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RVIA Unveils Scheduling for Committee Week

April 29, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) has unveiled the schedule for Committee Week 2013, set for June 2-6 at the historic Mayflower Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C. According to a press release, the association’s standing committees, Executive Committee and board will meet to develop strategies and programs for the upcoming fiscal year at this annual event.

The Go RVing Coalition will also meet during Committee Week on June 3.

In addition to the full slate of committee meetings, other key events on the schedule include:

2014 RV Market Outlook – Economist Richard Curtin, director of consumer research at the University of Michigan, will provide the first forecast for the RV market in 2014 and examine the current economic climate at the Joint Committee Luncheon on June 3.

RVIA’s Capitol Hill Advocacy Day – RVIA members will visit Capitol Hill on June 5 to meet with legislators and their staff to discuss key issues critical to the RV industry.

Networking Events – Several joint-committee luncheons and receptions, including the opening reception the evening of June 3 at the National Museum of Crime and Punishment, will give Committee Week participants the opportunity to establish, renew and build upon the relationships critical to business success.

The Mayflower Renaissance Washington is a luxury hotel and historic landmark. Proclaimed by President Truman to be Washington, D.C.’s “Second Best Address” after the White House, the hotel is on the National Registry of Historic Places and a Historic Hotel of America. Located just blocks from the White House, metro stops and dining and cultural hot spots, the 4-diamond property offers a splendid center for exploring the city.

For more information about Committee Week, contact Doreen Cashion in the Meetings and Shows Division at (703) 620-6003 (ext. 324) or dcashion@rvia.org.

The complete schedule appears below:

 

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Curtin, Health Care on Tap at Committee Week

June 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Committee Week attendees will hear about the outlook for the RV market and the impact of the pending Supreme Court decisions on health care reform in two presentations taking place during the Joint Committee Luncheons June 11-12 (See full schedule for Committee Week below).

Economist Richard Curtin, director of the Consumer Research Center at the University of Michigan, will provide his outlook for RV wholesale shipments during remarks at Monday’s Joint Committee Luncheon, taking place from noon to 1:30 p.m.

This will include projections for the year-end 2012 total as well as his first estimate for shipment numbers in 2013. He will also take questions about the RV market and general economic climate. Curtin authors RVIA’s RV Roadsigns, the association’s quarterly forecasting newsletter and has directed RVIA’s RV consumer demographic research since 1980.

The Supreme Court decisions on the health care reform case, which will be announced by the end of June, will have a significant impact on the small- and medium-sized companies doing business in the RV industry.

At the Joint Committee Luncheon, taking place from noon to 2:00 p.m. on June 12, health care law and policy expert Bruce Merlin Fried will brief attendees on the business ramifications of a decision that upholds the law as well as on one that overturns it fully or partially.

Fried is a partner in SNR Denton’s Health Care practice in Washington, DC. He has been recognized by Chambers USA and ExpertGuides as one of the nation’s leading health care attorneys.

In addition, Mark Weller will lead a secondary discussion on the provision that exempts people opposed to buying health coverage for religious reasons, including the Amish. Weller, who serves as RVIA’s federal lobbyist, has more than 25 years of public affairs and advocacy experience, much of it focusing on health care issues.

He is a partner in SNR Denton’s Public Policy and Regulation practice and he heads the firm’s Strategic Communications team.

 

 

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RVIA Chairman Fore Addresses Key Issues

June 8, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

RVIA Chairman Gregg Fore

RVIA Chairman Gregg Fore

RVIA Chairman Gregg Fore told the association’s leadership during RVIA’s Annual Membership Meeting on Tuesday (June 7) in Washington D.C. that the recreational vehicle sector continues to regain strength in the aftermath of the Great Recession.

“With regard to the industry as a whole, we’ve been indeed fortunate that over the last 18 months our industry has recovered from the depths of the economic meltdown to a level today that, based on history, is a more sustainable volume,” Fore told an assembled luncheon crowd at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel during the association’s annual RVIA Committee Week proceedings.

