer this useful tool to our attendees so they can easily plan their convention activities,” said RVDA President Phil Ingrassia. “With the growth in mobile device use it makes sense to have our convention information accessible through phones and tablets.”

The free app is available for download through Guidebook.com and is simple to use, with a clean design for easy viewing.  It includes a full listing all convention partners, sponsors, and exhibitors, complete with corporate information, web address, and expo booth number.  Current exhibitors are encouraged to send their corporate description to RVDA as soon as possible for inclusion on the app.

With the complete schedule on attendees’ phones, users can choose sessions, add them to their personalized agendas, and even set reminders. Users can easily share information about the convention, a single event, or an exhibitor using social media, text, or email. Updates or changes to the program are immediately available to app users. By touching the three bar icon at the top right of the screen, users are able to check for updates and share the guide with their contacts.

The app works on iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone 7, Blackberry and Kindle Fire.

To download the app and find the guide for the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo, go to http://guidebook.com/g/2013RVDAConEx/ and follow the instructions. There’s an option to key in your phone number and have the link texted to your phone or to scan a QR code from your computer screen using your mobile device. The guidebook app is also available in the Apple, Google, and Amazon app stores under “Guidebook.” Once you have the app, search for the convention by name. There’s also a link on the RVDA website, www.rvda.org.

For information about exhibiting and convention partnership or sponsorship opportunities, contact Julie Newhouse by email at jnewhouse@rvda.org or by phone at (703) 591-7130 x103.

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Vendor Training +Plus Slated for RVDA Confab

July 19, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Dealership parts and service staff attending Vendor Training +plus at the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo, set to run Sept. 30-Oct. 4 in Las Vegas, will have the opportunity to learn ways to ramp up customer loyalty and drive up profits using products from Blue Ox hitches.

According to a press release, Vendor Training +plus is an enhancement to the education program for dealers and their staff, allowing leading industry suppliers to provide extended training sessions during the convention without competing with track workshops. The Blue Ox session will run from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 30.

“Learn How to Build Loyal Customers and Increase Sales and Profits with Innovative Products from Blue Ox” will be presented by Mike Thelander. He has been in the RV industry for 35 years, including 10 spent living in his motorhome full-time. He’s covered the U.S. and Canada working with RV dealers and doing seminars at RV shows and rallies. Thelander has been with Blue Ox for 10 years and spends a lot of time training RV dealers and their customers.

Attendees will gain knowledge of product features and benefits, as well as the installation involved with each and the benefits that come to a dealership selling Blue Ox products.

Participants will get four hours of in-depth training in the key points of Blue Ox’s most innovative products. Knowing the right products and being knowledgeable in their use and installation is the key to exceeding consumer expectations. This session will give participants the extended learning time to take in the scope of information to be offered.

Thelander will cover how a geometrically optimized and computer-designed weight distribution hitch will increase customer satisfaction. He’ll explain how your dealership can make more money with chassis handling, comfort and safety enhancements. In addition, the session will explore ways to maximize profits through lower installation time and ease of use of the Blue Ox Patriot braking system.

IDS – Integrated Dealer Software and NCompass RV financial services are also conducting training through Vendor Training +plus. Their sessions will take place Oct. 1 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Vendor Training +plus is included in the full convention registration rate and also available on its own for staff who cannot be away from the dealership for the entire convention. Dealerships must have one full convention registrant in order to bring staff for Vendor Training +plus alone at the rate of $179. A Vendor Training +plus badge allows a registrant to attend the Tuesday night reception in the Expo. Full education information forMonday and Tuesday of the Convention/Expo is here.

For more information about Vendor Training +plus, partnership opportunities, sponsorship, and exhibitor information contact RVDA’s Julie Newhouse by email jnewhouse@rvda.org or phone (703) 591-7130 x 103.

Visit www.rvda.org and www.rvlearningcenter.com to register for the convention and for regular updates. You can also get convention updates on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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RVDA Confab Workshops Focus on Managers

July 9, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The RV Dealers International Convention/Expo is featuring a group of workshops in multiple tracks that will help dealers improve their management team and upgrade their own leadership skills. According to a press release, the Convention/Expo takes place Sept. 30 – Oct. 4 in Las Vegas at the Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino.

The theme of the convention, “Education: Your Competitive Advantage,” is evident throughout the agenda with more learning opportunities for a dealership’s top managers to expand their skill sets, learn to be more accountable, and tackle the latest ways to lead more effectively. Full information on all these sessions is available on the Convention/Expo education workshops webpage.

Communication, accountability, leadership, reputation management, leading change, and corporate culture are core topics in this curriculum area. Also included are hard skills like benchmarking and using tested formulas for measuring results. Workshops include:

David Nelson

• Professional accountability and good communication are keys to effective leadership and growth, as well as for maintaining great morale in the dealership. “Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High,” will be presented by David Nelson of VitalSmarts on Oct. 2, at 11:15 a.m. Nelson, new to the RVDA convention, will explore the importance of creating an environment where the best ideas can be shared openly and important conversations can take place without anxiety. At 2:45 p.m. the same day, Nelson will also present “Crucial Accountability: Tools for Resolving Broken Promises, Violated Expectations, and Bad Behavior.”  Managers attending will learn positive ways to get the team invested in the process and outcomes of decision-making, and how to avoid getting sidetracked. Nelson will also present a third workshop at 4:15 p.m. on Wednesday, entitled, “Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change,” covering “high-leverage” behaviors that lead to rapid and profound change.

