By Darian Armer
Assistant Editor, RV Daily Report
TAMPA, Fla. — The Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) has been busy prepping for the 2017 Florida RV SuperShow, which kicks off next Tuesday with Industry Day. In its 32nd year, the Show offers more than ever before in its biggest setting yet.
“Visitors will see just about everything the industry has to offer from the smallest unit all the way up to the largest,” said Dave Kelly, FRVTA marketing director. “We have more space and more units with pretty much every space sold. We are utilizing nearly every square foot of space that we can.”
Booth vendors who have displayed at the show before receive the first right to claim show space each year, but with having to turn more and more booth vendors away, Kelly said the group is always looking for new areas and more space.
Those vendors who did get a space are already busy setting up their displays and preparing their products for the SuperShow, some taking the better part of two weeks to get their displays just right.
But with huge attendance numbers for the last few years, including nearly 63,000 in 2016, it makes sense that vendors want to put their best foot forward.
“We did a few fall events, including one at the Fairgrounds in November, and that was up in attendance 2,000 over last year,” said Kelly. “That was the Thursday following the election and we had huge groups. I’m not sure what to attribute the numbers to but confidence feels pretty high.”
More than 450 vendors and 1,400 RVs cover 26 acres at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4800 US-301, in Tampa, Fla. Kelly’s advice for those attending for the first time?
“Be prepared to spend a lot of time on your feet. We have just about every manufacturer represented. Be ready to take notes because with so many different products it can get confusing.”
Visitors should also be prepared for plenty of entertainment and education.
The seminar schedule this year includes, Basic RV Maintenance, RV Weight and Tire Safety, Tips for Choosing the Right RV, Extended and Full Time RVing, The Joys of Caravan Travel and Explore America! A Virtual Tour of Must See Places.
“We always try to update our seminars and tweak the entertainment some,” said Kelly. “We constantly search for new and different entertainment.”
This year again features roving style entertainment, including a bagpipe band that comes through every afternoon.
Those looking to attend the show in their rig will find the Super Rally is completely sold out. For $200, those attending the Super Rally receive a space for four nights and five days with 30-amp electrical service, four mornings of coffees and donuts, three nights of entertainment with refreshments and dessert, and a wristband with unlimited access to the SuperShow.
Dry camping is still available through the fairgrounds at $20 per night with no reservations required.
The show begins Jan. 17 with Industry Day exclusively for RV related businesses/companies to visit the show and network without public crowds. Show hours that day are 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Public Days are from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Jan. 18-21, and 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Jan. 22. Aside from educational seminars and entertainment, trams are available to help visitors get around. Vendors will have information and displays on RV products and accessories, campgrounds, resorts, tourism information, towing supplies and more.
Admission cost $10 per adult with a free second day return. Children under 16 are free. Wednesday is senior citizens day, receiving $1 off admission. Parking at the fairgrounds costs $6 per car and $12 per RV. Mild-tempered dogs are welcome on a leash. Wheelchair rentals are available at entrance gates.
“We’ve had fantastic weather here the past few weeks and it looks pretty good through next week,” said Kelly. “We’re looking for five strong days to get the public through to see everything we have to offer.”
For more information, visit http://www.frvta.org/show/florida-rv-supershow/