“While the economic downturn took away some RV manufacturers, suppliers and dealers, our industry remains strong with shipments at a sustainable volume because of the millions of RV owners who love their RVs, love what they can do while RVing and can’t imagine giving up the enjoyment of their RVing experiences,” said Fore, president of Dicor Corp., Elkhart, Ind.

Fore, noting that the recession triggered the loss of as many as 20% of the nation’s dealers, also touched on the following topics during his wide-ranging comments:

A Pending Upgrade in Service Technician Training: This past February, a group of industry professionals reviewed the existing RV industry technician certification tests and developed six new tests to support the new RV Service Technician Career Ladder, said Fore. This new approach, addressed this week during the RVST Committee meeting, gives RV technicians the option of two different paths for certification. “One path maintains the existing process of becoming a master certified tech,” said Fore, “while the new approach allows technicians to become certified in specific specialties, including body, chassis, electrical systems, appliances and plumbing as they progress along the certification ladder.”

Newly formed Canadian Coalition Committee: Fore cited the association’s newly formed Canadian Coalition Committee — and RVIA’s move to require member manufacturers to place RVIA seals on all North American products as of June 1 — as key steps in a more coordinated approach for the two countries’ RV industries. “The Canadian Coalition Committee will work toward harmonizing U.S. and Canadian RV standards as well as address other important issues that affect the North American RV industry,” he said. “The new RVIA seal requirements simplify the process for manufacturers while assuring that Go RVing Canada receives proper funding to better promote RV ownership in Canada.”

Opening Up More Global Markets: Fore pointed out that the popularity of RVing is flourishing beyond America’s borders, and he pointed specifically to efforts to open up the Chinese market. A focal point of that effort is the possible adoption of current U.S. RV standards to allow China’s market to better develop through the import of vehicles and components. “We are driving toward a true North American RV industry,” he said. “RVIA, along with our industry partners in Canada, are working hand-in-hand to strengthen relationships and tear down artificial walls so that we can conduct business more efficiently and effectively.” RVIA, at the same time, is looking into the feasibility of providing “disaster products worldwide” and is working more closely with the European associations as RVIA prepares to host an RV World Congress in 2013.

A Growing Trend Toward Destination Camping: The association is beginning to look at how destination camping fits into the RV market. Recently, RVIA and the Recreation Park Trailer Industry Association (RPTIA) agreed to form a Destination Camping Alliance in an effort to find common ground as it relates to destination camping, regardless of product type. “Destination camping has long been viewed as more of a market for park models,” Fore told the assembled RVIA leadership. “But in reality, people use both park models and RVs for this purpose.”

The Status of RVIA’s Shows: Fore cited the strong demand for exhibit space at RVIA’s upcoming National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., and the California RV Show in Pomona as evidence of the industry’s continued recovery. “The National RV Trade Show remains the industry’s showcase event,” he said. “I’m pleased to report that the outlook for both shows is very encouraging… The Pomona event will be larger this year than it was last year, and Louisville will be about the same size.”

More Stringent New Federal CAFÉ Standards: Fore, in closing, addressed federal and state legislation and rulings that impact the industry, an area RVIA’s Government Affairs Department has been involved in.

“Today, we have more federal issues that have a potential impact on our industry than we’ve ever faced before at one time,” said Fore. “The new federal medium-and-heavy-duty vehicle CAFÉ greenhouse gas standards for the first time include pickup trucks with a GVWR of greater than 8,500 pounds and all motorhome chassis regardless of GVWR. In the past, new CAFÉ standards applied only to cars, light trucks and SUV’s. RVIA has (previously) played an important role in making sure that NHTSA took towing into consideration. Our message was heard, and NHTSA made a number of concessions in setting the newest round of car, light truck and SUV mile-per-gallon fuel standards.

“But this new effort to set standards for medium and heavy duty vehicles is a double whammy,” he added, “as both NHTSA and EPA are trying to harmonize a miles-per-gallon standard with a tailpipe greenhouse gas-emissions level. The fight today is much more difficult in an environment of high fuel prices, turmoil in the Middle East and no sign of any reasonable national energy policy coming out of Washington. RVIA has filed comments making a number of recommendations, one of which would exclude personal use vehicles such as motorhomes.

