Note from RV Travel editor Chuck Woodbury
The following message from RV Industry Association (RVIA) President Frank Hugelmeyer was published in the RV Industry Association newsletter RVIA News & Insights. He addresses the changing makeup of today’s consumer and the best ways for the RV industry to connect with new buyers. Translating this, what Hugelmeyer is talking about boils down to how the RVIA can learn more about consumers so it can sell them more RVs. He makes no mention of exploring how the industry can do a better job building those RVs, or where those who buy them can “camp” in increasingly packed RV parks.
Note that he writes that the industry wants to learn what potential buyers are “looking for in a retail experience,” not what they are looking for in an RV — two very different things. To be fair, Mr. Hugelmeyer’s role as RVIA president is to serve as America’s senior RV salesman, and considering more than half a million RVs were shipped to dealers last year, in that role he is doing very well.
By Frank Hugelmeyer
Today’s consumer is changing, and the next generation of buyer is unlike anything we have seen to date. As we look ahead at the potential challenges at retail, it’s time we ask ourselves some questions.
What do we know about today’s consumer and what are they looking for in a retail experience? Are we, as an industry doing enough to ensure we capture the growing base of consumers who are eager to embrace the outdoor lifestyle — not our competition? What is our industry’s market development strategy and how prepared are we to bring these consumers to our doorstep.
RVX is the one all-industry event where these questions will take center stage. The first ever RVX will be held March 12-14, 2019, in Salt Lake City, Utah, and it promises to bring the entire industry together in a venue for learning — where all attendees will hear first-hand what the consumer of the future is looking for, learn how to spot and react to emerging consumer trends, and how together, we can attract new consumers to the lifestyle and convert them into lifelong customers.
Consumers are not all the same as they have different aspirations, interests and needs. The first-ever “Reveal” will unveil our industry’s best new products through nine consumer lifestyle categories designed to reach individual prospects in a more personalized way. From outdoor adventurers, to families, tailgaters and spare-no-expense travelers, the “Reveal” will excite these clearly defined consumer segments just as they are planning their spring and summer vacations. This event will drive purchasing decisions and market growth.
Go RVing’s research shows that 40 percent of the entire U.S. population’s lifestyle and leisure preferences fit the RV lifestyle. In fact, some 40 million American consumers have investigated purchasing an RV or have visited a showroom or dealership. As we better connect our industry’s products to the core lifestyle choices of outdoor enthusiasts, we have an opportunity to convert them into sales by connecting their lifestyle choices to the opportunities RVing provides.
Go RVing will use RVX to launch a multimillion dollar media campaign that will highlight our industry and the new products unveiled at the event. This “Kickoff to Camping Season” is an unprecedented national media push for Go RVing, and it is all about building consumer awareness throughout the Spring and Summer and driving new consumers to our dealer partners.
The opportunities that this groundbreaking platform provides can’t be missed. Are you ready to embrace the changing landscape and turn potential into future sales? RVX is the time and place to start that journey together.
Editor’s note: RVX will be open only to members of the RV industry, not the general public.