March '16

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little issues like you do at every show, but this one ran smoothly." Most of the first day of the event was dedicated to dealer training sessions. Each hour, dealers could choose between two 45-minute training sessions. A total of 12 suppliers participated in the training events, including Winegard, Valterra and Cequent. For the four sessions in the pre-lunch hours, the rooms — which seated about 100 people each — were at or near capacity. "We had more dealers attend this year than any other show," Andrea Mullin said. Andy Mullin offered an explanation as to why that might be the case: "I think the excite- ment of the show was greater this year than in years past, and the attitude of the dealer-base was very upbeat, and same for the vendors." Vendors Pleased with Opening Night Reception Following the opening-day's seminars, the show opened for an exhibit preview and cocktail reception. As attendees snacked on hors d' oeuvres, a stilt walker and a costumed juggler made their way through the isles of the show, stopping to pose for photos and chat with attendees. The entertainment added to an upbeat opening night, and buyer interest was high, according to Bryan Hull, exhibiting with Unique Natural Products, a Denver-based maker of holding tank treatments. "People like the cocktail hour," he said. "It makes it easy, and lightens it up. We go to a lot of trade shows that can be long and tedious, but not at all here." A good atmosphere not only keeps attendees comfortable, it also helps facili- tate deals, according to Arterra's Jim Kaskey. "I think it will probably be the best one (show) we've had for a while, and of course a lot of it has to do with atmo- sphere," Kaskey estimated after the opening cocktail reception. Despite a rapidly changing RV distribu- tion landscape in the past two years, the dis- tribution footprint of Omaha, Neb.-based Arrow has remained largely unchanged, save for a 2014 acquisition of So-Cal Dis- tributing in El Cajon, Calif., a move that added a West Coast hub to the company's distribution network. The addition means more West Coast dealers, such as Russ Leos, a retail clerk rv-pro.com MARCH 2016 • RV PRO • 65 Dealers filled the education sessions during the first day of the show. Meanwhile, exhibitors reported being pleased with dealer traffic.

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