Industry professionals from across North America gathered at the Gaylord Texan Resort Hotel and Convention Center on Jan 13-14 for The Expo. Presented by NTP-STAG, and sponsored by Airxcel, The Expo is the industry’s largest distributor event. Attendees had an opportunity to explore new products, visit with suppliers and participate in business seminars. Dealers also benefited from show-only specials and discounts.
“Our Vision for Serving the Aftermarket” was the theme of the two-day event. NTP-STAG team members and executives presented their industry vision while receiving valuable feedback from dealers, suppliers and media attendees.
“The Expo provides us a tremendous opportunity to spend valuable time with our dealers. We gain their important perspective on our industry while sharing our vision on how we can assist them in growing their businesses,” NTP-STAG President Bill Rogers said.
A new products showcase had more than double the space of the prior year. Suppliers introduced new products in categories such as housewares, pet supplies and marine products. Making its debut at The Expo was the Overland Bound area, featuring vehicles outfitted with tents and travel gear essential to this popular outdoor lifestyle trend. The Expo show space totaled 150,000 square feet.
“These multiple innovations presented dealers in attendance with several opportunities to expand their businesses to adjacent spaces, such as the marine industry and overlanding, while suppliers introduced more new products than ever before,” Rogers said. “For many, overlanding is exposing an entirely new segment to the experience of outdoor vehicle travel and camping as a gateway into the RV lifestyle. As these interests develop, RVs will satisfy their eventual requirements for greater comfort and convenience.”
A cornerstone of the vision presented by Rogers was the company’s agreements several OEMs and suppliers to provide warranty fulfillment services. Agreements with Coleman, Grand Design, Jayco and Heartland Recreational Vehicles address the issue of shortening repair event cycle time (RECT) by expediting parts delivery. Ultimately, expedited delivery results in faster response times and improved customer experiences.
“Downtime has been a crucial concern throughout the industry,” NTP-STAG Director of Category Management Jon White said. “Dealers were pleased to learn more about this collaboration and how we are working together to significantly reduce the time it takes to get parts to their dealerships to execute warranty repairs and get their customers back out on the road.”
Before the show opened, participants got insights from RV Professional Retail Organization (PRO) education speakers, including:
• Dr. Sardek Love, Chief Executive Officer of Sardek Love International.
• Dr. May Kelly, economist and best-selling author.
• Gabrielle Bosché, America’s millennial expert.
The business development seminars delved into profit growth strategies, generational leadership and increasing sales. The trio of speakers provided insight tailored to the RV industry.
“This was the tenth year we have provided the industry with a compelling roster of exceptional speakers,” Rogers said. “These seminars introduce show attendees to innovative skills and business techniques while the speakers’ discussions serve as a cornerstone to the continuing education programs available online through the newly revised RVU platform.”
Suppliers offered more than 30 product showcase seminars during the first day.
Improving the Process
The product ordering process was more streamlined with electronic cart pre-load functionality this year. Many attendees built their orders in advance of the show, improving their productivity during the event. The show also featured a new mobile app, sponsored by Southwire, offering the show agenda, education and seminar schedule, an interactive floor plan, live notifications, Power Hour specials and more.
“Technology plays a significant role in how business is conducted so we are continually developing tools to increase Expo attendees’ productivity on the show floor and streamline the sales process,” NTP-STAG Vice President of Sales Fred Petrivelli said. “We anticipate that transactions will be completely executed via electronic cart pre-loading at The Expo in the near future.”
Rogers said, “We always conclude The Expo with a large reception and this year, we brought everyone out to the Texas Live! entertainment district adjacent to the Dallas Cowboys Stadium to celebrate together. Our customers and suppliers had a fantastic time and were positive and complimentary. The RV industry is strong and we’re looking forward to doing it again in 2021.”
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