Louisville attendance falls short of projections

RESTON, Va. — The RV Industry Association today released the final, unaudited attendance figures for the 2013 National RV Trade Show, which took place Tuesday through Thursday at the Kentucky Expo Center.

A total of 7,751 people attended this year’s event, up 93 people or 1 percent compared to the final 2012 attendance figures. Attendance by “buyers” — RV dealers, accessory store owners, campground owners and warehouse distributors — had been off 4 percent for the first two days, but closed out at -3 percent.

The figures represent people coming through the door, said Mike Hutya, show director. “Even though many people preregister, when they get to the show, they have to give us a receipt that is attached to their badge in order to get a badgeholder,” she explained. “The information printed on the receipt is input to verify the person attended the show.”

Here are the preliminary cumulative three-day attendance figures released by RVIA:

Attendee Type 2012 Total 2013 Total Difference % Change
RV Dealer 2,623 2,548 -75 -3%
Accessory Store 238 210 -20 -8%
Campground Owner 26 28 +2 8%
Warehouse Distributor 91 80 -11 -12%
TOTAL BUYERS 2,978 2,874 -104 -3%
Press – Advertising 4 15 +11 +275%
Press – Editorial 57 60 +3 +5%
Finance/Guest 84 74 -10 -12%
Manufacturer Exhibitor 1,705 1,761 +56 +3%
Non-Member Manufacturers 57 32 -25 -44%
Supplier Exhibitor 1,966 2,092 +126 6%
Non-Member Supplier 471 429 -42 -9%
Non-Exhibiting Manufacturer 30 27 -3 -10%
Non-Exhibiting Supplier 175 206 31 +18%
Manufacturer’s Agent 26 47 11 +42%
U.S. Association/Guest 103 140 37 +36%
Foreign Association/Guest 2 4 2 100%
TOTAL ATTENDEES 7,658 7,751 93 1%

There were 1.7 exhibitors, guests and media members for every buyer at the show.

Prior to the show, RVIA had projected 8,000 people would be in attendance. The Louisville Courier Journal had predicted Nov. 28 that 12,000 people would attend this year’s show.

SOURCE: RV Industry Association

Greg Gerber

Greg Gerber

A journalist who has covered the recreation vehicle industry since January 2000, Greg Gerber founded RV Daily Report on April Fool's Day in 2009. He also serves as the editor of the publication and website. As an Eagle Scout, he has enjoyed camping for decades and has visited every state except Hawaii. A DODO -- Dad of Daughters Only -- to three young women, he has two grandchildren as well. He currently splits his time between Wisconsin, Texas and Arizona. Greg can be reached at editor@rvdailyreport.com.

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  • Greg, thanks for keeping us OHVers updated on what is happening in the RV Industry!
    Merry Christmas. Don

  • Gene says:

    I see something lacking in the above figures. That is the lack of what might be termed “stimulating growth”. The numbers show a “flat” trend. With the astounding growth in RVs ove the past year, one would think that there would be “astounding” growth in the Show attendees.

    Can the Louisville continue with a “flat” growth trend?

  • Paul Doughty says:

    The RVIA prediction was pretty close. How the the Louisville Courier have any idea how many people would attend. If they got the 12k number from someone related to the industry, that should be included in the story.

    The simple explaination of why there could be growth in the industry and flat in dealer attendance is that the dealers who did attent bought more units.

  • Greg Gerber says:

    The numbers were close, Paul, and it was a good show for everyone who attended, from what I gathered in talking to folks. But, Gene is right in that show figures are declining. In 2010, there were 3,511 dealers attending the show compared to 2,548 this year — a decline of 27.4 percent in just three years.

    There are more options for dealers to look at RVs, talk to manufacturers and network with other business associates. I still think a combined RVDA/RVIA show would be the best opportunity for RV dealers to get the most bang from their participation.

    Editor, RV Daily Report

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