By Dave Helgeson
While performing research for this article I came across the heading “Despite a Global Pandemic, RV Shows Must Go On” in a blog post written by Kyle and Olivia Brady of drivinvibin.com. This is a thought-provoking statement, as many ponder the fate of 2021 RV shows during the ongoing pandemic.

Will indoor RV shows occur in 2021?

Producing RV shows for a living, the topic of 2021 RV shows and what they will look like is of great interest to me.

I have corresponded with venues and other show promoters, and researched what different states are permitting. Following are insights into 2021 RV shows and what you will likely experience if you choose to attend one. Because, like it or not, the 2021 RV show season is about to begin.

“The RV show season is about to begin again after a tumultuous 2020 that cancelled almost every show from February through this month.” Mike Wendland with the Florida RV Supershow.

RV shows in the first quarter of 2021

Most RV shows in the first quarter of 2021 will be held outdoors. Many COVID-19 mitigation protocols will be in place. These include wearing face coverings, physical distancing, plexiglass barriers, wider aisles and one-way aisles. There will possibly be screening at the entrance, and probably hand sanitation stations, etc.

Outdoor RV shows are more likely to occur in 2021

RV shows normally held indoors during the spring in colder northern climates will be converted to a virtual platform, cancelled, postponed or possibly held as a hybrid event like Camping World is attempting with their traveling RV show. They’re using the slogan: “It is RV Show season and while things might look a little different this year, we are revolutionizing the RV Show experience for YOU.

How do consumers feel about virtual RV shows?

As an RV show promoter I question if virtual shows are a satisfactory substitute for in-person RV shows, as consumer-type shows are very sensory in nature. Cathy Breden, CEO at Center for Exhibition Industry Research, states, “You use all five senses to feel and experience them, whether that’s examining a new product or shaking someone’s hand to build a relationship.” As noted, rather than seeing it on a computer screen, most people prefer to feel it with their own hands, see it with their own eyes and maybe kick a tire or two. Plus, who can resist that new RV smell!

RV shows this year will most likely require advance online ticket purchase and reduced building capacities. To control crowd size and reduce possible virus transmission, venues will not be selling tickets at the gate (no handling of cash). Advance online tickets will have a set time for admission. Also, they’ll limit the number of people in each hall of the venue at a given time. It is yet to be seen if you will be asked to leave a show if you overstay your welcome.

Look for a return to normalcy for shows by late summer

2021 RV shows will likely start showing signs of normalcy as we move into late spring / summer. By then much of the country will be immunized against the virus. I suspect we’ll still be required to wear facial coverings and social distance indoors through the summer.

Will 2021 RV shows be safe to attend?

Safety? Bottom line: Will the public feel safe attending? The folks at drivinvibin.com offer these suggestions for staying safe at an RV show this year.

What is everyone thinking? Will people attend an RV show if given the chance? We are about to find out as both the annual Quartzsite RV Show and the Florida RV Supershow are scheduled to be underway as you read this.

What about you? At what point will you be comfortable returning to an RV show? Let us know in the comments below.

For a listing of RV shows click here.

Related:
The Big Quartzsite RV Show: They have built it – will you come?

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Steve
8 days ago

I may be going against the grain here, but NO! – NO in-person shows until at least the 3rd qtr. 2021. Covid 19 and the new very contiguous variants will still be around until then. And we know people and their kids will follow the rules – NOT!! Heck, look how many people cannot even wear the masks correctly, if at all!

We like attending shows but we can wait. If you are looking to buy, do the virtual tours. You (should) already know what you are looking for and lets face it, reps. only have a few models at the show anyway. You get more info online and reading blogs. Regarding new buyers, look online and then visit dealers. And dealers are still having trouble keeping units in stock, so the need to hold shows is low on the importance scale.

We need to keep the faith and stay the course. This will pass and we will get to a more stable life. Stay safe and camp on!

Cheryl Bacon
9 days ago

I think they should go on, as long as they have precautions in place. Tampa is doing that. We did not make it this year to the Tampa show, but not because of covid. Quite frankly, we did not feel like leaving TX and our family this winter. We are planning on going to the RV show in Dallas at the end of February.

pursuits712
9 days ago

I recall earlier this year when stores had one-way aisles with big arrows and signs — and no one paid much attention to any of them! They finally removed them. As for virtual shows, just turn on the TV show “Go RVING” to see first hand what different rigs are like. Going to a dealer usually is much less crowded than a show, albeit it may take a little longer to see as many rigs. I agree that with RV sales already hitting records — with way too few sites to accommodate them — the actual NEED for a show does not ring true. As an entertainment venue, I suspect many will traipse through in order to satisfy their WANT to get out of the house, satisfy their curiosity, or prove that they can’t be told what to do.

Ann
9 days ago

Y’all do what you want, but I’m not going into any crowded tent or tiny motorhome where other people have been recently, mask or no mask, until I’m vaccinated and the current case numbers are a lot lower. We think we know how to protect ourselves, but with the new, improved, more contagious variants, all bets are off.

