Mon Feb 4, 2019
Author: RV News Staff
Weather can often be unpredictable early in the year in Florida, but so far it has been generally good for RV regional shows, including the Florida RV SupersShow in mid-January.
Lance Wilson (pictured left), executive director of the Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA), says temperatures were cool, but SuperShow attendance was strong at more than 74,000 over five days, up from around 73,000 in 2018. He says manufacturers and suppliers bought every available space.
“As far as sales, we always get mixed reviews—some guys do great, some do well and some don’t do as well,” Wilson says. “A lot of that is how they approach the show. We may be reaching the saturation point, but both dealers and manufacturers were ecstatic about the traffic we had.”
The Fort Myers RV Show, held a week after the SuperShow, drew between 10,000 and 11,000. Attendance was down slightly from 2018, due to rain.
“We had some bad weather on Thursday and Saturday, but on Sunday the show was slammed,” FRVTA Marketing Director Dave Kelly says. “It was a great event, but so much of it depends on the weather.”
Next up is the Jacksonville RV Mega Show Feb. 7-10 at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center.
Kelly says early indications are attendance will be strong for Jacksonville as well as the West Palm Beach RV Show Feb. 21-24. Wilson and Kelly say the Ocala RV Show, set for Feb. 28-March 3, has expanded and will be 20 to 25 percent larger. As is the case with the early shows, weather will play a role since these shows are all outdoors.
Wilson says the dealer body has grown in the Ocala area, fueling the larger show projections. He cites the opening of the General RV Superstore late last year.
“It’s forcing other dealers to up their game,” Wilson says.
Kelly says the winter show draw from a much wider geographical area than just Florida or the Southeast.
“So many people are down here spending the winter and coming to the show,” Kelly says. “It bodes well not only for the Southeast, but a much wider area. Almost half of the people who attended the SuperShow came from outside the area.”
Wilson says dealers exhibiting at the show are optimistic about 2019. He says the increased square footage booked at the shows thus far is a good barometer of the upcoming selling season.
“We are seeing a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and confidence from our dealer body,” Wilson says.
Kelly says FRVTA conducted a survey of SuperShow attendees and found 47 percent do not own an RV.
“That bodes really well, if not for this season, maybe for years to come, as more people want to get more information about RVs,” Kelly says.