A scaled-down version of the RV Industry Association’s RV Aftermarket Conference will move forward as planned on August 10-13, 2020 at the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa & Marina in San Diego, California.
The RVIA RV Aftermarket Committee announced its plans to carry on with the event with the addition of some virtual elements this past week. Monica Geraci, senior manager for Marketing Strategy and Operations, said registration for the conference will likely open within the next month.
“We were evaluating, seeing the developments and working with the committee, and the committee made the recommendation to hold the event because they really wanted to have that opportunity,” Geraci said.
She said the RV Aftermarket Committee’s announcement does not reflect any major changes, only that the group only recently finalized its decision to carry on with the event. She said the committee is prepared for potentially lower attendance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The annual conference has taken place every August for around 50 years. The committee considered options ranging from cancelling the event, to changing its date to moving forward as planned. Geraci said maintaining the timing was important to the suppliers, manufacturer representatives and distributors who attend each year.
“The timeframe in August allows this to happen before catalogue season,” Geraci said. “The continuity of that timing was important, and so was having the opportunity for people to meet in person, with an understanding that it is going to be scaled down.”
The RVIA and RV Aftermarket Committee are still working out details for exactly what that scaled down presence will look like. Geraci said she expects the conference to include new aspects catered to digital participation, but no specifics have been finalized.
A task force of committee members is working to develop a hybrid physical and virtual event, and plans to share details as they are available.
Registration has yet to open for the August conference, but Geraci said that process will likely begin for participants sometime in May. Registration for the RV Aftermarket Conference typically opens in mid Spring.
“Then we’ll have a better idea on what programming looks like, and what a hybrid model of having some virtual components might look like,” Geraci said.
The RVIA shared information about the upcoming conference on Friday afternoon, May 1.
“Specifics are still emerging, and updates will be forthcoming on the event format and when registration will open,” the RVIA announced. “As the situation around the coronavirus pandemic remains fluid, so could the decisions regarding the conference. In the coming weeks and months, staff will continue to monitor the national, state, and county level response to COVID-19, with the understanding that new information or shifts in response could alter plans around the event, up to and including cancellation.”