And yes, I’m every bit as tired of being stuck at home as everyone else.

Kenneth R Fuller
9 days ago

I’m ready to go. I’m tired of being locked up like a prisoner and at this point people should know how to take care of themselves. If one is worried, stay home.

pursuits712
9 days ago

I don’t deny that people “should” know how to take care of themselves, but the current statistics do not bear that out.

Suru
9 days ago

I’m at the Quartzsite show this weekend. There are a LOT of people here and I would say 95% are wearing masks around town. Some places are doing temperature checks and giving you a wristband if you check out. You have to wear a mask at the RV Show & the swapmeets to get in. Everyone seems to be practicing social distancing too. There are lots of hand sanitizer stations all over that you can use. It is very calm and organized. I’m just posting to let others know what it’s like here. No need to blast me for choosing to come here.

C.Lee
8 days ago
Reply to  Suru

👍

Snayte
7 days ago
Reply to  Suru

The funny thing about temperature checks (which they do where I work) Is the the entire time I had covid I never had a temperature higher than 99.4.

If anyone is wondering no I did not go to work though based on the temp I probably could have.

Tam
9 days ago

Thousands of Private Doctors and Scientists around the world have said there are therapeutics for this virus. I prefer to inhale and exhale fresh air. I will take my chances with this virus and continue to wash my hands after being in public like I have done for decades. I take Vitamin D, C, B’s, zinc etc. Mike Bloomberg, a politician, supplied John’s Hopkins with 1.3 bill. I wonder if that money has an influence on “stats”? There are many questions about this pandemic, the one that you don’t know you have unless you’re tested, I tend to think this is more about fear, vaccines, control and money than I think it will be the demise of me. But that’s just me, live and let live, live and let breathe.

chuck
8 days ago
Reply to  Tam

I agree with you Tam. I’m 66 yrs old, along with my wife and family (4 married kids, 8 grandkids) we enjoy life as we have in the past. And talking about the past, when wife and kids were sick I always hug them and meet their needs till they got well and never,never,never ever thought “what if I get the germ”! It saddens me to see families doing the opposite and believing the government. Thinking of the pilgrims right now and wondering what if they thought the same!!!

Scott Taylor
8 days ago
Reply to  Tam

Adults have the right to consume alcohol, but that doesn’t give them the right to drive while under the influence, endangering others. I’m glad you are healthy and take your vitamins, but you could STILL be an asymptomatic carrier and infect others who are not as healthy because you are not containing the germs by wearing a mask. Please respect the health of others.

chuck
7 days ago
Reply to  Scott Taylor
Rob Kelly
4 days ago
Reply to  chuck

How is it being kept from us? I’ve seen this on many news sites. But I guess that doesn’t make for as good a conspiracy theory.

Tam
7 days ago
Reply to  Scott Taylor

Thousands of Private Doctors and Scientists around the world have said there are therapeutics for this virus, in other words if you or me caught the virus, then our private/personal Doctor should have the right to treat us as he/she sees fit without the government taking a 6+ decade old drug off the market, that costs pennies, because it is known to cure covid. Hopefully you won’t get covid, but if you do there are tried and real cures. Don’t ask a government acronym, ask your Doctor.

Rich
9 days ago

sure, if the organizers want to. most adults are intelligent enough to decide for themselves if they should attend.

Scott Taylor
9 days ago

The shows should wait. I’m on the front line as a medic. Wear a mask. Get vaccinated when you can. Avoid crowds. This is real.

DL Jenson
9 days ago
Reply to  Scott Taylor

I agree, thank you for your caring!

Drew
9 days ago

At the root of this is why is the vaccine available but we can’t get it?

Tam
9 days ago
Reply to  Drew

Ask your Governor.

Gary Stone
9 days ago

The Corona virus doesn’t care whether you go to a mass gathering or not. It is insidious. It just lays in wait for an opportunity whether you go to the grocery store or an RV show. Mask wearing etc has reduced influenza cases from what it was last year at this time, and those measures have helped reduce COVID cases, but have not eliminated COVID cases. Also, the new strain…altho not more virulent…is much more contagious. So…the more exposure you subject yourself to, the more likely it is you’ll become infected and perpetuate the spread. Yep, ya gotta go to the grocery store, but looking at RVs you’ll most likely never buy…is not essential.

Jeff
9 days ago

I will share a website with everyone if it’s alright with Diane and chuck. If not delete it.
adp.thewellnessway.com doctor Patrick flynn shares his thought and backs up everything he says about covid 19, the need to mask up or not mask up, the need to take the vaccine or not take the vaccine. He says his information so you yourself can make an informed decision.

