Experiential Marketing

Apple Rock Case Study 

Multi-location RV Shows

NCRVDA's Return to Live RV Shows in the Post COVID-19 World

After an absence of more than 18 months, due to COVID-19, the North Carolina RV Dealers Association was ready to return to live shows.  Apple Rock faced the challenge of producing live shows while incorporating COVID-19 safety standards and creating an environment that both attracted guests and allowed them to feel safe.


Guests Waiting for the Doors to Open

Post Covid Guest Numbers Exceeded Past Records

About the NCRVDA RV Shows

The North Carolina RV Dealers Association (“NCRVDA”) shows have been produced by Apple Rock for over 30 years.  Spanning the entire state of North Carolina, southern Virginia and northern South Carolina, the shows provide an important sales environment for the RV Dealer members of the association.  The shows have traditionally provided early and late season marketing to encourage the “RV Lifestyle.”  Following the pandemic, interest in the RV Lifestyle grew by 20% nationwide.

Key Points for Returning to In-Person Shows:

  1. Create a “safe” show environment in which both exhibitors and attendees were comfortable transacting business.
  2. Market the shows with extra enthusiasm and encouragement.


The Challenges

Over 18 months of RV Shows were cancelled during the pandemic due to local, state and federal COVID-19 mandates.  When the opportunity arose to hold the shows again, Apple Rock needed to convince the RV Dealers that the shows would be held in a “safe” manner and that all local protocols would be respected. 

Traditional ticketing practices would have to be modified as well.  Although online ticketing had been implemented prior to the pandemic, it was strongly encouraged after the pandemic. 

Due to the supply chain issues created by the pandemic, RV Dealer inventories of new product became so limited that it became the major concern of dealers about participating in the shows. 

The Solution

Apple Rock made sure that masks and hand sanitizer were available at all entrances and that a hand sanitizer station was available at the entry to each RV Dealer’s display.  A plexiglass window was added to the ticket booth to protect the ticket sellers, and re-entry hand stamps were replaced by contactless paper wristbands.

To offset low inventory of new RVs, Apple Rock encouraged the dealers to allow used inventory at the events (up to three model years).  All RV Show marketing was adapted to “new & used” RVs for sale and the show names were modified to “Show & Sale.” 


Due to the post-pandemic popularity of RVing and the 18+ month absence of RV Shows, the shows were immediately met with record attendance and record buying activity.  The new & used concept enabled the shows to be at least 80% of the pre-pandemic size.  The participating RV Dealers were thrilled with the response and sales activity.

The NCRVDA RV Shows have since returned to and exceeded their pre-pandemic levels. Apple Rock’s dedicated event management enabled the NCRVDA Shows to rebound from perhaps the worst possible scenario in event planning.  Apple Rock’s expertise and years of experience in event management kept the focus on successful events for both the RV Dealer customer and the general public. Contact Us for more information and a free consultation.