Preliminary figures show overall attendance was up during the annual 2019 RV Dealers Convention Expo in Las Vegas, which wrapped up Thursday.
Phil Ingrassia, president of the RVDA, said attendance climbed 4.7 percent over last year. Combined with a 16 percent hike in attendance at the 2018 show, Ingrassia said, the convention expo has enjoyed a 20 percent increase in attendance over the past two years.
“I think it was a good show,” Ingrassia said. “Overall, we had 1,700 people here.”
Expo organizers worked hard to bring in new education workshops, he says, which this year included a panel of officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The officials discussed RVs role in providing temporary housing during a natural disaster.
Ingrassia said the dealers learned what type of RVs FEMA needs in providing shelter for disaster victims. FEMA learned what kind of stock is available on dealer lots.
“We have never had FEMA here before and I think it was valuable for everyone,” Ingrassia said. “Our work with FEMA isn’t exactly part of our business but things do happen and we need to be prepared.”
The “Super Lawyers Panel” also attracted a lot of attention, Ingrassia said, with RV industry legal experts providing tips to help dealerships avoid costly lawsuits.
“They did a real good job of providing help in real-world situations,” he said, “and letting dealers know what trial attorneys are doing out there.”
Ingrassia said dealers appreciated the expo being hosted by Caesars Palace.
“This is by far the biggest venue we’ve had in Las Vegas,” he said. “Once people got oriented with the venue, it turned out to be a comfortable place to be. We will be back here next year.”