Chris Helder delivers keynote at RVDA Con/Expo

In an energetic and humorous keynote address Tuesday (Nov. 7) at the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo at Bally’s in Las Vegas, noted author and speaker Chris Helder began his presentation by challenging the wisdom of the old adage that “a bird in hand is worth two in the bush.” (To view a slideshow of the convention’s opening day scroll to the right side of the RVBUSINESS.com home page. Photos by Shawn Spence).

“What is that? What is that! That is so sick. Are you kidding me? One in the hand is worth two in the bush? And that’s the best advice we got back in 1929? Are you kidding me? Take the one in the hand; go get the two in the bush – and you’ll have three. There we go!” said Helder, a Colorado native who now lives in Australia.

Titled “The Power of Influence … Mastering the Customer Experience” and made possible by convention Platinum Partner Wells Fargo CDF, Helder spoke about the importance of posture and eye contact and smiling as part of nonverbal communication. He also stressed how an enthusiastic attitude sets the right tone and that dealers should be aware of and attentive to the four different color-coded personalities: red is assertive, yellow is emotional, aqua is casual and blue is process-driven.

Helder’s keynote presentation was a highlight from a jam-packed second day of the Con/Expo, which runs through Friday and is sponsored by the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), RVDA of Canada and the Mike Molino RV Learning Center. The day also featured Partners in Progress meetings with Jayco Inc., Prime Time RV and Winnebago Industries Inc., Vendor Training +Plus sessions with nearly 24 suppliers and service providers, a Mini Rental School, and the opening day of the Expo.

The general session also featured brief remarks from Con/Expo Committee Chairman Ron Shepherd of Camperland of Oklahoma, Tulsa, as well as RVDA Chairman Darrel Friesen of All Seasons RV in Yuba City, Calif., and RVDA of Canada Chairman Sam Parks of Camp-Out RV Ltd. in Stratford, Ontario.

Shepherd thanked the many sponsors, committee members and RVDA staff who help make the Con/Expo possible. “There’s a lot of time and effort that goes into putting on an event like this, and I know you’re probably like me – you thought that it just all happens. But I can assure you, after being involved for several years, it doesn’t,” Shepherd said.

Friesen and Parks noted the boom times for the industry, which is knocking on the door of 500,000 shipments, while stressing the need for dealers to continue to elevate their professionalism by attending the Con/Expo.

“While demand for our products is high, we need to work harder than ever to retain our ever more demanding customers and continue to bring new customers into the fold,” Friesen said. “That’s why this convention is so important to dealers. It offers education and training that touches every dealership department. These are sessions for young up-and-coming RV executives, as well as seasoned professionals, who want to sharpen the saw.”

Parks added, “The convention’s theme of ‘Gear Up for Success’ emphasizes the renewed and continuing growth of the industry, and how we all can prepare for continuing success.” 

The Con/Expo continues today with more Partners in Progress meetings, Vendor Training +Plus sessions and other educational seminars as well as the Expo and annual meetings for both RVDA and RVDA of Canada, all capped by the RVBusiness Top 50 Dealer Awards ceremony.