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Dealers Wrap Up Productive Show at Caesars Palace

LAS VEGAS – Vendors and suppliers reported being extremely busy in their booths Tuesday and Wednesday at the RV Dealers Association Convention/Expo at Caesars Palace.

And it was no wonder.

According to RVDA President Phil Ingrassia, attendance for the show increased about 4.7 percent over last year’s show at Paris Las Vegas. This year saw 1,701 in attendance.

It was kind of hard to compare the two shows, since the venue at Caesars Palace was considerably larger, but anecdotal evidence from those involved in the Expo definitely indicated those in attendance were at least more active if not more numerous.

New Chairman Ron Shepherd of Camperland of Oklahoma said he thinks there’s plenty of room for more dealers to be in attendance.

“My challenge is simple, everyone here makes sure at least one of those people you’re thinking of (not in attendance) attends next year,” he said. “I know that’s a lofty goal, but really, we can all think of one person we have influence over and convince them to come, can’t we? I believe once they come, they’ll see the benefit and continue coming. I know we’ve all heard it, ‘it’s the same ever year,’ but that just simply isn’t true.”

Ingrassia agreed and pointed to some of the education courses held this year as good examples of building on what has happened in previous years.

“Chris Andro and the Expo Committee have tried hard to mix it up,” he said. “The Super Lawyers event, for example was a continuation of what started last year with all new material.”

The course was billed as providing information to help dealers avoid getting sued.

Panelists Chris Lowman, Scott Folkers, Brett Richardson, Rob Cohen and Harold Oehler discussed the importance of getting service customers in and taken care of and out the door in a timely fashion.

They said any time litigation hits a dealer, the most important things the defense can rely upon is communication and documentation.

In addition to communication in house, dealers should alert manufacturers to make sure they are on the same page and they should communicate with the customer to make sure all issues are fully understood.

All actions taken from the time a customer comes in for service to the time they leave should be thoroughly documented.

Another first at this year’s show was the presence of two representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Ingrassia also stressed the importance of dealers staying on top of developments regarding Repair Event Cycle Time. Such information was presented at several sessions during the show.

“We all need to work together on getting that right,” Ingrassia said.

Travis O. Pryor

Travis Pryor is the former managing editor of RV PRO.

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