For some of the over 100,000 estimated attendees, the 36thAnnual Quartzsite RV Show was not just a place to check out new RV accessories and peruse jewelry, cookware, and other gadgets. Many show-goers took advantage of the dozen service bays set up on the south end of the show grounds.
“The service bays are pretty unique to our show,” said Kimmy King, who works alongside her father, Kenny, in promoting and managing the show. “You can drop your rig off and go shopping, or buy something here and go over and get it installed. This year, we are full in all our service bays. It’s nice to see them all full and have RVs lined up getting service.”
In addition to their exhibitor booths in the Big Tent, Redlands Truck & RV Performance, Dometic Corp., and Roadmaster Inc. set up a service bay for the week to work on customers’ existing products, install new products, answer questions, and have valuable face-to-face time.
Redlands, an RV and truck service center based out of Redlands, Calif., has maintained a large presence at the show for 24 years and currently occupies three-quarters of the service bay space, including a lounge area with tables and coffee for their waiting customers. They put in eight of their own cement slabs over the years to improve the experience, even though they are only used ten days a year.
“People know we’re going to be down here,” said General Manager Mike Bronzini. “They call ahead of time in October, November, and December to schedule work. We also have a booth at the show where we sell work to attendees and then they bring their vehicles over here.” Bronzini estimates that 15-20 RVs are serviced per day for eight straight days at the show.
Redlands has also hosted a free customer appreciation dinner for the past several years that the company has catered in before the show. “It’s to show them that we appreciate them giving us their business,” Bronzini told RVBUSINESS.com. This year about 870 people attended the bar dinner – up about one hundred attendees over last year.
“It was quite a deal,” said Kenny King, founder and manager of the Quartzsite RV Show. “They had a line a thousand feet long waiting.”
“The customers are great and pleasant to deal with,” Bronzini said. “We do the best we can to help them out. Down here, there’s not a lot of resources, so we like to be that resource.”
For Roadmaster, the Quartzsite RV Show provides an opportunity to check in with their customers and educate them on new products. “Roadmaster offers a free service for customers to bring their tow bars and have them inspected. We will inspect them, clean them, and in a lot of cases will do minor repairs at no charge,” said Sales Manager Eric Jason. “It also gives us an opportunity where if a guy’s got a bar that’s really old and has a lot of miles on it, we can suggest that they possibly trade it in and get into a new tow bar. That’s a good opportunity for us to show him the new product as well.”
Dometic tried out the service bay for the first time this year and partnered with mobile RV technicians to take care of customer needs. “We’re trying to help make mobile living easy and there is a big service need in this industry,” said Jeff Spencer, who works with the product development group. “Dometic, for the first time now, has a service booth here and we’re providing service on products that we sell. We’re utilizing independent mobile techs and they’re able to also work some of our competitors’ products to help take care of the customers.”
With the high attendance of the show, the service bays remained busy throughout the week. “This is new and we’re overwhelmed by the amount of people here, but we’re learning a lot,” Spencer related. “We’re in our third day right now of the nine-day show and we’ve already had probably over 30 service appointments, and then probably a couple hundred tech-related questions that we’ve been able to help provide additional information to give them some direction.”
“It’s a love-hate relationship,” Bronzini said with a laugh. “I always look forward to coming here because it has been a year, but then I always look forward to going home. We work 12 hours a day and our crew works extremely hard.”