The reports out of the Tampa SuperShow this week were very encouraging for the RV industry. The industry looks to Florida to set the tone for the RV shows that will be held throughout the country the next few months. As the New England RV Dealers put the finishing touches on their 2011 event that will be held Feb 3-6 at the Boston Seaport World Trade Center, their is optimism in the air.
For many years RV shows were "buying" shows. You went to the show to find the right unit, get out your checkbook, and walked out the proud owner of a new RV. Then two things challenged the logic of this process: 1) the Internet and 2) the recession. Sales slowed down as consumers did a lot of their initial research on the web, went to the show to narrow down their choices, and then visited a few dealerships to make their final deal. The recession certainly didn't help things and many people didn't even bother going to the show because of financial challenges presented by factors outside their control.
So, the question of the day is this; Is Florida an anomaly or have we finally turned the corner and will buyers return to all the shows this spring?
We certainly hope that is the case but want to hear from you if you plan on attending an RV show in the coming months and if you will be "buying" at the show. You can still do research on the web and narrow down your choices, but once you have that information will you pull out the checkbook on the show floor or will you wait a little longer?
The sudden impact of the Internet and the recession may have changed buying patterns - or so we thought. Florida seems to repudiate that notion and we think it has. I hope every spring show enjoys the success being reported from Florida by dealers, manufacturers and the trade press.
I spoke with Fran Roberts of LongView RV up here in New England this week. Fran told me he had his best show in 51 years! Now that's an amazing statement from a man who has survived the many ups and downs of the RV industry over ten decades. Several manufacturers I spoke with this week say it was their best show in years.
Terrific! Let's hear from you and what you think. By the way, if you are in New England and want to learn more about the big Boston show, check out the show Facebook page at:
Hope to see you there. I'll be presenting a First Time Buyers Seminar each day of the show.