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
9 days ago
Reply to  Jeff

Thanks, Jeff. The “adp” in the address stands for “A Different Perspective” — and it never hurts to get a different perspective and to learn all that we can about something so important, I say. Patrick Flynn has a Doctorate in Chiropractic, for those who are curious. Take care. 🙂 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Michael
9 days ago
Reply to  Jeff

I would think a PhD of Chiropraactic is just as informed as me. He may be a doctor, but so is a PhD of electrical engineering. I prefer to listen to epidemiologists.

DOMINIC
9 days ago

I won’t be going to any large gathering until you do not need to wear a mask….

Cheryl Bacon
9 days ago
Reply to  DOMINIC

Then you better be prepared to not to go anywhere then for at least 3 more years. Masks are not going away until we reach 75% immunity. The sooner people realize and accept this the better.

C.Lee
9 days ago

Everyone that I know who has gotten COVID seems to have gotten it from a family member, not from going out to eat, to the store, to church, etc. We have a daughter in law in Texas who has been teaching school, in person, since last year. No covid. Our son, her husband, manages a restaurant in Texas and has been working all along. No covid. I have several family members who work for so-called “essential” businesses. Most have not missed a day of work since covid appeared, and they’ve not gotten covid. I thought I’d be scared to death of eating in a restaurant, but when a family emergency required travel last September, and we had to stay in hotels and eat out, I found it was just not that frightening. Folks followed the guidelines and kept tables and people apart, and we didn’t get covid. Frankly, I’ve had more friends & family die of suicide and nursing home neglect during this thing than have died of covid. I would take precautions, but would not be afraid of an RV show.

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
9 days ago
Reply to  C.Lee

That all sounds very reasonable, C.Lee. But I have to wonder where the initial family member got the COVID from? And I’m very sorry to hear about the suicide(s) and nursing home neglect. That is very sad, especially since those cases should be preventable. So sad. Take care, and stay healthy. —Diane at RVtravel.com

C.Lee
9 days ago
Reply to  RV Staff

I wonder too. It would seem there is no real governmental apparatus in place to determine that, at least concerning the cases I have personal knowledge, which span many states. Maybe there can’t be. What I do know is that one of my family members has been in charge of internal contact tracing for the company they work for, and out of approx. 80 known cases among employees, only two have been determined to have come from contact within the workplace. The rest brought it with them from outside the company. Good news is, out of all those cases, there have been only two hospitalizations, and zero deaths. I don’t mention any of this to discount those who have been horribly affected by the disease, I am merely reporting my opinion based upon my own experience. I was deathly afraid of the virus last May. Then I started watching the news less, and started relying upon personal knowledge and experience more. I am no longer deathly afraid of the virus.

Last edited 9 days ago by C.Lee
Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
9 days ago
Reply to  C.Lee

Thank you, C.Lee. I am not afraid of the virus, either. But I am greatly saddened by all those who have been negatively affected by it in any way – health-wise (physical, emotional, mental), employment-wise, or anything else. And I miss my friends who have died from it, even when taking precautions. —Diane at RVtravel.com

Bob P
9 days ago
Reply to  C.Lee

My wife is 81, I’m 78 we wear our masks when required entering businesses, supposedly we are in the most at risk category for contracting the virus. We take our vitamins and other supplements, but we are not hiding or isolating ourselves. As many in the medical field have reported over the last 9 months this virus kills far less people than the common flu. I think the media has done more to scare people than was needed, and yes it was political. I won’t go any further. The media has proved how easy it is to control an entire nation. I won’t downplay the loss of life during this pandemic, but as many experts have said most people who have died had some other serious problem before they got Covid 19 whether they knew it or not. We thank the Lord everyday for protecting us and our families during this pandemic, and I know prayer works.

C.Lee
8 days ago
Reply to  Bob P

👍

Brian Burry
9 days ago

Those who feel it is not safe to go is fine, stay home. Those who feel safe to go, should go!

Thomas D
9 days ago

No,not this year
I’m in yuma, just 100 miles away. Dont need any sickness.
Just announced that a gatekeeper at our resort is in the hospital with covid. How many will be infected because of him?

Herb Baldwin
9 days ago

We will NOT be attending any mass gatherings most likely through 2021. That means no crowded restaurants, no church services, no museums/theaters/sporting events, and CERTAINLY no RV shows. Although it’s always fun to visit shows and check out all the new goodies and meet up with friends, we will stick to continuing to be safe until such time as the vaccine is widely distributed and the numbers start to drop as compared to what is happening right now (Jan 21). Besides, if we were to decide to buy a new RV, it would be something used from a private seller vs new from a dealer for 2 reasons:. They don’t make ’em (RV’s) like they used to, and I don’t trust any RV dealer any farther than I could throw them!

Geof
9 days ago

Will consider revisiting RV shows and other large attendance events next year after we’ve had a chance to see what the Pandemic new infection rates look like and the effectiveness of the vaccine.

Bill
9 days ago

You can’t fix stupid… but covid can.

Last edited 9 days ago by Bill
David Mckenna
9 days ago

Those who are willing to attend these mass gatherings are the same people that I most want to avoid for my own safety. I’m staying away.