While still in the initial stages, a West Coast marketing firm with operations in Vancouver, Wash., and Portland, Ore., is hastily assembling the pieces for an “RV Supplier and Vendor Exhibition,” slated to launch at this year’s Elkhart County RV Open House.
Randall Jeremiah, partner for CIRV, told RVBUSINESS.com that the genesis for the project boiled down to a simple case of supply and demand. “Basically, nobody else was doing this,” he said. “We had been to a number of shows as a vendor but never went to Open House because the RVIA and RVDA gave us great exposure. With Louisville gone, we saw a definite need at Open House. It not only gives the suppliers and vendors a high profile platform but also an opportunity for dealers to see all the companies in one place.”
Working with Rob Letherman, president of Elkhart-based Northland Corp. which has leased prime Open House acreage to OEMs for the past five years, CIRV was able to secure two to three acres off Executive Parkway — the main artery leading to the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Thor Industries Inc.’s expansive display area.
“We basically put together a deal with Rob last week,” Jeremiah said. “Obviously we’re just getting the ball rolling, but we’re working extremely hard to get exhibitors committed for the show. Right now, we have five companies signed up, but our goal is to sell 100 booths.
“We’ve reached out to 20 to 25 companies so far and there is a high level of interest,” he added. “We also want to get the word out to the dealers to know where we are and what’s transpiring.”
Jeremiah noted that the exhibition is not related to a smaller supplier showcase at the Norco Industries plant held across the street from Forest River Inc.’s Dynamax facility the past three years.
Letherman, who last year helped spearhead the debut of a Park Model Village, offered, “Since we started leasing land for the Open House, other people have approached us about getting the supplier side more involved in the Elkhart show. Nobody ever stepped up. CIRV has a lot of passion and they’re committed to making this work. Of course, the first year is always a trial run, but I’m very supportive of it. I hope it will be a home run.”
Jeremiah said the layout would consist of one “very large tent with a bunch of booths inside,” along with several outside displays. “Our concept is to put together a mini show for suppliers and vendors,” he noted. “We’ll also have some snacks and drinks for the dealers — nothing elaborate.”
He added, “We have the website specifically for the showcase ready to go, but are still looking for a domain. Once we settle on that we’ll go live with the website.”
For additional information call Randall Jeremiah at 503-267-2690 or email [email protected]