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Hershey Show Attendance Climbs to All-Time High

An all-time single-day attendance high and favorable weather helped propel the Pennsylvania RV and Camping Association's Hershey RV show to a new high in four-day attendance totals, according to PRVCA Marketing Director Heather Leach.

The show began with an industry-only event Sept. 14-15, before transitioning into the consumer show Sept. 16-20 at the Giant Center in Hershey.

“It went really well. We had record attendance, the weather was perfect and we had reports of really good sells,” Leach said.

Sunny skies and temperature averages around 80 degrees for the week helped boost numbers to 52,191, surpassing last year’s total (46,143), when weekend rain dampened attendance.

Specifically, the show set it’s single-day record Saturday (Sept. 19), when attendance totals climbed to 17,906, topping the show’s former single-day record (16,833) set in 2012.

Perhaps more importantly, manufacturers and vendors reported good sales during the event, according Leach.

“It’s always nice to get a good crowd, but it’s even better when people are reporting that they’re having some of their best days ever.

Highland Ridge, which showcased its new toy hauler line, alongside its Roamer and 3X models, reported twice as many sales compared to 2014.

“Customers fell in love with the new Highlander toy hauler, and the new Ultra Light,” Highland Ridge Northeast Sales Manager Aaron Swann said in a news release.

While pressure to grow shows year-over-year may lead many show coordinators to try and change events, much of the success of the Hershey show comes from its familiarity, according to Leach.

“We followed a very similar format as last year, and sometimes it helps to have consistency, because attendees know what they’re looking for and they know how it all works,” Leach said. 

After last year’s footprint fell just shy of a million square feet, the show committee examined the layout of vendors and displays, managing to squeeze some extra space to push this year’s show beyond the million-square-feet mark, essentially maximizing the space available at the venue. 

As the event continues to grow, Leach is already considering how to get more out of the space PRVCA has.

“We’ve gathered a lot of ideas,” she said. “There’s nothing set yet for what changes might happen, but we’ve got a lot of good feedback that I think is going to be positive.”