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Activities at RV rallies don’t usually involve dressing up as John Wayne or Mae West, or stacking Oreo cookies sky high – all in the space of a few days.
Affinity Group Inc. (AGI) is working on changing that.
The California-based publishing/membership management company will offer what may amount to its most diverse slate of rally activities ever when it conducts its third annual Great North American RV Rally, June 28-July 1, in Pomona, Calif., near Los Angeles.
“Our emphasis is on fun,” said Ron Epstein, director of public relations for AGI’s Good Sam Club and associate publisher of Woodall’s periodicals. “We have a pretty strong program for RVers that I think will appeal to everybody in every age group.”
The rally, which over the past three years has gained a reputation as one of the largest consumer-oriented events in the industry, brings together members of AGI clubs as well as readers of AGI publications.
AGI, based in Ventura, is the parent company of the Good Sam Club, Coast to Coast Resorts, Camping World retail stores as well as the chain’s Presidents Club, Trailer Life and MotorHome magazines, and periodicals and annuals by Woodall Publications Corp.
While the gathering, held at Pomona’s 487-acre Fairplex, will offer the usual amenities found at high-ticket RV events – food and a host of supplier and OEM exhibits – this year’s event certainly pushes the envelope in terms of the breadth of activities and entertainment offered.
A few of the highlights:
– Performances by former Beach Boy Al Jardine with Family and Friends, singer Tony Orlando and The Diamonds.
– Tours to some of Southern California’s most popular attractions, including the Reagan Presidential Library, the Autry Museum of Western Heritage and the Queen Mary, which is moored off Long Beach Harbor.
– Exhibits from 16 RV manufacturers and 275 suppliers, service providers, retailers and other RV-related firms.
– More than 100 lifestyle seminars.
That’s just scratching the surface.
RVers who really like to get into the swing of things can participate in the Monaco Oreo Cookie Stacking Contest, sponsored by Coburg, Ore.-based Monaco Coach Corp., and a parade organized by the Good Sam Club in which rallygoers get a chance to dress up as their favorite classic movie stars.
In fact, consumers are playing a key role in the day-to-day operations of the confab. More than 300 volunteer Good Sam members will be on hand to help coordinate parking, serve as guides and provide information. “The RVers themselves play a critical role in making the rally a success,” Epstein said.
This assistance no doubt comes as a relief to the more-than 100 AGI staffers who will be setting up the event and managing operations.
Still, the challenge for organizers is daunting, as AGI business units each focus on the needs of a highly diverse customers base.
Toward that end, each of the sponsoring organizations will feature unique activities and attractions to help attendees better understand their products and services, as well as allowing consumers to have a face-to-face chat and share a snack with editors, staffers and company management. Woodall’s Day will be June 27 (the second of two early bird days), Trailer Life and MotorHome Day will be June 28, Camping World President’s Club Day will be June 29, Coast to Coast Resorts Day will be June 30 and Good Sam Day will be July 1.
Every day at the Rally is open to the public. Day passes available for $5 per person and include admission to the indoor exhibit hall, the outdoor exhibits and daytime entertainment, but not the seminars or evening entertainment.
Participants at the rally will have the chance to win a Suzuki Vitara 4-Door 4-wheel Drive JLX on Good Sam Day, July 1. On that day, Rally-goers can participate in a variety of carnival games hosted by Good Sam state and provincial directors. Game prizes will consist of tickets that can then be used for bidding for a plethora of prizes at a traditional Chinese auction. After the auction, all tickets will be placed in a barrel, and one person will win the Suzuki Vitara. The vehicle is valued at more than $17,000.
RVB is published by AGI’s TL Enterprise Inc. business unit.