After record growth at its national meeting last year, NTP Distribution managed an even bigger event this year at “The Expo” – a new name for the Jan. 28-30 gathering held in a new venue and at a new time.

“On the dealer side we’ve seen a 40% increase in people registered this year,” said Jane Donnelly, marketing director for NTP parent Keystone Automotive Operations Inc., inside the Sands Convention Center behind the Venetian Hotel on the Strip in Las Vegas.

That’s even more impressive when you consider that last year saw 50% growth in attendance over 2012.

Donnelly reported that the supplier count was also higher than last year. “I think the supplier base is up 20%,” she said, noting there were roughly 160 suppliers on the floor of the show, according to NTP’s show directory list.

The workshops Tuesday (Jan. 28) were well attended and got positive reactions from dealers, Donnelly added.

NTP personnel had some concerns about the timing of the late January show – two weeks earlier than last year – because it gave suppliers less time after the event put on by their largest competitor. Donnelly, however, said that feedback from attendees indicated it wasn’t a problem.

By noon Wednesday (Jan. 29), several suppliers told RVBUSINESS.com they were pleased with the crowds and the energy of the show.

“We have high expectations for this show,” said Rod Hire, product manager of Mito Corp.

Eric Jason, national sales manager for Roadmaster, added, “With the reports of 700 dealers, we’re expecting a great show.”