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RVDA Expo to Offer Roster of Track Workshops

August 21, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Dealers and GMs attending the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo, running Oct. 1-5 in Las Vegas, can choose among a host of skill-building track workshops. According to a press release, the sessions are designed to “empower attendees to determine what drives their sales force, how to put accountability front and center in the dealership and ways to hire only the best employees.”

This year’s theme is “The Road to Opportunity,” and the Dealer/GM Track boasts expert speakers, relevant topics and a focus on the unique role and goals of dealers and general managers in our industry.

Programs include:

• “Unique Personality Drivers Your Salespeople Should Have” will have far-reaching impacts on a dealership’s future sales and the strength of its sales force. A new face at this year’s RVDA Convention/Expo, Ricardo Roman of Caliper will help dealers and GMs learn to identify, retain and hire top performers in the field of sales, based on proven indicators. Participants will take home a new skill set and outlook with the tools to make the most of their sales team. This session is set for Oct. 4.

• “A Brave New World: Strategies for Moving Your Business Forward” will look at shifting demographics and improvements in the housing and financial markets. Immediately following the Wednesday’s opening general session, economist Peter Ricchiuti will offer attendees a look at the likely economic landscape and how best to position themselves for both the potholes and opportunities facing the industry.

• “How to Install and Maintain Accountability to Get the Best Out of Your Team” will show why accountability at all levels is the key to upholding standards and roles within an organization, and how you can put it to work for your team. This session will be held on Oct. 3-4, and will take on the roots of accountability — what it is and why it’s important. Presenter Michael Rees from A World of Learning will guide dealers and general managers through the reasons to hold people accountable and, importantly, what to hold them accountable to.

• “A Proven Method for Successful Hiring,” a session featuring David Spader of Spader Business Management, will demonstrate how the right skills and tools can transform a dealership’s hiring process and the dealership itself. Set for Oct. 3, this workshop will guide attendees through proven methods of interviewing, including ‘the dirty dozen’ of interviewing errors. Spader will talk habout companies that have increased their hiring success rate fourfold. Participants will leave with relevant information, newly learned skills and the motivation necessary to fundamentally revamp hiring practices and build successful teams.

• Post-recession look at the “10 Secrets to Dealership Financial Success” will cover the fallout from the last few years and demonstrate how some of the best business practices are developed in the toughest of times. Stephan King of Stephan King PC will share expertise gained through years in the business world and revisit the “10 Secrets to Dealership Financial Success” that were introduced to RVDA in 2006. Do the secrets still ring as true today as they did in 2006? Find out what your business has in common with some of the best in the industry. This session will take place on Oct. 4.

• “Mirror, Mirror On My Wall, Who Will Run My Dealership After All?” will show how effective leadership was instrumental in navigating the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression, but still left dealers unsure about the future of their companies. Somehow other dealers are taking 1-2 week vacations several times a year and have strong-performing businesses. John Spader of Spader Business Management will offer a self-assessment and a look at your team to help determine how to take a well-deserved vacation without headaches and worries and come back to a business that is humming along. This session will take place on Oct. 4.

For more information on the convention contact RVDA at (703) 591-7130 or send an e-mail to info@rvda.org. To register and for more information on the Convention/Expo, visit www.rvda.org.

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RVDA Expo Panel to Assess Risk Management

August 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

“Straight Talk on Risk Management,” a panel discussion scheduled for Oct. 3 at the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo, will give dealers and general managers insights and strategies into staying abreast and understanding the ever-changing regulations on businesses, particularly laws related to dealer financing.

Finance experts Glynn Cooper of Marine One Acceptance Corp. and Richard Lewis from Bank of the West, two leading industry lenders, will share the latest developments faced by dealership employees, with special attention to recent FTC investigations into motor vehicle financing.

