Spurred by expanded exhibit halls, consumer and dealer attendance hit record levels at the 35th Annual Pennsylvania Recreation Vehicle and Campground Association (PRVCA) Show, Sept. 8-14 at the State Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg.
“It exceeded our expectations,” said Becky Lennington, PRVCA executive vice president.
“The true test of the show is the product sold, and all indications are that it was a very fine selling show. Product sold nicely along the whole spectrum.”
Seventy-three manufacturers displayed products at the combined trade and consumer event.
Some 663 dealerships registered for the two trade days, Sept. 8-9, up from 447 in 2002. Registered campgrounds also increased from 50 in 2002 to 148 this year.
“Pulling more campgrounds into the show was important,” Lennington said. “It’s an opportunity for them to interface with the rest of the industry.”
Consumer attendance during the four retail days, Sept. 10-14, increased 21% from 29,201 in 2002 to 35,546 this year.
The record attendance follows the recent addition of 359,000 square feet of exhibit space in three new pavilions to bring the show’s total to 770,000 square feet. That relieved overcrowding that the Harrisburg Show has experienced for several years.
“We knew we needed new space more than six years ago, and we started lobbying for it,” Lennington said.
One surprise, she added, was the number of exhibitors who chose to continue to display outside rather than in the new buildings.
“They just prefer it that way,” she said.