“But this is an uphill battle,” Fore continued. “And while we need to stay strong in our thinking, we also need to be ready to work with the standards that these agencies ultimately set. These types of new regulations seem intended to have the government make decisions for all Americans regarding what they purchase and use. These types of regulations serve to set up false economies that are not consumer driven, but are driven by bureaucracy, often leading to more bureaucracy over time.”

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RVIA Sets Busy 2011 Committee Week Agenda

June 1, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Members of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) will meet to plan the association’s agenda for the next fiscal year and beyond at Committee Week 2011, taking place June 6 – 9 at the Willard InterContinental Hotel in Washington, D.C.

According to a release by RVIA, over the course of the four-day event the association’s standing committees, Executive Committee and Board of Directors will convene to review existing programs and plan new strategies and initiatives for the upcoming fiscal year.

The Go RVing Coalition and newly created Canadian Coalition Committee are also scheduled to meet in conjunction with Committee Week on Monday, June 6.

“We are looking forward to a very productive week of meetings,” said RVIA President Richard Coon. “Our association is very fortunate to have such talented committee members who readily volunteer their time to help us chart our future course. The work done at Committee Week is vitally important, especially this year as we look to continue the RV industry’s recovery.”

In addition to the full slate of committee meetings (see schedule below), other popular events taking place during Committee Week include:

• Joint Committee Luncheon — Committee members will gather on Monday, June 6, to hear Dr. Richard Curtin, director of the Survey of Consumer at the University of Michigan, discuss current economic conditions, give his forecast for RV shipments in 2011 and 2012 and detail preliminary findings from his latest RV consumer demographic research.

• Past Chairman’s Reception and Capitol Tour — Following Monday’s meetings, Committee Week participants will gather in the Congressional Atrium for a special reception recognizing Past RVIA Chairman Jim Sheldon and tour of the United States Capitol.

• Annual Membership Meeting — A two-hour luncheon program will be held on Tuesday, June 7, to offer reports on the state of the association from key RVIA officials, including RVIA Chairman Gregg Fore and RVIA President Richard Coon. RVIA will also honor industry leaders with association awards for their contributions to the industry.

• Capitol Hill Advocacy Day — RVIA members will descend on Capitol Hill for Advocacy Day on Wednesday, June 8, to promote important industry issues to elected officials and their staff.

Committee Week 2011 Schedule:

Monday, June 6

Committee Week registration will take place in the Ballroom Lobby – Lower Level from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.

• Canadian Coalition Committee: 8 a.m. – 12 noon

• Market Information Committee: 8 a.m. – 12 noon

• RVST Council: 8 a.m. – 12 noon

• Joint Committee Luncheon: 12 noon – 1:30 p.m.

• Annual Meeting Committee: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

• Go RVing Coalition: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

• Industry Education Committee: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

• Lawyers’ Committee: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

• Past Chairman’s Reception & Capitol Tour: 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday, June 7

Committee Week registration will take place in the Ballroom Lobby – Lower Level from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.

• Public Relations Committee: 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.

• Standards Steering Committee: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

• National Show Committee: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

• Public & Legislative Affairs Committee: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

• Annual Membership Meeting & Luncheon: 12 noon – 2:00 p.m.

• Financial Services Committee: 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.

• Supplier Committee: 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Wednesday, June 8

• Pre-Advocacy Day Briefing: 8 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.

• Advocacy Day Meetings – Capitol Hill: 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

• Long-Range Planning/Executive Committee: 7 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Thursday, June 9

• Board of Directors’ Meeting: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

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Senator Lugar Slated for Committee Week

May 20, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) is scheduled to speak to members at the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) Past Chairman’s Reception and Capitol Tour, taking place the evening of June 6, during Committee Week at the Capitol.

He joins Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN), who helped secure the event location, on the reception speaking agenda.

