Ushering in a new template for a series of shows embracing more of a general RV-centric consumer draw, Good Sam Enterprises LLC will present its inaugural Good Sam RV Super Show Feb. 23-26 at Arizona’s Phoenix International Raceway.
Known for its high-profile national member rallies over the years, Camping World Holdings Inc.’s Good Sam Club is intent on broadening its scope on the consumer show circuit by reaching out to RV enthusiasts in the host communities and the surrounding region through an expanded PR and advertising campaign.
“In the past, we have held full-blown rallies that essentially were exclusive to members, although other RVers were always welcome,” Vilma Fraguada, Good Sam Shows president, told RVBUSINESS.com. “They were very successful and did a great job of addressing the needs of our members. But we wanted to extend an invitation to anybody that enjoyed the RV lifestyle or is interested in becoming an RVer. We wanted to focus more on the consumer show aspect.”
Already in motion for 2017 are two additional Super Shows, according to Fraguada, including events set for July 13-16 at the Washington Fairgrounds in Puyallup, Wash., and at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers at a November date to be announced.
“The plan is to double the number of shows to six next year, which is in the works,” Fraguada said. “We’re in the process of looking at several potential sites.”
The Super Show rollout will be aggressively marketed to draw attendees from outside Good Sam’s immediate membership, which, according to Fraguada, now totals 1.6 million. “Good Sam is investing significant dollars for public relations in local and regional areas where the shows are being held,” she said. “The promotions have gone extremely well for the Phoenix Show and we are looking for strong attendance.”
Having said that, Fraguada stressed that these new Super Shows will still offer “many of the elements of past national rallies” while also incorporating an expanded format that will include more youth activities, educational seminars and entertainment.
“The thinking behind the change was that there are a lot of people who are avid RVers that maybe were uncomfortable about attending because they didn’t belong to the Good Sam Club,” said Fraguada, who’s oversees an array of other more conventional consumer shows out of Camping World’s Lincolnshire, Ill., headquarters. “Our goal is to make the shows more multigenerational and open to everyone. We want to make the Good Sam Super Show an annual destination for anybody that is part of the lifestyle.”
Next week’s Super Show marks a return for Good Sam to the expansive grounds of the Phoenix International Speedway, as the organization held rallies there in 2012 and 2015. Organizers reported 2,579 registered RVs at the 2015 show and a gate admission of 8,000 people over the four-day event, bringing the estimated attendance to about 14,000 people.
“We have always found the Phoenix Raceway to be a great venue for the event, and the staff has been very easy to work with,” Fraguada said. “We’ll be using a different area on the track, but the space is open and spread out and gives us a lot of room for displays, entertainment and other activities. “We’ll have about 100 exhibits, including around 12 dealers from the region displaying product. While our rallies were all good selling shows, we think that by bringing in more nonmembers we will see more traffic, which normally means more sales. It’s part of creating more of a consumer show atmosphere.”