Paul Webb

• Set for Oct. 3 at 1:15 p.m., Paul Webb’s session, “Grow Your Leadership and Management Skills” will help attendees differentiate between leadership and management and also give them the coaching skills they need to create accountability within their team. Webb’s techniques and protocols can be used to increase employee retention. Webb, a new RVDA presenter, will also present a session on “Advanced Business Communications” that day at 4:15 p.m., giving attendees the keys to building trust and teaching them his visual, auditory and kinesthetic method for communicating.

• A key workshop of interest to dealers and GMs will take place on Oct. 3 at 1:15 p.m. with a new RVDA presenter, Gary McGugan. “Dealership Culture: The Ultimate Differentiator” is geared toward leaders in successful dealerships who want to differentiate their business in a highly competitive environment. An introductory quiz to gauge a dealership’s current status, traits, and characteristics will lead to analysis and comparison of results. Results remain private, but participants will leave with a better understanding of their current status and concrete guidance about ways to implement and sustain meaningful change.

Peter Martin

A Thursday workshop, “Online Reputation Management,” will give dealers and their staff the tools they need to effectively face the challenges of negative online reviews.  Just one negative review can cost a business 30 new customers because unhappy consumers are more likely to post reviews than satisfied customers.  Peter Martin of Cactus Sky Communications, a new RVDA presenter, will give registrants the information and guidance necessary to build and improve an online reputation and to create and develop effective online data capture forms. Martin will also explain how to get “Google approved,” describe ways to develop mobile-enabled email, and outline how to prevent negative online reviews in the first place. The workshop will start at 4:15 p.m.

Visit www.rvda.org and www.rvlearningcenter.com to register for the convention and for regular updates or access LinkedIn and Facebook.

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Workshop Slate Takes Shape for RVDA Confab

June 19, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Workshops for the 2013 RV Dealers International Convention/Expo are taking shape in all tracks with more titles to be announced as presenters and titles are confirmed. According to a press release, the convention will take place in Las Vegas, Sept. 30– Oct. 4 at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino.

Two confirmed speakers – trade show expert Barry Siskind and merchandising guru Linda Cahan – will be presenting workshops in the dealer/GM, sales, parts, and service tracks. The RVDA Convention/Expo Committee, chaired by John McCluskey of Florida Outdoors RV Sales, sought out new presenters with ideas that reflect the convention theme “Education: Your Competitive Advantage” and also provide a broader curriculum that is relevant to more staff.

Siskind, one of the world’s foremost consultants on trade and consumer shows, has authored seven best-selling books on the topics of marketing in a trade show environment. He’ll be presenting three workshops including one in the dealer/GM track called, “Establishing Benchmarks and Program Indicators.” This session will focus on the importance of getting past the glitz and giveaways and identify the metrics dealers need to pay attention to so they can make the right decisions. This 75-minute session will take place Oct. 2 at 9:45 a.m.

“Double Your Show Results: Strategies to Close Sales on the Show Floor and Turn Leads into Gold” is the title for Siskind’s sales track workshop to be offered on Wednesday, October 2 at 2:45 p.m. The title is long because Siskind packs in plenty of critical information sales professionals can put to work. In this interactive and motivational workshop participants will learn the skills they need to close the sale on the show floor and ensure that new leads are swiftly acted upon for immediate and successful follow up.

The parts Track features Siskind’s approach to designing a parts display for maximum impact, using three key elements. This session will promote ideas for creating a visual experience customers will remember and is scheduled for 4:15 p.m. on Oct. 2.

Service track and parts track convention attendees will have the opportunity to benefit from  Cahan’s expertise in visual merchandising. She’ll deliver two 75-minute workshops on Oct. 3. Cahan focuses on delivering solutions aided by smart and appropriate visual merchandising, training teams and working with independent, regional and national retailers on enhancing and improving their images and sales.

Cahan will present “Boomer Power: Meet the Best Buyers on the Planet” at 1:15 p.m. on Oct. 3 in the service track. Cahan says Baby Boomers have major buying power and are ready to spend money, if dealers can understand what they are looking for. She explains how to make your retail store a magnet for boomers and others with cash to spend, how to build ongoing relationships with this important population segment, and ways to communicate with people who are old in years but young at heart.

In the Parts Track, “Let’s Get Visual: Merchandising’s Secret Weapons” will be presented at 4:15 p.m. on Oct. 3, featuring Cahan’s take on the science of retail color psychology; ways to create sensory experiences to keep customers coming back for more; and basic design techniques of lighting, signage, and display. Participants will learn effective secrets that will help them succeed with customers.

RVDA, RVDA of Canada, and the RV Learning Center will be announcing additional speakers, workshops and special events planned for the convention in the coming weeks. Visit www.rvda.org and www.rvlearningcenter.com to register for the convention and for regular updates. The industry can also get updates by following the convention on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

Companies interested in partnership or sponsorship opportunities, providing Vendor Training +plus, and exhibitor information can contact RVDA at (703) 591-7130, ext. 103 or send an e-mail to jnewhouse@rvda.org.

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