“We are honored that both Sen. Lugar and Sen. Coats are taking time from their busy schedules to join us and provide their insight on the current political climate,” said RVIA President Richard Coon. “They are friends of the RV industry and have a great appreciation for what our industry means to the state of Indiana.”

The evening begins with a reception in the congressional atrium of the U.S. Capitol Visitor’s Center. Following the reception, private tours of the Capitol will be conducted by the U.S. Capitol Historical Society.

RVIA members will return to Capitol Hill two days later for the association’s Advocacy Day on June 8, to visit elected officials and key legislative staff to discuss important RV industry issues.

“With so many of our members in Washington D.C. for Committee Week, it is the perfect opportunity to raise the awareness of the RV industry at the federal level through Advocacy Day and other events,” said Coon. “Our members are able to build and strengthen relationships with the Congressional members who represent their states and districts and educate them on pending political matters impacting the RV market.”

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Busy Agenda Set for RVIA’s Committee Week

May 18, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) members will meet to plan the association’s agenda for the next fiscal year and beyond at Committee Week 2011, taking place June 6–9 at the historic Willard InterContinental Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Over the course of the four-day event, the association’s standing committees, Executive Committee and Board of Directors will convene to review existing programs and plan new strategies and initiatives for the upcoming fiscal year.

The Go RVing Coalition and newly created Canadian Coalition Committee are also scheduled to meet in conjunction with Committee Week on June 6.

“We are looking forward to a very productive week of meetings,” said RVIA President Richard Coon. “Our association is very fortunate to have such talented committee members who readily volunteer their time to help us chart our future course. The work done at Committee Week is vitally important, especially this year as we look to continue the RV industry’s recovery.”

In addition to the full slate of committee meetings, other popular events taking place during Committee Week include:

• Joint Committee Luncheon – Committee members will gather on June 6 to hear economist Richard Curtin discuss current market conditions and detail findings from his latest RV consumer demographic research.

• Capitol Hill Reception – Following Monday’s meetings, Committee Week participants will gather in the Congressional Atrium for a special reception saluting Past RVIA Chairman Jim Sheldon and tour of the United States Capitol.

• Annual Membership Meeting – A two-hour luncheon program will be held on Tuesday, June 7, to offer reports on the state of the association from key RVIA officials, including RVIA Chairman Gregg Fore and RVIA President Richard Coon.

• Capital Hill Advocacy Day – RVIA members will descend on Capitol Hill for Advocacy Day on, June 8, to promote important industry issues.

Most committee meetings are open to guest attendance, however, anyone planning to attend a meeting for a committee for which they are not a member should reference the information on Committee Week etiquette in the registration packet and contact the RVIA staff liaison or committee chairman for information on the committee’s guest policy.

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U.S. Capitol Tour Added to Committee Week

May 13, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s Committee Week 2011 will include a special “Past Chairman’s Reception and Capitol Tour” on the evening of June 6. The event was arranged by Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.), who will also speak to association members and their guests during the reception.

The evening begins with a reception in the congressional atrium of the U.S. Capitol Visitor’s Center. Following the reception, private tours of the Capitol will be conducted by the U.S. Capitol Historical Society.

“This will be a tremendous experience for those committee members volunteering their time at Committee Week,” said RVIA President Richard Coon.  “We are very appreciative that Sen. Coats was able to make this wonderful event possible.”

Sheldon to be Honored

During the reception, RVIA will honor Jim Sheldon for his service as RVIA chairman of the board from 2008 – 2010. His tenure in RVIA’s top position capped an illustrious career of association service, which included terms as first vice chairman, secretary, and member of several RVIA standing committees.

“As one of the RV industry’s true statesman, it is so appropriate to salute Jim for his work as RVIA chairman at the U.S. Capitol,” said Coon. “He helped skillfully steer the association through one of the most severe downturns in the RV market. Jim’s strong leadership was invaluable in helping RVIA navigate these tough conditions while continuing to provide the membership with essential programs and services.”

Committee Week attendees must register for the Past Chairman’s Reception and Capitol Tour by May 27. For more information or to obtain a registration form, contact Doreen Cashion at dcashion@rvia.org.

