The Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) just completed its fourth and final regional show held around the state and officials are reporting that attendance was strong on the winter circuit. According to a press release, most events enjoyed pleasant weather which helped boost numbers, in contrast to last year’s shows that were plagued by rain.
Taking place the week after the record-breaking Florida RV SuperShow, the Fort Myers RV Show drew a crowd of close to 12,000 paid attendees. According to show manager Jack Carver, weather was perfect until the last day of the show when the weather changed from warm and sunny to cold and rainy. “We had strong attendance the first three days of the show, then Mother Nature changed things,” he said. Nevertheless, Carver reported that sales were strong for dealers and vendors at the 32nd running of the annual event.
Following Fort Myers, the Jacksonville RV MegaShow had record crowds. Over 9,300 people poured into the Jacksonville Equestrian Center located just west of town. Always touted as a family-friendly event over the years, the show attracted even more families this year and the great weather again resulted in a record crowd.
“It’s been a few years since we had dry and even warm weather all four days of the show,” said Regional President Ken Loyd. “We also had a record number of booth exhibitors that really added a lot to the event. The dealers were not only pleased with the crowds but also reported very strong sales.”
The next weekend, the West Palm Show also opened the gates to big crowds. “Even though we didn’t set a new attendance record, we did have the best show in 12 years,” exclaimed Regional President Brent Howard of North Trail RV. “We had fantastic weather and all dealers I talked to were very pleased.”
Booth exhibitors were set up in and around the concession tent to make it easy for people to relax and shop. A kid’s area was set up over the weekend allowing parents to drop off their children while they shopped the hundreds of RVs on display.
The winter schedule closed out with the 1oth Annual Spring Clean-Out RV Show in Estero (just south of Fort Myers) and the Ocala RV Show, both held the same weekend, March 2-5.
The Ocala RV Show was moved back to March to try to take advantage of warmer and drier weather. Held at the Florida Horse Park, located just south of town, the show drew over 5,100 people.
“Thursday is our BOGO day and I think the cloudy windy weather kept some people away,” said Regional President Dell Sanders. “We did make up some of that the other days.”
In Estero, the 10th Annual Spring Clean-Out RV Show continued drawing in crowds over a very windy weekend as well. Attracting just over 2,200 people over the three days of the event, dealer reported steady sales. “We certainly were battered by the very blustery conditions and I’m sure that kept some people away,” Carver reported, “but the six dealers that participated continued to register sales both during the show and afterwards–and that’s what’s important.”
“The bottom line coming out of the Florida Winter/Spring RV show season is that the attitudes of consumers are vastly more positive and the fact that most shows had the best crowds they’ve seen in many years means the interest in RV products is still strong and getting stronger,” noted FRVTA Marketing Director Dave Kelly.