Affinity Group Inc.’s (AGI) annual rally – know nationally as ”The Rally” – drew 3,112 registered motorized and towable RVs April 16-20 to an encampment at Balloon Fiesta Park in Albuquerque, N.M., and to exhibits at the Expo New Mexico fairgrounds several miles south.
”We had a big drive-up crowd which really helped – over 200 units,” said Terry Thompson AGI vice president of advertising and sales. ”That was more than we usually get. Some people just procrastinate.”
The weather was semi-cooperative and snowfall on the second day was unexpected, but not necessarily unusual, with Albuquerque being located in the high desert at more than 4,900 feet above sea level.
Attendance was off by about 10% from The Rally held last March at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Perry, Ga. ”It was better than we expected because today’s market is difficult,” Thompson said.
About 400 suppliers manned indoor booths and 30 manufacturers and dealers brought about 500 display units to The Rally with some reporting relatively good sales. The indoor booths were particularly popular with packed aisles, especially the day it snowed.
”When the weather is lousy, it’s a homerun for the indoor exhibitors,” Thompson said. ”It was shoulder-to-shoulder on Friday. People were happy to be there and they were buying product. They weren’t shuffling their feet complaining about not having any money and how bad the economy is. And for a lot of people, this was the first time they were at The Rally.”
The Rally next year will be held July 22-25 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky., the same location where the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) stages its annual national RV trade show.