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RVIA Board Votes to Lower Seal Price to $25

June 11, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) board of directors capped four days of intense activity at Committee Week 2010 by voting unanimously Thursday (June 10) to reduce the RVIA seal price by $5 to $25, effective July 1, 2010.

The vote was included among a number of actions taken by the board on the final day of Committee Week as the result of recommendations from many of RVIA’s standing committees that met earlier in the week at the Century Center in South Bend, Ind.

This is the second reduction in the seal price in a three-month period. The board had previously approved a similar $5 reduction at its April meeting. The seal price had been increased to $35 in July 2009 to ease pressure on the association budget caused by the reduction in show and dues revenue triggered by the economic downturn. This action helped avoid further program cuts and allowed RVIA to continue providing essential association services at a critical time for the membership and industry.

“With the RV market gaining strength and the economic outlook improving, we are happy to once again lower the price of seals for our members,” said RVIA President Richard Coon.

The new $25 seal fee will apply to all member manufacturer vehicle types. The Go RVing per unit assessment of manufacturer members remains unchanged at the current levels of $46 for folding camping trailers and truck campers; $61 for travel trailers and fifth-wheel travel trailers; and $74 for motorhomes.

In other actions at their meeting on June 9, the board:

• Approved publishing a new Consumer Demographic Profile Study in FY2011 in order to identify changes in current owner demographics in the RV marketplace.

• Approved several changes to wholesale shipment reporting, including: providing wholesale shipment statistics for diesel and gasoline type B motorhomes; eliminating the category of type A diesel motorhomes without slideouts from market surveys and reporting since nearly all reported having slideouts; and reporting sports utility trailer shipments on a quarterly basis.

• Voted to establish a subcommittee of the Market Information Committee to review methods of reporting industry retail sales and retail inventory levels.

• Directed that manufacturer exhibitors in the California RV Show be permitted to have up to 20% of the units in each booth space composed of units from the previous model year with the remaining 80% devoted to units from the current model year.

• Approved four Trouble Shooter Clinics to be scheduled for FY2011 and FY2012, with one session in 2012 being an advanced clinic.

• Approved $15,000 in FY2011 to support the RV Safety Education Foundation (RVSEF), providing a report on past and future activities is submitted by the RVSEF to the RVIA annually.

• Approved supporting the National Association of Trailer Manufacturers (NATM) in developing an SAE brake performance and testing standard that would establish uniform brake requirements for manufacturers of light- and medium-duty trailers (less than 26,000 pounds GVWR) and that an RVIA-designated representative work with the NATM brake task force.

• Approved an update to the Vacation Cost Comparison Study, which was last conducted in 2008.

• Approved the FY2011 RV Market Expansion and Reinforcement Program to be executed by Barton-Gilanelli, subject to budget considerations. This consists of the RV Top-of-Mind-Awareness Program, including national electronic and print media outreach, RV media luncheons, satellite media tours and other spokesperson activities.

• Approved publishing the 2009 Annual Survey of Lenders’ Experiences and continuing the research for FY2011.

Programs with specific budgets for FY2011 are pending until final approval by the RVIA Executive Committee at its August budget meeting and the RVIA Board of Directors at its September meeting.

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Coon, Sheldon Address RV Industry Issues

June 10, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Richard Coon

Richard Coon

Speaking to members at Recreation Vehicle Industry Assocation (RVIA) Membership Meeting at the Century Center in South Bend, Ind., Wednesday (June 9), RVIA President Richard Coon and Chairman Jim Sheldon detailed a number of long-term issues on the association’s radar screen as the RV industry begins to recover from the market downturn.

“These are important items and trends that need to be considered as the RV industry moves forward because they will play a factor in our continued success,” Coon said, noting that the RV industry is becoming more global, according to a press release.

“The RV lifestyle is no longer just a North American or European phenomenon. The industry continues to develop in China, Australia and South Africa, and this provides opportunities for the RV industry,” he said.

