While providing a showcase for new, cutting-edge products, RVX: The RV Experience also served as the launch pad for the first-ever “Kick Off the Camping Season,” a multimillion dollar marketing campaign designed to ignite consumer interest and drive traffic to RV dealers nationwide over the course of the spring/summer vacation season.
The trade-only show, which completed its inaugural three-day run last week in Salt Lake City, was a worthy platform for the campaign’s rollout, reported Karen Redfern, vice president of brand marketing and communications for Go RVing.
“We want this (RVX) to become synonymous with the kind of event the auto industry and the high tech industry have, where the media comes in to see the products and gets the consumers excited about it in ways that we’ve never been able to do before,” Redfern told RVBUSINESS.com.
Indeed, it was Redfern and her staff who were largely responsible for recruiting national media outlets and social media influencers to RVX, who in turn are now telling the feel-good story of the RV lifestyle to their respective audiences.
“We ended up having national media here that we’ve never worked with in the past, and they told us they can’t wait for the next event. They are just so thrilled with what they saw,” Redfern noted. “These are publications that have never been at an RV show before, and you wouldn’t think their readership would automatically align with the lifestyle, but they were so enthralled with the technology and innovation and product that they found here. It’s been phenomenal what we’ve accomplished.”
Courtney Bias, director strategic marketing for Go RVing, added that the campaign would unfold in various print and digital outlets as well as experiential stops at select events and festivals.
“We’re going to make sure this outdoor adventurer community knows that RVs are still going to fit into their lifestyle” Bias said. “We’re going to bring some of those units to the Outside Experience Show in Chicago. Plus, we’ll be going to some music festivals. Also, we have some of our influencers here looking at RVs on the show floor, and we’ll have them in RVs this summer. They’ll be touring in them, talking about them, and writing about them. The magazine push is going to roll out all throughout the summer, so we’re going to continue seeing Kick Off to Camping Season throughout the summer.
“The other key to this, just from my point of view, with the national media going through the 300 RVs we have in here it really breaks down the RVing stereotype that it’s only for retirees,” Bias continued. “This is no longer just ‘grandma and grandpa’s RV.’ They came in with an expectation of, ‘Okay, we’re just going to see another RV. Okay, we’ve seen that before.’ But they are just amazed at how different they all are, and how excited they are.”