As the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) rebuilds its National RV Trade Show into a premiere event for the Industry, the organization has spent the last several months gathering extensive data to understand the dealers, and dealer preferences as it relates to the show.

“We’ve studied dealer attendance, attitudes, along with how they draw value for the show,” said Liz Crawford, RVIA senior vice president of trade shows and events. We’ve gone back five years to do so, and, to ensure reliability in the data, we used a third party research firm. Just for clarity’s sake, we went through 1.77 million data points. 

Results showed:

▪ 42% of the buyers attend no other show.

▪ 89% have buying influence for their organization.

▪ 92% come to see new products.

To view an overview of the results click here.

 In terms of buyer attendance, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the past five years is -2.2%, which Crawford noted, “isn’t bad when you know that the industry average among the top trade shows in the country is -8.5%. All shows deal with attendance gains, and so have we. We have our work cut out for us, but we are on the right track to start making the smart decisions about how to increase value for dealers.”

Crawford added that the Louisville Show has an overall retention rate among buyers of 45% while the industry averages range in the mid 30% range among trade show organizers. In addition, the event brought in 275 new companies last year along with 1,181 first time attendees.

“This is a key indicator of the pull the show has for buyers,” Crawford said. “You won’t find these new buyers, in any sort of concentration, anywhere else.”