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Old 11-30-2011, 08:11 PM   #1
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Louisville RV Trade Show

Has anyone been in attendance at this week's industry trade show in Louisville? If so, what stood out to you? I'm also curious if anyone saw the new Aviator travel trailer that Forest River announced last week and your thoughts on it.
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Old 12-01-2011, 08:02 AM   #2
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I haven't been, but that Aviator REALLY caught my eye as well!!! If the price isn't absolutely ridiculous, I'm seriously interested.

Forest River’s Aviator Offers ‘Smart Technology’ | RV Business

Let me know if you find out anything more as well!!
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Old 12-01-2011, 12:11 PM   #3
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Let me know if you find out anything more as well!!
Will do!
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:02 PM   #4
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Check the RV Industry News Forum right here on iRV2.com.
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Old 12-03-2011, 04:40 AM   #5
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Thanks DriVer. After reading the wrap-up, it certainly makes one wonder what the value of the show is for many attendees. The show sounded depressing to say the least.

As a consumer, I look forward to Monday's post about innovative products. Hopefully, we'll see some real reporting and coverage of recent product announcements beyond the typical press releases that are such a bore. I am continually amazed at how many companies in this industry are allowed to pump out press releases with no accountability to integrate their PR machine with basic marketing principles in this digital age. Why bother with a press release when no other marketing materials are ready such as the web-site, brochures, or most importantly, product specifications?

Thanks again for providing the link to the show wrap-up story.
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:02 AM   #6
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Here is a shot of the inside (front nose), with a little more info.....

Forest River RV trades remotes for tablet
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Old 12-03-2011, 10:30 AM   #7
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Why bother with a press release when no other marketing materials are ready such as the web-site, brochures, or most importantly, product specifications?
That's a very good observation and I agree with your comment.

In my opinion, some news in the form of a PR is better than no news at all. Printed material such as product brochures are typically ready when the release is put out there. Web site resources on the other hand you would assume would be the easiest thing to change since it can be changed at any time but I do see some push back, lack of willingness or just plain lack of attention.

We have all seen RV website resources publish dated information in fact obsolete information over the course of many years. The good news is that they are paying better attention and the newest information that we want to see is eventually getting put up.

I too am looking forward to reading all about it on Monday to see what Greg's picks were for best of show and why he choose those products or manufacturers.
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Old 12-03-2011, 10:45 PM   #8
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...I do see some push back, lack of willingness or just plain lack of attention.
I see LOTS of what you see too! And, I it find absolutely amazing in this day and age.

I find this industry operates so backwards from a marketing perspective. I think it's because it's so insular and the management of most firms doesn't "get" what marketing means in today's digital age. I see lots of press releases touting industry veterans being promoted and I wonder when it says the individual has 25 years of industry experience if that is a good thing. Is it 25 years of progressive experience that continually seeks the best ideas from the general business community at large, or is it just 1 year of industry/firm experience 25 times over? In other words, what is it about those 25 years that is new, innovative, or revelatory that adds value beyond time itself? Examine Earthbound RV and see how ALL of that industry experience and leadership is working out. From my perspective, it's an unmitigated disaster.

I've spent the bulk of my career in the consumer products industry and I'll tell you what passes for marketing in the RV industry is down right embarrassing. Take Northwood Manufacturing as an example. In October they issue a press release touting their completely redesigned website. While the site operates better than their previous release, its graphic design and interface is sophomoric at best. In addition, it fails to engage the consumer beyond the basics of the product itself. So sad!

I don't mean to pick on Northwood as they aren't the exception to typical industry practices. In general, the RV industry lacks sound brand positioning, the distribution channel is generally over-matched versus the modern consumer (with the exception being most service departments), and the customer service culture utterly fails to understand the lifetime value of a business relationship. As the industry buyer demographics continue to shift, the status quo MUST change or the industry is going to struggle mightily in the face of the new economic reality found in the U.S. today.

I find this industry so fascinating that I'd gladly give up my consulting practice for the right opportunity to lead marketing and sales for a manufacturer who relentlessly strives to implement production quality in a heartbeat. Why? Because, the challenge to transform that type of firm into an industry leader comes around very few times in a lifetime.

I look forward to your comments on Monday after the Louisville show report. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
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Old 12-03-2011, 10:49 PM   #9
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Here is a shot of the inside (front nose), with a little more info.....
Thanks for the link go6car! It's looking intriguing and I look forward to learning more over the coming weeks.
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Old 12-05-2011, 09:39 PM   #10
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RVIA Releases Final Louisville Attendance Numbers

Greg Gerber posted on December 05, 2011 11:55
RV D@aily Report



RESTON, VA. -- The RV Industry Association today released its final attendance numbers for the 49th Annual National RV Trade Show. With 8,159 people participating in the show, attendance was down 6.2 percent off the 2010 total of 8,696 people.

Dealer participation was off 9.4 percent with 2,874 people representing dealerships registering for the show.

Here is the complete attendance report:
.
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Old 12-09-2011, 03:58 PM   #11
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Top Products at the 2011 Louisville Show

Dec 8; Written by:Greg Gerber
12/8/2011 1:41 PM



It was another busy Louisville show and I’ll admit upfront that I didn’t have the time to get to every booth. However, there were a few products that caught my attention as I wandered the show floor from appointment to appointment.

Since I didn't get everywhere, I'd be interested in knowing what products other people found particularly innovative or appealing. Post a comment below or drop me a line at editor@rvdailyreport.com.


Ally Express
Remember the good old days when consumers with good credit could walk into an RV dealership and drive out with a new RV? They were able to do so because the dealers had carte blanche ability to approve loans if they met certain parameters. Although the recession wiped out that ability, the service is back with Ally Financial’s new Ally Express that allows dealers to prequalify customers for loans. The finance company gives dealers a checklist of criteria that must be met for a loan to be approved. “We are a dealer-centric business,” Mark Manzo, vice president of alliance sales, told me. “We want to make dealers more successful and help consumers get the deals they want.”

Continued .....
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