The inaugural “RV Hall of Fame Supplier Show” during this year’s Sept. 23-26 Elkhart Dealer Open House is sold out with 80 companies occupying 104 booths in the Hall on the northeast side of Elkhart, according to the organization’s President Darryl Searer.
“This is the first-ever suppliers’ open house here at the hall,” he said. “The Elkhart Dealer Open House has been going strong for eight years, but this is the first year that we have been able to host suppliers as well.”
He said the supplier event will take place on the west side of the Grand Hall of the RV/MH Hall of Fame and that Thor Industries Inc., will again occupy the east side leading out to the new pavilion and the newly landscaped hard-surfaced areas. The supplier event is open exclusively to RV dealers, OEMs and RV industry personnel.
“All the big name companies will be there,” said Searer of the supplier event that he unveiled as a first-come-first-serve event in February. “Dometic, BAL/Norco, Blue Ox, HWH Corp., Meyer Distributing, MORryde, and 74 more suppliers will all be represented, all in one place. Within the first three days after we put out the press release in late February, we were over 80% sold out. By the end of April we were sold out,” he added. “All but six suppliers paid for it up front. So it worked out really well. It took less than 60 days for it to be sold out and paid.
“Now that there is no Louisville Show and no RVX, there is really nowhere for the suppliers to showcase their wares other than at the Open House,” he added. “We know the manufacturers will bring the dealers into town. So this puts all the suppliers in one room, so dealers who want to see them can go see 80 suppliers in a matter of a couple of hours without running all over town.”
Searer related that the suppliere show will also be a great opportunity for OEM staff members to interface with suppliers. “We want to encourage the manufacturers to send their purchasing agents, designers and their engineers out to see the suppliers,” he stated. “It will be way more convenient and affordable here in Elkhart than sending them down to Louisville for a couple or three days.”
Now that Searer has the supplier event underway, he’s in the process of getting a detailed list and show layout to all the participants before announcing the full supplier show details to the RV industry. “After all the suppliers see the layout, I think it can go to the trade press again with the details.”