Troy James

While details continue to be worked out, organizers of “RVX: The RV Experience” (RVX) say the event’s concept is beginning to catch on as more people understand it’s not so much a replacement for the now defunct National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., as much as it’s a completely new and “reimagined” industry-only event.

Set for March 12-14 – the cusp of the North American camping season – next year in Salt Lake City, Utah, RVX is designed to provide both OEMs and suppliers a platform on which to promote their new products and designs.

Troy James, president of Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc. and chairman of the RV Industry Association’s (RVIA) Trade Shows and Events Committee, said committee members and RVIA staff “continue to push ahead with the RVX platform” and that all strongly believe the event is “absolutely the right move and the right direction for the industry to move forward in promoting our industry.”

While mentioning that an “RVX Exhibitor Academy” is set for July 24-25 in Salt Lake City and again Aug. 8 in Elkhart, Ind., James noted that as he and others have been able to present the case for RVX they are definitely sensing an excitement for the event.

“It’s like anything that’s new. There are people that are sitting there asking, ‘Okay, what is this about? How is it going to benefit me?’ People have a lot of questions, and that’s fair,’” James related. “But at the same time, there are a lot of people who are getting behind this, and they’re excited about it. They see the vision. They understand the need for this for the industry and for their individual businesses as well. They’re excited to be able to actually push their teams to come up with core innovative products and programs to talk about with dealers.”

Noting that Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) will host a board meeting at RVX, James added that he’s had many conversations with dealers nationwide who are now looking forward to RVX after previously voicing concerns about its timing and content.

“Two, three months ago, they were saying, ‘I don’t really get it. I don’t know if I’m going to attend. It’s not ideal.’ Now those same people are saying, ‘You know what? We get it. We’re going to be there. We’re going to be there to support it,’” he said.

While it is not a consumer show, James explained RVX is a consumer-facing event in that national media and “market influencers” – i.e. popular RV bloggers, vloggers and podcasters – will be invited to attend and spread the word about the latest and greatest the RV industry has to offer.

“Part of the confusion that continues to exist out there is a perception that it’s going to be a retail event, and it is not. It is a ‘retail-facing’ event, which means there simply will be more emphasis on national media exposure through coverage by CNN or FOX News – basically, the type of coverage that you would see as a consumer from an auto show,” James told RVBUSINESS.com.

“The message that I would say to all the association members,” he continued, “is simply to bring your best products – whether it’s new and innovative products, or whether it’s products that you’re currently producing. Whatever you feel you want to promote to propel your business forward. I mean, it’s really that simple.”