The RV Dealers Association’s virtual component of its 2021 RV Dealers Convention/Expo concluded Monday.
The virtual component enabled show attendees to access workshops on dealer management education, vendor booths featuring videos, catalogs, brochures, products and promotions, online discussion boards and virtual networking opportunities.
Phil Ingrassia, RVDA president, said the virtual show was a good way to provide further education for individuals who may not have been able to travel to the in-person expo, in addition to networking opportunities the dealers might have missed otherwise.
“One aspect that came out loud and clear as a favorite of attendees was the chance to network, not just dealer to dealer, but dealer to business partner,” Ingrassia said. “We are looking to enhance that and focus on education and networking for the 2022 show. Our expo committee will be working on some new angles to enhance the overall experience.”
Ingrassia said the virtual show was positioned largely as an on-demand resource.
“When we did all virtual in 2020 we got feedback that people were busy,” Ingrassia said. “They wanted the flexibility to not be so scheduled.”
Ingrassia said just over 1,600 people took part in the Expo in person or virtually —about 100 fewer than the pre-pandemic Expo in 2019.
“With the pandemic and everything, the travel restrictions from Canada,” Ingrassia said, “I think we are pretty pleased with what we were able to put together for 2021.”
The RVDA team is already working on the 2022 RVDA Show/Expo, scheduled for Nov. 7-11 at Caesar’s Palace. Attendee and exhibitor surveys will be distributed by RVDA to gather further feedback regarding the 2021 events.
Ingrassia noted the three most popular virtual sessions were:
- To Infinity and Beyond: Marketing to the Next Generation of RV Buyers, by Sara McGuire and Kseniya Savelyeva of the Constellation Dealership Group.
- The Unknown Road Ahead: Understanding the 2022 Economic Outlook and Its Impact on Your Dealership, by Vijay Chandar of Morgan Stanley.
- How to Navigate a Historic Opportunity in Your Service Department, by McKay Allen of Kenect.
Ingrassia encouraged exhibitors, dealers and potential attendees to keep an eye on the RVDA website, RVDA.org, as more information on the 2022 expo is expected to be released this month.