Dreaming of an escape from the cold winter weather was a common theme among the Saturday visitors to the 9th Annual RV and Outdoor Sport Show at the Verizon Wireless Civic Center in Mankato, Minn. The event also drew numerous buyers motivated by larger changes in the improving economy and ongoing trends in family sizes.
As reported by the Mankato Free Press, the event featured 11 different venders and over 45 recreational vehicles on display around the Civic Center. Event organizers said they expect up to 7,000 people to attend the show this weekend.
Several of the visitors interviewed at the event said they decided to check out the show as either an excuse to “get out of the house” or view possible upgrades for their summer outings. The sentiment seemed reasonable given that Saturday’s high was only 30 degrees and below-zero temperatures are projected for next week.
“We’re definitely getting stir crazy. We can’t wait for warmer weather,” said Andy Paulson, a Mankato resident.
Kim Kroubetz, an organizer with the event, said she believes people enjoy purchasing camping equipment in the winter because it gives them something to look forward to in the summer. She said they helped emphasize this fact by selecting a luau theme for the show.
Other visitors, such as Mark Lachmiller of Mankato, were forgoing the wait for summer months and seeking a vehicle to become “snowbirds.” Lachmiller said it was much cheaper to take an RV down to warmer states than to purchase a winter home. He said the approach helped avoid taxes in other states and provided more options for summer.
Another theme among the visitor at the event was older couples seeking to replace their family-sized camping vehicles with smaller models. Joe William of Elysian, who described himself and his wife as “empty nesters,” said they were looking to swap their RV for something aimed toward couples.
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Exciting things are happening in Hershey, Pa., as the 43rd Annual Pennsylvania RV & Camping Show prepares to roll into the “Sweetest Place on Earth,” according to a news release.
This year’s show, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Recreation Vehicle and Camping Association (PRVCA) is scheduled for Sept. 12-18 with Industry Days on Sept. 12-13 and Public Days Sept. 14-18.
“Block space sales have risen above 2010 totals, and booth space sales have exceeded the 2010 show by a whopping 21% giving the No. 1 reason to attend the show – more product to view. And while there may be more product, there are no lines which allows you to spend quality time with your manufacturer representative – one of Hershey’s best kept secrets,” the release stated.
Show sponsors announced that HGTV will be returning to film “RV 2012.” The show will premier on New Year’s Day and feature the latest RV technology and accessories.
The show also offers a valuable education lineup. Offering inclusive, timely and affordable educational seminars ($20 for the entire education package), the education program has seminars that will help businesses grow and move forward in today’s economy. Many of the seminars also contain continuing education credits for dealers and campgrounds alike.
* Start your week off with Terry Cooper as he discusses how to get RV technicians training without leaving your dealership. Walter Cannon from the RV Safety and Education Foundation will be on the grounds to provide better understanding of how to match trucks to trailers and learn about weight and tire safety. Learn about the “Attitude of Troubleshooting and Packaging the Service Department” with “RV Doctor” Gary Bunzer.
* Bill Garpow from he Recreational Park Trailer Industry Association (RPTIA) will discuss how park trailers can fatten your bottom line.
Other speakers include Grayson Schwepfinger, speaking on how to make more sales by gaining trust from your customer, and Bernie Jwaszewski providing tips on how social networking can help your business.
This year’s show features luncheons that will prove valuable to every aspect of the RV industry:
* Randy Sobel takes the stage on Monday with “Hiring Top Performers.” Learn how to re-build your business with a better foundation.
* Tuesday’s luncheon features Scott McKain who will give you insight on how to make your company stand out in a crowd. Registration for these events include lunch.
* After Scott’s message, don’t miss your chance to meet football hall of fame quarterback Jim Kelly. Autographed footballs, photos and mini-helmets will be available for purchase.
The free Industry Party held Sept. 12 will be at the park with thrilling rides, hors d’oeuvres, cold beer and wine, and music by Copper Sky. The event ends at 6 p.m. giving attendees more time to spend networking after the show or relaxing in Chocolatetown, USA.