We’ve lost count of how many VR shows we’ve been to. So here are our expert tips for attending a VR show, whether it’s your first VR show or your hundredth…
Jennifer and I love going to VR shows. Every year we do many of the biggest and best VR shows, and smaller shows as well. It’s a great way to keep up with the latest innovations in the VR community to share with our VR Lifestyle community.
We also attend VR shows because we enjoy them so much! We often run into other RVers we’ve met on the road and it’s also a great place to make new friends.
I know the thought of walking through a crowded convention center and parking lot can seem overwhelming to some. After all, it’s not unusual to have to wait in line for new models to be introduced or to have to squeeze in to see new VR products.
But crowds aren’t always so bad. Additionally, there are many things you can do to prepare for a trailer show before you arrive and before each day you attend.
I’m going to share these tips with you so you can get the most out of attending a VR show.
13 Pro Tips for Attending a VR Show This Year
The following RV show tips will help you whether you’re attending large, nationally known RV shows or local shows nearby. No matter the size of the show or the purpose of the visit; they will help you have the best possible visit.
Of course, if you’re attending some of the biggest shows, like the Hershey America’s Largest RV Show, the Florida RV SuperShow, or the FMCA Convention and RV Expo, these tips become a must!
Be sure to check out our updated list of VR shows. And if you know of any VR shows we’ve missed, let us know so we can add them!
1. Bring a pencil or marker
I know the days of writing things down are dying, but a pen or marker will come in handy. Most RV dealers and vendor booths hand out flyers or brochures. So it’s helpful to be able to write notes on it while you’re talking to the rep.
The writing utensil will also come in handy with Tip #3 below.
2. Arrive early
Get there as soon as you can register. Many attendees tend to move within a couple or a few hours after the doors open. And that moseying quickly turns into long lines and people blocking your way as they try to figure out where to go.
Getting there early gives you a huge advantage that helps you stay ahead of the crowds throughout the day.
PRO TIP: You should also arrive at least 10 minutes early for seminars and presentations! You’ll be surprised how quickly they fill up.
3. Know the design
Take some time to look at the map you received at registration to familiarize yourself with the giant center and outdoor spaces. Ideally, you can do this the night before or before the doors open. If that’s not possible, at least do it before heading off in a random direction.
It’s a good idea to mark the map with your trusty tip # pen or marker. 1. Highlight any must-see stands, newest models, and new products you really want to see.
As you do, the most effective way to see everything you want will be revealed. Don’t forget to take into account the stop for a snack and a bathroom break! Making this map can save a LOT of time, so I also recommend the following tip…
4. Plan each day the night before
If you’re attending one of the big VR shows that you can’t see in one day, I recommend planning each day the night before. Grab your map and open the show’s website to check out special events each day, including educational seminars.
As you plan, you can consider whether or not to do the following tip.
5. Divide and conquer
If you’re worried you won’t get to everything you want to do, divide and conquer! If you attend a VR show with your spouse or friends, you can cover different sections and attend different seminars.
You can then share the highlights with each other at the end of the day. This is another time when it comes in handy to take notes with your trusty Tip #1 pen!
Bonus tip: Maybe you can bring one to connect with other fans of the VR lifestyle!
6. Schedule breaks
As you plan your day, don’t forget to schedule breaks! Look for nice spots along your route that are the best place to rest and mark them.
There are usually more chairs available near food vendors and seminar areas (where you can sit between seminars). You can also schedule a lunch break when you return to your RV for lunch. This brings me to my next tip.
7. Plan your meals
There will be plenty of food around the show, but it’s usually more expensive and sometimes less convenient than eating in your RV. So, when making your daily plan, consider where you want to eat and when.
8. Don’t overdo it
While planning all these things, don’t overdo it! Seriously, take your time! There is so much to see and enjoy that you don’t want to rush.
Trying to do too much in too little time is the surest way to turn a fun VR show into a frustrating experience.
9. Enter drawings for gifts
Most vendors offer small gifts such as candy and pens. But many sellers have drawings for RV accessories, free stays at RV resorts, and other great prizes.
Someone has to win. Why not you?!
Entering a sweepstakes usually means you’ll start receiving emails and maybe even company emails, but it’s really not that bad. You can usually unsubscribe easily.
Many of these companies are small businesses, so it’s not like they’re selling your contact information. They just want to send you future promotions, which may give you a better deal on something you want.
10. Don’t buy the first one
Don’t buy the first thing you see or think you need. It is likely that another seller has the same item. You may be able to find it at a better price or choose from more styles and colors.
Mark potential purchases on your confidence map and circle back if you decide to buy.
11. Take pictures
Start with a fully charged phone and have it handy to take photos all day long. It will help you keep track of the things you want (either now or in the future). It will help you compare products and come back to your final decision.
12. Don’t pressure yourself to buy
This is an IMPORTANT TIP! Don’t feel pressured to buy that day. A few sales reps will try to push for time to make the sale. Don’t give in.
In fact, if a salesperson says, “This deal is only good for today,” you should probably walk away. In my opinion, it’s a red flag that the seller is more confident in their sales ability than in giving you a good, honest deal.
The best deal shouldn’t require you to buy a travel trailer, fifth wheel, toy hauler, motorhome, or any recreational vehicle at the end of the business day.
13. Wear comfortable shoes!
I will end this list with a very practical and vital piece of advice. Wear comfortable shoes! You will be doing a lot of walking and standing all day.
The Hershey Show, which is the largest RV show in the United States, is the size of 33 football fields! So I highly recommend wearing comfortable sneakers or even light hiking shoes!
Hershey RV Show Highlights
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Here are some highlights from our most recent trip to America’s Biggest VR Show in Hershey, Pennsylvania. We’ve been going to this show for years and it just keeps getting bigger and better.
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