Also on the panel, Rob Cohen, founder of Auto Advisory Services and senior automotive counsel in Arent Fox’s Automotive Industry Group, will point out common pitfalls, explain how to stay out of trouble in the first place and offer common sense solutions to risk management challenges faced by RV dealers.

Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) Director of Legal & Regulatory Affairs Brett Richardson will moderate the panel, which will offer participants a chance to ask questions of leading professionals in the field.

The RV Dealers International Convention/Expo will be held Oct. 1-5 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The convention is sponsored by RVDA, RVDA of Canada and the RV Learning Center.

The 2012 convention will 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 sponsorship opportunities and exhibitor information can contact RVDA at (703) 591-7130 or send an e-mail to info@rvda.org. To register and for more information on the Convention/Expo, visitwww.rvda.org.

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Walworth to Head Towing Panel at RVDA Expo

August 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Tom Walworth, president of Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Statistical Surveys Inc., will moderate a Dealer/GM Track panel that will explore “What the Future Holds for Tow Vehicles” during the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo in Las Vegas.

Slated for Oct. 4, the workshop will cover the impact of more stringent fuel efficiency standards on towing capacity and look at changing demographics and what that means for the future of pick-ups and SUVs. Towables currently account for 90% of unit sales in the RV industry, according to Walworth.

Expert panelists Todd Kaufman of Ford Motor Co., Les Roeber of Blue Ox, and Lenny Sims of NADA Guides will lead participants through the “maze of government standards, industry directions and consumer trends.” The role of hitches and safety of trailering, two key issues particular to towables, will also be on the agenda. Participants will get the latest information, expert analysis and even get a look at what they can expect down the road.

“Tow vehicles play such an important role in our industry,” said RVDA Convention/Expo Committee Chairman Peter Albano of American RV in Olive Branch, Miss. “I am especially pleased that Ford Motor Co. is providing their expert on the F-Series truck, given its popularity with RVers. We are delighted that this distinguished panel of experts will offer their guidance on the current status of tow vehicles and the outlook for the future, given their critical role in our industry.”

The RV Dealers International Convention/Expo will be held Oct. 1-5, at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The convention is sponsored by the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), RVDA of Canada and the RV Learning Center.

The 2012 convention will 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 sponsorship opportunities and exhibitor information can contact RVDA at (703) 591-7130 or send an e-mail to info@rvda.org. To register and for more information on the Convention/Expo, visit www.rvda.org.

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RVDA Expo Workshop to Examine Product Mix

August 10, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

A workshop offering insight into how the right product mix can generate sales will be presented Oct. 4 during the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo in Las Vegas.

According to a press release, the workshop, titled “New & Improved – What It Means to Your Retail Sales,” will be led by Donna Martin, NTP Distribution Inc.’s director of marketing.

Workshop attendees will find out what factors should be considered when deciding what to sell and discover how to differentiate new products to overcome consumer resistance to buying.

Participants will also learn tips for identifying new products that fit their niche and customers, as well as what new and improved products have the potential of breathing new life into retail sales.

Martin has over 30 years of industry experience in the RV aftermarket segment. Her industry knowledge and expertise began on the retail side for a large RV aftermarket chain. With her retail experience spanning from in-store training manager to general manager, she has gained valuable real life experience working with the end customer.

Most recently, Martin worked with Keystone Automotive Operations to develop their RV and trailer initiatives. After Keystone Automotive Operations acquired NTP Distribution, she transitioned into her current role.

The RV Dealers International Convention/Expo will be held Oct. 1-5 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The convention is sponsored by the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), RVDA of Canada and the RV Learning Center.

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

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RVDA Confab to Run Parts/Service Workshops

June 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Based on attendee feedback from last year’s RV Dealers International Convention/Expo, the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) Convention/Expo Committee is bringing back the parts and service management educational tracks in 2012. According to a press release, the tracks will offer several new speakers with “very different, never-before offered workshops.”

The RV Dealers International Convention/Expo will be held Oct. 1-5 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The convention is sponsored by RVDA, RVDA of Canada and the RV Learning Center.

