The 2018 Prevost Motorhome Expo, held Feb. 5-8 in West Palm Beach, Fla., at the South Florida Expo Center, again drew the largest annual gathering of Prevost motorcoaches, owners and potential buyers in North America.
This marked the first year for the expo in West Palm Beach after a five-year run at the Tampa Convention Center. Jamie Bradford, producer and organizer of the event for the past six years, said the move was instituted to handle the growing number of attendees driving their buses to the event. The venue also offered an indoor showroom on site for displaying new products.
“It’s a sales and educational show,” said Bradford, owner of www.Prevost-stuff.com, the primary online shopping site for buyers of the Prevost brand. “The Prevost converters and dealers were on hand and we had in excess of 50 coaches for sale. It’s the only venue in the country where someone who is interested in buying a Prevost can look at this much inventory in one place — all displayed indoors.”
He said that in addition to the new coaches this year, there were in excess of 120 owners camping at the show. “So we had 170 plus Prevost coaches in one place during the expo. It was quite an event.”
The strong turnout was a reflection of overall growth in the conversion market segment, as Prevost Director of Bus Shell Sales Steve Ziegler told RVBUSINESS.com, “This segment is experiencing strong and steady growth as it rebounds from the Great Recession. We see those prerecession numbers coming back in the next four or five years, as long as the market as a whole stays strong.”
Bradford reported that attendees were offered a $499 per couple VIP Package that provided four nights camping from Monday until the end of the seminars on Thursday. The package included a reception and BBQ, Prevost and converter seminars, lunches, a ‘Sneak Preview’ of new products, Prevost welcome reception and a closing cookout after all the converter and supplier seminars were complete.
Seminars presented at the expo on Feb. 7-8 included technical presentations by Prevost on slideout systems and general service and maintenance, lithium battery systems by Volta Power Systems and safety and tire information from Michelin Tire.
Representatives of four major Prevost chassis converters — Liberty Coach, Marathon Coach, Millennium Luxury Coaches and Featherlite Coaches — were also on site to provide information on the latest in conversion technology.
Bradford said that he serves as facilitator, organizing and producing the show, because his website www.Prevost-Stuff.com is a key part of the sales equation for the Prevost brand.
“We are the Zillow of Prevost motorhomes,” he said. “Prevost is such a niche item. Some people may market them on other sites that handle RVs, but 98% of any Prevost sold is marketed on our site because we just sell Prevost. I am independent from the company. I don’t buy or sell coaches. I am not a broker. I provide the platform for those who do sell them to advertise online.”
According to Bradford, coaches represented at the show were diverse in price range. “We had older coaches that sell for $200,000 up, to brand new conversion buses that were in the $2.5 million range. Typically each year, out of 50 Prevost that are on the floor of this expo, approximately half of them will be sold in two to three days. We sold about 20 so far at this show.
“We get people flying in from all over the country,” he added. “There is nowhere else they can look at this much inventory in one place. It’s a very select group of buyers, a total attendance of about 300 people. It is very niche.
“We don’t market this show to the masses,” continued Bradford, “it’s not like a typical RV show where people are coming on the weekends just to look. This is a show that is geared for people who are serious about buying a bus. Florida is a good place because there are a lot of these folks here. It is laser-targeted to this buyer.”