RVDA Chairman of the Board Tim Wegge

RVDA Expo: Day One

LAS VEGAS – It might have been a perfect day to be outside, but the buzz was all inside the Paris Las Vegas as dealers from all over North America gathered for the annual RV Dealers Association Convention/Expo on Tuesday.

Scroll down for photos from the event.

This year’s crowd ditched the “been-there, seen-that” mood that has been evident at the past few RVDA shows and RV Industry Association Louisville shows, and seemed genuinely excited during morning education and product sessions. That excitement spilled into the afternoon Opening Session as a highly caffeinated Jason Dorsey talked to dealers about crossing generational divides to learn how to build trust and get the most out of their Millennial employees and better sell to that generation.

Generational Divide

Dorsey, president of the Center for Generational Kinetics, didn’t just pay lip service to the stereotypical Millennial. He not only talked about motivation, but helped explain misconceptions about the generation and helped dealers understand how the generation is a product of parenting.

For example, he said, Millennials are older than most people assume, with some now reaching their 40s. He said it is not true that the generation is not working, and that in fact it outspent every generation last year.

But he also acknowledged that stereotypes don’t just pop up out of nowhere. A certain portion of Millennials fit the mold.

“Boomers had a single parenting philosophy among them that they want things to be easier for their children than it was for them,” he said. “And you succeeded. And now entitlement is 100 percent learned. It starts with parenting, it gets stronger in schools and then we bring it to work in your dealership.”

But the Millennial generation appears to be splitting into two generations.

“You have one part of the generation that is doing everything that we are told we are supposed to do,” Dorsey said. “No one wants to talk about us. We’re not controversial. We’re not provocative. We show up, we go to work and go home.

“Then we have the other part of the generation that’s struggling to create real world traction. For some reason around the age of 30, you self-select into one part of the generation or the other and can no longer relate to the other part of your own generation.”

As a result of the split, Dorsey said, it appears the upcoming Generation Z, which appears to have a strong work ethic, is likely to leapfrog the struggling portion of Millennials as it enters leadership positions in the workforce.

Expo & Events

The Expo floor was busy nonstop during the first three hours of the show following the session.

Suppliers and vendors, as well as the handful of manufacturers, reported quality traffic at their booths and displays.

Following the Expo, other evening events included the RVDA of Canada reception as well as a party hosted by American Guardian Warranty Service at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville.

The Convention/Expo continues today with one early session of educational tracks followed by the U.S. and Canadian RVDA Annual Meetings.

The Expo floor reopens at 11 a.m.

Got a news tip? Contact David MacNeal