The pieces appear to be falling in place for the inaugural “RV Supplier and Vendor Exhibition,” a concept conceived by West Coast marketing firm CIRV that would introduce a new element to the Sept. 24-28 Elkhart RV Open House.
“We currently have 49 booths locked in and there are several companies that are very close to committing,” said Randall Jeremiah, partner for CIRV which is aggressively signing on exhibitors. “All in all we’re pretty happy with where we are, especially considering we didn’t get started until late May. Right now it looks like we’re going to end up with 70 exhibits, but we certainly have room for more. Our goal from the beginning was to be in that 70-80 range.”
He added, “It’s really starting to pick up. At first, the suppliers were hesitant because Open House has always been a manufacturers’ event, but now they’re coming on board. There’s a lot of excitement, and the first question I get is ‘do we still have space open?’”
Jeremiah reported that the displays, comprised of a “nice mix of suppliers and vendors,” will set up in a large tent able to accommodate 100 booths situated on a nearly three-acre tract just off of Executive Parkway – the main artery for the Open House that feeds into Thor Industries Inc.’s sprawling display at the RV/MH Hall of Fame. He noted that the property, leased by Elkhart-based real estate firm Northland Corp., is ideal for drawing in traffic as the site is surrounded by manufacturers exhibits.
“The property butts up against highway,” he said, “so the tent will have a lot of visibility from people driving by or visiting other exhibits. There’s also a substantial parking area.”
Also factoring into the potential success for the venture is that Open House should be seeing an uptick in dealers this year due to the RV Industry Association’s decision to discontinue its long-running National RV Trade Show held annually in Louisville, Ky.
“The fact that the Louisville Show is gone was the major reason we came up with the idea,” Jeremiah stated. “I’ve gone to Louisville for years as a vendor. When RVIA did away with the show, I assumed someone else would offer a venue that would showcase suppliers, but nobody stepped up.”
“People really like the concept of having a one-stop exhibit area where dealers can see a lot of product. I feel this is going to take off and our long-term goal is make it an annual event. I think that the exhibition will be a nice benefit to the overall industry.”
For additional information and to view a map of the Open House visit rvshow.co.