One of the new workshops is “Managing Parts Inventory for Results,” presented by Bob Bennett of BTS Consulting. RVDA said the workshop is a high-level view of the inventory management process for dealers and parts managers and will focus on how parts managers, through inventory management, are key contributors to customer satisfaction and fixed operations profitability. Key takeaways will include the true meaning of a lost sale in the parts department and the importance of managing possession costs and acquisition costs. This session is recommended for parts managers, as well as dealers and general managers.

More workshops will be announced as the convention approaches. Themed “The Road to Opportunity,” the convention will present educational super sessions designed to help dealers navigate the issues and opportunities they face today and presenting strategies to reach new customers through new technology and to harness the power of social media. This year’s conference also introduces a new series of fixed operations workshops for service and parts managers to improve efficiency and profitability.

The 2012 convention will feature an exhibit hall filled with the RV industry’s top companies 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 sponsorship opportunities and exhibitor information can contact RVDA at (703) 591-7130, ext 103, or send an e-mail to scharter@rvda.org.

Visit www.rvda.org and www.rvlearningcenter.com to register for the convention and receive regular updates. People can also get convention updates on LinkedIn professional networking services, Twitter and Facebook.

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Molino’s Pleased with the ‘12 RVDA Con/Expo

October 13, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

RVDA President Mike Molino

When all is said and done, people will remember this year’s RV Dealers International Convention/Expo, Oct. 3-7 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, for how upbeat it was in spite of the rampant negativity of today’s newspaper headlines, says Mike Molino, president of the Fairfax, Va.-based Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA).

Fact is, looking back at everything that transpired at the Con/Expo, from the pulse of the whole event – from the workshops to the trade exhibits, the Partners in Progress Brand Committee meetings and the all-industry gala at which RVDA presented its Quality Circle Awards for the first time — Molino suspects that the industry may well rebound from the nation’s current economic lull much quicker than a lot of people think.

RVBUSINESS.com touched bases with Molino this week regarding the Con/Expo, an event that was co-sponsored with RVDA of Canada and drew almost the exact same attendance as 2010 — a total of 1,078 registrants, half of them dealers. Here are the highlights of that conversation:

RVBUSINESS.com: So, Mike, now that you’re back in D.C. and have had a chance to reflect, how did the Con/Expo go in your estimation?

I was surprisingly pleased. It was much better than I expected as far as attendance. I knew we were going to have a good program. I knew we were going to have good speakers. I knew the change in the format and delivery was going to be very strong and make it a much better event. But I was pleased that we had almost as many people there this year with all the diversions. And, actually, from a business perspective, things were better than last year. And that pleased me very much.

RVBUSINESS.com: We particularly heard good things about the “Partners in Progress” brand meetings, a series of sessions involving manufacturers and their respective dealers that has become an RVDA industry exclusive – and one that seems to be gaining favor among industry players.

Yeah, they went well. They were better staged, better organized because of the efforts of the brand committee chairmen and my own staff people. The brand committee chairmen have much more experience now. I also think there’s a much better understanding between dealers and manufacturers on issues. The give and take that we had hoped for at many of the brand committees has started to take place and is moving along very well. You know, I don’t think it’s universal and that everyone unanimously feels the same way about the brand meetings, but I know it’s better in almost all of them – much less adversarial.

RVBUSINESS.com: The new Wednesday night dinner gala certainly brings a new twist to the Con/Expo, keying as it does on manufacturers’ Circle of Excellence awards.

It went well. You know, we had the same sort of growing pains that any new venture has as far as the presentations and how we staged it and that sort of stuff. But all in all, I think it was a good event. I was impressed by the number of people who paid extra to come to it. That was almost a surprise to us because with the cost of food in Vegas, it gets very expensive to include the dinner into the registration fee. So, we made it a separately ticketed event. We didn’t charge the full amount of the dinner if you were registered (for the convention), but we charged part of the amount for the dinner, and we were pretty well sold out. We couldn’t have done that without the support of the convention sponsors. They actually sponsored the dinner as well.

