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Attendance falls on first day of RVIA show

(Nov. 30, 2011) -- A total of 7,197 people filed through the industry-only trade show Tuesday, a decline of 357 people or 4.7 percent over last year. That number included 2,487 RV dealers, which was 226 or 9 percent fewer than last year.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Attendance at the 49th Annual National RV Trade Show is down from last year, the RV Industry Association reported today.

A total of 7,197 people filed through the industry-only trade show Tuesday, a decline of 357 people or 4.7 percent over last year.

That number included 2,487 RV dealers, which was 226 or 9 percent fewer than last year. Many in the industry suspected that dealer participation would be down after a tremendously successful series of open houses in September put on by RV manufacturers in the Elkhart area.

In an article appearing in RV Pro last week, RVIA staff reported that advance registration was only 7 people off last year’s pace.

RVIA reported that 1,596 unique RV dealerships were represented at the show Tuesday, an increase of 474 over Day One last year. In fact, the 1,596 figure exceeded the total number of dealerships accounted for during the entire 2010 show by 302, which baffled many supplier exhibitors who noted a decline in dealer traffic Tuesday.

Nearly as many suppliers attended this year’s Louisville show as RV dealers. RVIA reported that 2,467 industry suppliers registered for the show, compared to 2,697 who registered on Day One last year.

A total of 1,663 people representing RV manufacturers were on hand opening day, compared to 1,545 last year.

To put attendance figures in perspective, the 2006 show was reported to be RVIA’s third highest attended event ever when 13,604 people traveled to Louisville. A total of 4,898 dealers attended that show, according to previously published reports.

This year’s show closes Thursday at 3:30 p.m.

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About Greg Gerber

Greg Gerber is a freelance writer and podcaster who has been writing about the RV industry since 2000. He is the former editor of RV Daily Report.