The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) sold-out 43rd Annual National RV Trade Show, Nov. 29-Dec. 1 in Louisville, Ky., will showcase 2006 products along with the newly expanded Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC) .
The KEC underwent the first of several planned renovation phases this year, adding 166,500 gross square feet with the opening of the new South Wing C, featuring high ceilings, new lighting and virtually column-free public space. RVIA said the additional space will make this the largest Louisville show ever, with more than 906,000 square feet of total exhibit space — an increase of nearly 9% over the 2004 show.
As many as 14,000 industry officials and RV dealers are slated to attend this year’s event that will include 90 manufacturers and more than 300 suppliers exhibiting.
The show’s annual kickoff – the Outlook 2006 breakfast on Nov. 29 – will be held at the KEC in the newly built South Wing C Mezzanine Ballroom with doors opening for a sit-down breakfast at 6:15 a.m.
The program, hosted by RVIA Chairman Bruce Hertzke of Winnebago Industries Inc., begins at 6:35 a.m. with a state of the industry address from outgoing RVIA President David Humphreys. President-elect Richard Coon will follow with a look at how RVIA will continue to work toward a prosperous future in 2006.
Go RVing Coalition co-chairmen Don Walter of Starcraft RV and Tom Stinnett of Tom Stinnett RV Freedom Center will be joined by Gary LaBella, RVIA vice president of public relations and advertising, for the unveiling of Phase IV Go RVing print and television ads. An expanded media plan and other program enhancements to maximize consumer awareness and leads for the dealer and campground tie-in program will also be announced.
Public Relations Committee Chairman B.J. Thompson will then join LaBella to highlight the year’s publicity successes and strategies for continued growth in the face of record fuel prices. The presentation will culminate in the popular “RVTV” video showcasing the best in RV news and entertainment exposure during 2005.
Also on the agenda is an appearance by Baseball Hall of Famer Bob Gibson, who has owned seven motorhomes since the St. Louis Cardinals gave him one as a retirement gift in 1975. RVIA is hiring Gibson as a spokesperson and will honor him with its Spirit of America Award.
Attendees can take advantage of several sales and product seminars offered throughout the three-day show. On Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at 8 a.m. in the KEC’s second floor ballroom, RV industry veteran Randy Sobel will lead seminars on mastering selling techniques and maximizing profits through dynamic product selection. Sobel has more than 20 years of experience in the RV industry including sales, management, owning and consulting with more than 500 RV dealers in the U.S. and Canada. Seminar fees include a full breakfast at 7:30 a.m.
Hour-long proprietary seminars conducted by exhibiting companies will be offered at no cost in Exhibit Hall 1A – South Wing Lobby Corridor, Conference Room 109. The topics for Nov. 29 are: “Non-Prime Financing for Your F&I Department,” by Merrick Bank at 1 p.m.; “Introduction to the DTI-Magnifinder Program,” by DTI RV Parts & Appliances at 2:30 p.m.; and “Improve Your Sidewalls with Customwood RV-X,” by Blue Linx at 4 p.m.
Scheduled for Nov. 30 are: “Sales/Marketing Leadership,” by RVSP Sales Pro at 9:30 a.m; “Product Service Review” by Suburban Manufacturing at 11 a.m.; “What’s New at IDS – New Products/Demonstration,” by Integrated Dealer Systems at 2 p.m.; and “Choosing the Right F&I Tools for Your Dealership,” by Recreational Finance, LLC at 3:30 p.m.
The topic for Dec. 1 is: “Advantages, Limitations and Maintenance of RV Batteries,” by Interstate Batteries at 10 a.m.