All in all, I think it went well. I think it showed a lot more respect for the manufacturers who won those awards (versus the way RVDA used to present the awards at the Louisville Show). And having that many recipients is really a testimony to the improvement that’s gone on.

We should point out that we didn’t raise the bar (for qualifying Circle of Excellence Award winners). We kept the bar at 80%. The first time we did the awards, we only had one manufacturer get over 80 (percent). And now, having 32 brand award winners based on at least 15 dealer reports each at 80% — and having the dramatic increase in participation this year — that shows me that the DSI (Dealer Satisfaction Index) program, the Quality Circle program, is very valuable.

Dealers consider them very important, and I know manufacturers are really beginning to consider them important, too. It’s helping to improve those things that the dealers deem important in a relationship, from the quality of the vehicle, vehicle design and also in the after sale service that the dealer has to be involved with. When we do it (the event) again, I would change some of the ways that we do it. But I think that the idea of making a presentation at a dinner at the dealers’ convention is a good idea that we intend to continue.

RVBUSINESS.com: What’s your sense of the industry’s general outlook right now with regard to 2012 and beyond?

Hey, let’s face it: No economist has ever predicted a boom in the RV industry, even though they’re pretty good at predicting downturns before they begin. And they’re not predicting one now. I mean, you’re not going to get that, although most would tell you after the fact that if you’d read between the lines you’d see that they had in fact predicted an upswing.

You know, we brought in (to the Con/Expo) two of the brightest young economists that GE Capital has, and the outlook reflected in their presentations at the convention was pretty dismal on the short term. On the long term, though, it was very, very optimistic.

Well those long term optimistic indicators may kick in earlier than people think and, before you know it, we’ll have manufacturers not able to keep up with the pipeline, not having product on their lots when the customer’s in there demanding it.

So, I see that could start happening tomorrow. It could start happening in the spring, and it certainly will happen by 2013. When it’s going to start, nobody’s going to predict that. You know, conventional wisdom – and I said as much recently in my presentation at the FRVTA convention in Florida – is not to expect anything next year because it’s an election year. And, right now, everybody’s expecting next year to be pretty bad or maybe pretty steady and normal. And I still think that this thing’s going to turn around a lot quicker than anybody’s predicting right now.

 

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Discount Rate for RVDA Expo Expiring on Friday

August 30, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Friday (Sept. 2) is the deadline for discounted registration for the 2011 RV Dealers International Convention/Expo, running Oct. 3-7 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

According to the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), dealers who register by Friday and stay at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino will not only get the best rate for the convention/expo, but they’ll also be eligible to win a Las Vegas Weekend Getaway including a two-night/three-day stay at any Las Vegas Caesars Entertainment hotel.

To make the convention affordable to everyone, registration is the same price as last year. Click here for more information and to register.

 

 

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RV Dealers Expo to Examine RV Rental Market

July 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Find out some of the best practices that make for a profitable RV rental operation at the upcoming RV Dealers International Convention/Expo, Oct. 3-7, at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Topics will include:

Advanced Rental Topic 1: Lot Operations

Oct. 5, 2:45- 4 p.m.

This workshop will cover best practices for everything that happens on your rental lot. Walk-throughs, maintenance, Pre-rental prep, check-ins, service calls, cleaning, and repairs, will be among the topics that the three instructors, and the participants, will explore. The instructors for this 75-minute workshop are Martin Onken, Expedition Motorhomes Inc., Tom Zielstra, Pierce RV Supercenter and Donn Kaebisch, RV Rental Outlet.

Advanced Rental Topic 2: Office Operations

Oct. 6, 2:45-4 p.m.