Among the other issues, he discussed:

  • The environmental movement and government regulations, such as Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) and greenhouse gas emission standards, will continue to play a significant role in the future development of the RV industry’s products.
  • The rush of recent state franchise legislation driven by automotive dealers in response to the impact of the recession on the automotive industry has the potential to adversely impact RV dealer and manufacturer relations.
  • The need for continued focus on customer aftermarket service so problems can be remedied.
  • Destination camping becoming more popular among consumers and needs to be studied and promoted.
  • The need to interest America’s young people in nature and outdoor recreation to create a new generation of outdoor and RV enthusiasts.
  • In addition, Coon reviewed actions by the RVIA Board of Directors over the past year and detailed the make-up of the RVIA Board and Executive Committee for attendees at the meeting.

    “We have an active, engaged Board composed of manufacturer, spplier and at-large members serving alongside the past chairmen of the association,” Coon said.  “And, our executive committee members provide a tremendous amount of experience and expertise. As an association, we are fortunate to have such strong leadership.

    Jim Sheldon

    Jim Sheldon

    Sheldon said that with the RV market beginning to rebound it was a fitting that the industry gathered in the South Bend and Elkhart, Ind. area for RVIA Committee Week meetings.

    “It has been a tremendous week for our industry, coming together here in the RV capital of the world to celebrate the RV Centennial as the industry begins to travel the road to recovery,” Sheldon said.

    He praised the RVIA Government Affairs department for success on several federal and statue issues, including their work on new light-duty truck mileage standards that preserve towing capacity.

    “The new standards could have been much more stringent, but the fact that towing capacity has not been significantly impacted is a critical win for the industry,” Sheldon said.

    Sheldon then detailed achievements in the Standards and Education department with notable highlights that included the development of the 2011 editions of the National Electrical Code, NFPA and ANSI standards for the RV industry; the development of an RV service technician standard that details the position’s skill and competencies; and the creation of an apprentice program that will provide a learning foundation and on-the-job exposure for potential technicians.

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    Go RVing & RVIA PR ‘Working Hand in Hand’

    June 10, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

    Winnebago CEO Bob Olson

    Winnebago CEO Bob Olson

    RVIA logoThe leaders of the RV industry’s marketing communications program reported how Go RVing advertising and the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) public relations are working hand-in-hand to protect the image of RVing and build RV demand at the association’s Annual Membership Meeting Wednesday (June 9) in South Bend, Ind.

    In a presentation during RVIA Committee Week titled “Go RVing: We’re Back in the Saddle Again,” Go RVing Co-Chairman and CEO of Winnebago Bob Olson, and RVIA Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Gary LaBella told RVIA members that investing in Go RVing’s new “Ambassadors of Affordability” ads was a wise decision during the recession, according to a press release.

    “We were under severe economic constraints last year,” said Olson. “Continuing to advertise and deciding to develop new creative in such a year were bold moves to keep our industry on the offensive.”

    The new ads emphasize savings, which research shows is a smart move given how the economy has affected consumer thinking.

    “We’ve always promoted value and affordability as big advantages of RV ownership,” said LaBella. “But dramatic changes in consumer behavior due to the recession have now made value and affordability even more important to purchase decisions.”

    Following the “Back in the Saddle Again” report, LaBella was joined by B.J. Thompson, chairman of RVIA’s Public Relations Committee, to present “The New Consumer and the Road Ahead,” a look at RVIA public relations activities, as well as an overview of findings from a new communications planning survey conducted by Harris Interactive.

    LaBella and Thompson reported that the image of RVing has remained strong, and that media has widely reported core RVIA messages.

    “The key to our successful outreach is the industry’s continued investment in PR,” said Thompson. “An investment that has protected our image and deftly positioned in the industry to capitalize on our nation’s growing economic recovery.”

    After showing an 11-minute video of news and entertainment programs featuring RVs, the duo provided analysis of the new Harris Interactive research.

    “Among the findings, the survey showed that statements focused on family togetherness and cost savings rate equally with RV owners and non-RV owners alike,” said LaBella. “Messages that mention families saving money while enjoying a great outdoor experience will appeal to a wide cross-section of consumers.”

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