RVIA Economic Impact Study

The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association commissioned an Economic Impact Study on the RV industry, released on June 7, 2016. The study found that the RV industry contributes about $49.7 billion in economic output or 0.28 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. Through its production and distribution linkages, the industry impacts firms in 426 of the 440 sectors of the United States economy.

Nationwide, the industry is responsible for 216,170 jobs, both directly and inderectly, creating an economic impact of $37.5 billion. The full study results, along with each individual state and congressional district's economic impact is available on the website by clicking here .

Web Exclusive: RVDA Convention/Expo Wraps Up for 2017

Fri Nov 10, 2017
Author: Scott Hansen

151033351223954.jpgThe 2017 RVDA Convention/Expo concluded Thursday evening with a social gathering where decision makers in the industry and those who had spent countless nights planning for the show relaxed in the company of old and new friends and an open bar.

The show brought in a substantial increase of attendees, while the number of booth exhibitors also went up during the show.

RVDA offered new ideas for its attendees on the show floor, all designed to keep the experience fresh and engaging for the show's attendees.

One of the new attractions this year was the Retail Tech and Idea Center from NTP-STAG, a special display from the distributor offering dealers the look of a modern store. The display presented ideas for merchandising and unique ways to sell products.

"The display was born out of a request from the RVDA board to do something a little different with store merchandising, so we put our team to work to come up with something for dealers," NTP-STAG's John Spaulding said, according to RV Executive Tonight, an overnight publication recapping some of the day's events.

One concept included in the display was a mobile point-of-purchase display, which took common technology and adapted it to some new uses, such as small screens located at the ends of store aisles that allowed customers and salespeople to scan for product prices and check out their item on the spot.

"The technology behind it isn't new, but it's not used much in our industry," Spaulding said.

Another idea showed how a dealership could use inexpensive cameras and virtual reality headsets to allow customers to walk through a dealership's store without ever leaving their homes, something more and more dealers and manufacturers are beginning to offer on their websites.

Spaulding also said that dealers shouldn't underestimate the importance of keeping their stores updated and appealing.

"If the average customer's RV-purchase cycle is about four years, what do you do during those years?" Spaulding said. "You sell them accessories in the store. It's the only part of the dealership that connects you to them between big purchases."

The seminars of the convention were popular with attendees. The attendees spoke about the training and education side of things as being some of the major takeaways from the event.

"I learned a lot about improving communication skills with both customers and other employees," Highway Trailer Sales' Karmen Duchateau from Salem, Oregon, said. "I liked the workshop 'Turning Customers from Upset to Loyal.' It focused on how better communications equate to better dealership results."

Michael Yanez, a service advisor from McBride's RV in Chino, California, said there was considerable education on how to handle customers in a wide range of moods.

"I learned some new ways of handling difficult customers," Yanez says. "One workshop was about 'high touch' customers and how you can help get their defensiveness down, to create a good working relationship with them. Dealing with difficult customers is not always easy. You have to find that middle ground where neither side feels like they are being taken advantage of. I learned how to set expectations, so the customer knows what you can and can't do for them."

According to an association statement, RVDA expects to keep things fresh again in 2018, as it moves the convention next door to the Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, where new surroundings will also come with new and fresh ideas and updated training and education on a quickly changing RV market landscape.