This workshop will cover best practices for everything that happens in your rental office. Procedures, paperwork, phones, counter, website, customer appreciation, profitability and pricing, will be the topics that the three instructors, and the participants, will explore. The instructors for this 75-minute workshop are Martin Onken, Barry Raye, 84 RV Rentals & Service, and Brad Bacon, PleasureLand RV Center Inc.

How to Run a Successful Rental Department

Oct. 6, 1:15-2:30 p.m.

Led by Randall Jeremiah of Adventure on Earth, this workshop is geared for dealers considering rentals. The first half of the session will examine profitability. The discussion will include specific examples and possible fleet configurations. The session will then turn to RV rental myths, including debunking the myth that rental units are often returned in poor condition. You’ll also learn about turning a fleet for a profit. The goal of this workshop is to provide attendees with a enough information on RV rental operations that they’ll be able to make an informed decision on whether rental is right for their dealership.

The convention will also feature special sessions designed to help you make the right decisions regarding your business in the coming months. Click here for more of the convention workshop and general session schedule and to register. Register by Aug. 6, stay at the Rio and you could win a special golf or spa package.

 

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RVDA Sets Agenda for Partners in Progress

July 13, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) has announced the schedule for Partners in Progress Brand Committee meetings held in conjunction with the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo, scheduled for Oct. 3-7 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

The meetings provide dealers with a forum to discuss brand-specific issues with top management from participating manufacturers. Brand Committees will also review results from the 2011 Dealer Satisfaction Index (DSI) survey during the meetings. Only dealers who carry the specific manufacturer/brand may attend. Dealer volunteer leaders moderate the meetings.

Here is a list of Partners in Progress Brand Committee Meetings scheduled:

Monday, Oct. 3

3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. Jayco

5 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. Heartland

Tuesday, Oct. 4

8 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. Dutchmen/Coleman

9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Keystone

11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Winnebago/SunnyBrook

12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. Monaco/Holiday Rambler/R-Vision

12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. CrossRoads

2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Prime Time

3:30 to 4:45 p.m. KZ

5 to 6:15 p.m. Forest River

6:30 to 7:45 p.m. Thor Motor Coach

*Schedule subject to change.

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Copper Sponsors Added to RVDA Convention

June 16, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

MBA Insurance, Open Range RV Co., Ally Financial and Diversified Insurance Management Inc., are “Copper Sponsors” for the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo, Oct. 3-7, at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

The convention, themed “ReVolution: Take Charge Today,” is sponsored by the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), RVDA of Canada, and the RV Learning Center.

“Convention sponsors allow RVDA to offer the wide range of educational opportunities that are available to RV dealers and their employees throughout the event,” said RVDA Convention/Expo Committee Chairman Peter Albano of American RV in Olive Branch, Miss. “We thank these companies for their commitment to continuing education and professional development for RV retailers.”

Established in 1978, MBA Insurance has grown into one of the premier rental insurance agencies in the country, writing insurance coverage for motorhomes, motorcycles, ATV’s, scooters, snowmobiles, travel trailers and pop-up campers. Today, MBA insures over 2,100 RV rental companies nationwide.

Based in Shipshewana, Ind., Open Range RV builds a variety of fifth-wheels and travel trailers under the Open Range, Mesa Ridge, Light, Journeyer, Residential, Roamer and Rolling Thunder product lines. Their flagship RV is the Open Range fifth-wheel.

Ally Financial, Inc. (formerly GMAC Inc.) is one of the world’s largest automotive financial services companies. In addition to motor vehicles, Ally provides wholesale financing, retail financing, and remarketing services for RV dealers in the U.S. Ally operates as a bank holding company with more than $174 billion in assets as of March 31.

Diversified Insurance Management Inc. has specialized in RV dealership insurance since 1981. Their underwriting expertise is recognized and sought by both carriers and dealers alike. Today, Diversified serves the insurance and F&I needs of dealerships across the country as one of the nation’s top independent RV insurance specialists.

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