Right now, it’s a shake-up in the RV industry that experts say makes Elkhart, Ind., the nationwide epicenter for RV trade shows as the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) is ending a decades-old event in Louisville, Ky. 

The RVIA voted to reinvent a spring show geared toward consumers. Experts told WSBT 22 the new show will look more like an auto show where they want anyone to show up.

“Since the Elkhart Open House came out, we have been doing almost all of our ordering at the Open House,” said Thomas Alexander, business manager for Elkhart-based International RV.

Alexander said in recent years he’s opted to go to the Elkhart Open House in the same city his business is, instead of going to the National RV Trade Show in Louisville.

“The Open House here gives more space, more room. It’s a little more comfortable,” said Alexander.

Experts say they’ll take this year to reinvent the September show into a spring show after seeing a disappointing turnout at the buyer-only event.

“The National RV Show in Louisville has become much less relevant,” said Scott Mereness, Lippert Components Inc. president. “Focusing our efforts more on the retail customers new retail customers would be how we feel we need to reinvent ourselves to bring new buyers into the industry.”

Mereness serves on the RVIA board and describes a new rotating venue show across the country with stadium seating and attractions to woo first-time customers.

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