Stag-Parkway Inc. celebrated its 25th anniversary of hosting national trade shows Jan. 12-15 in San Juan Puerto Rico. According to a press release, guests were treated to a variety of special events including RV University, two receptions and a breakfast keynote from Medal of Honor winner Dakota Meyer.

“We wanted to make the 25th year special for our customers and suppliers so we decided to try something different and to have the event in Puerto Rico. I’m very pleased to say that our choice of venue more than lived up to our expectations,” stated president CEO Martin Street. “When you host an opening reception and you see over 1,700 people – dealers, suppliers, Stag employees and special guests – playing our treasure hunt, visiting with each other and generally having a great time, you know you’ve delivered something special to the market.”

Overall dealer attendance was up this year. “We knew the island would be a great draw for a lot of our customers but even we were surprised at how quickly our two hotels filled up,” said Street. “We ended up having to take rooms at a third hotel to accommodate all of our guests. The people that I talked to were genuinely impressed with the choice of venue, our programs and our show pricing.

“Admittedly, we came to Puerto Rico to shake things up a bit but didn’t anticipate Mother Nature helping us kick off our event. Once the rattled nerves following Monday night’s earthquake had settled, everyone got back into the spirit of the event and a good time was had by everyone there. Our Tuesday evening event, co-sponsored by Blue Ox and the Rums of Puerto Rico, was one of the best we’ve ever had.”

Branded as “Driving Success,” the Stag-Parkway show is the largest, RV aftermarket specific event in North America specializing in preseason buying opportunities and dealer education. “This year we had over 1,100 people from over 400 dealerships in attendance and almost 500 of those attending took part in RV University where we focused on product training and PRO business development and retail training topics,” said John Spaulding, senior vice president, marketing. “We will be adding 12 additional seminars to PRO this year bringing the total number of free educational programs to over 60 by year’s end. This year’s training focuses on Customer Acquisition, Customer Retention and Customer Influence.”

The trade show itself was the largest in Stag-Parkway history. “We were exceptionally excited about our response this year from the supply community,” stated Spaulding. “We had over 160 exhibiting companies in attendance, 14 of which were first time exhibitors. We managed the show a little differently this year recognizing the time change and the obvious draw of Puerto Rico’s beaches, historic sites and culture and it work out extremely well. The show floor was active throughout the event which we capped off on Wednesday afternoon with a drawing for a trip for two to Costa Rica. Needless to say, we had a nice crowd on the floor until the end.”

According to Street, “Driving Success” provides a good barometer for the coming year. Based on his early assessment of the show results, “2014 promises to be a good one for Stag-Parkway.” During the event Stag-Parkway announced the location for its 2015 show – The Mirage in Las Vegas, Jan. 19-21.