That’s the word RV Industry Association officials returned to again and again when describing “RVX: The RV Experience,” including misconceptions associated with the host city of Salt Lake City, the timing of the spring 2019 show, and its designation by show officials as a “consumer-facing” event.
First, the host city of Salt Lake City is a very different metropolis than some people might assume it to be, according to Liz Crawford, RVIA senior VP of trade shows and events. In contrast with the idea of a community that is straight laced and perhaps a bit dull, Crawford calls Salt Lake City vibrant and “very hipster”.
Scroll down for photos of the city.
“It’s very trendy; there are restaurants and bars on every corner and lots to see and do,” said Crawford, who previously helped spearhead the Outdoor Industry Association’s annual Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City. “And (Salt Lake’s) connection to the outdoor lifestyle is big, so that’s an added flavor to things.”
Meanwhile, the Salt Palace Convention Center should prove to be a great setting for RVX – both because of its layout and its placement in the heart of the city, according to Crawford.
“It’s a very modern facility. It’s been refurbished a few times and it’s very open and airy and light,” she said. “Plus, it’s smack in the downtown area, so you don’t have to drive too far to get anywhere. Literally, you walk out of the Marriott and it’s a 30-second walk to the convention center. There’s probably 10 to 11 hotels within a block or two of the convention center.”
The Salt Palace facility is a long, contiguous, somewhat L-shaped exhibit hall, which should make it easily walkable for attendees. The design also helps RVIA in creating an event that will better intersperse exhibits from RV manufacturers and suppliers, generating better traffic for all parties, according to Jeremy Greene, RVIA director of marketing for trade shows.
Notably, the Salt Palace’s 550,000 square feet of exhibit space is roughly half the size of the display space at the previous event venue, Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky.
Crawford and Greene said the decision to select a venue with a smaller exhibit space footprint was deliberate, with a focus of having exhibitors highlighting their most recent and most innovative products – rather than showcasing their entire inventory.
A Springtime ‘Consumer-Facing’ Show
Crawford and Greene acknowledge the use of the term “consumer-facing” show by RVIA officials has caused a level of confusion among some industry professionals.
“Some people may feel it’s a consumer show and so dealers may think it’s not for them – but it’s 100 percent for dealers,” Crawford said. She added, “By all means, we encourage dealers to place orders at RVX, and we encourage manufacturers to write orders and sell at the show.”
“When we talk about consumer-facing, we’re talking about ultimately reaching consumers through PR … and using RVX as a platform to kick off the camping season in the messaging to consumers,” Greene said. He added, “By positioning (RVX) in the spring and by positioning it in a city with ties to the outdoor lifestyle, we think that we’re going to be ultimately driving consumers to learn about the latest products and connect with (dealers).”
The upcoming RVX show is scheduled for Tuesday, March 12 through Thursday, March 14. The timing of the new event should attract the attention of the national media, which is expected to result in a buzz for the RV industry just as consumers are starting to look forward to the summer camping season, according to Crawford.
New Show Elements & RVX Academy
Crawford and Greene predict dealers and exhibitors will find a lot to like about RVX, including “The Reveal” – which is intended to showcase the “latest and greatest” industry products for dealers, the media and others on the first day of the show. Go RVing’s marketing platforms and channels will live stream that event to generate excitement with end consumers.
Click here for more details on why dealers might want to attend RVX.
Exhibitors also will have a chance to check out Salt Palace and Salt Lake City for themselves next Tuesday (July 24) and Wednesday (July 25) at the “RVX Exhibitor Academy” hosted by RVIA officials.
Click here for more details on what exhibitors can expect at RVX Academy. RVIA will host a second RVX Exhibitor Academy on Aug. 8 in Elkhart, Ind.