Just before Covid-19 hit the Australian market, Caravan Industry Victoria opened the doors to their 66th Victorian Caravan, Camper & Touring Supershow. And what a show it was!
Words Irene Viergever – photos Tara Leach
Not just your typical Caravan Show: the Victorian Caravan, Camping & Touring Supershow is the largest caravan and camping exhibition in Australia, with over 250 exhibitors spread over a total of 51,650 sqm of exhibitor space. This year’s Supershow commenced on Thursday 22nd February and welcomed a total of 45,726 visitors over the 5 days. Due to recent restrictions, the big RV event was the last major Australian Caravan Show open to the public for the 2020 show season to date.
The Victorian Supershow was again an event not to miss, as this show is getting bigger and better every year with a broad variety of education, entertainment, and innovation for all experience levels of travellers. Visiting the immense show, you will see a remarkably diversified crowd, including Millennials preparing for their first trip, young families looking for their new family van, experienced travellers like the Grey Nomads and everything in between. One of the focus groups for the Victorian Supershow is the novice traveller. Caravan Industry Victoria Chief Executive Officer Rob Lucas explains: “The Victorian Supershow is the best place for a novice to come, because in one place any and all questions that you might have will be answered. Whether it is with our Industry Expert – it might be a technical matter – or you are looking for a Caravan, Pop Top or Motorhome: Any type of product is here, plus all the accessories.” The Supershow gives consumers the opportunity to come, compare, explore and plan their next Australian adventure. Most important: it is a fun day out for every member of the family.
Education & Entertainment in one place
Over the last years, the Caravan Industry Victoria added a lifestyle element to all their industry shows, resulting in a more festive vibe. Walking around the Melbourne Showgrounds, you will come across a number of live acts, kids activities, opportunities to win prizes and interactive demonstrations. Centre of these activities is the BMPRO Campground; the ultimate place to recharge during a full day of walking and exploring.
These lifestyle and entertainment elements go hand in hand with another major objective for the Victorian Supershow: Education. Rob Lucas said; “When towing a vehicle there are several factors consumers need to be aware of, and although a lot of this information will come from the manufacturers or dealers, consumers don’t know what they don’t know. It is our job as an Association to help educate consumers to ensure they have the safest holiday possible”. Educational demonstrations by a team of Industry Experts include towing, weights, travelling with pets, reptile awareness and more, all with the goal to help keep the consumer safe while travelling Australia.
Another point of difference for the Victorian Supershow is the stringent regulations around businesses who may exhibit. Rob Lucas – Chief Executive Officer of Caravan Industry Victoria: “We understand and value the trust the consumers put to our shows, and so our caravan and RV exhibitors must go through our stringent business audits to qualify to become a member of the Association, and then when a member they have the ability to apply to exhibit. This means when consumers come to the Victorian Caravan, Camping & Touring Supershow or, one of our other three others throughout the year, consumers know they are dealing with a reputable manufacturer or dealer; a business who aims to deliver best practices. It allows consumers to rest assured planning their next adventure is done right- that they are in good hands with our members”.
Free entry for all CFA and MFB Firies
Before the Covid-19 crisis hit globally, Australia had another major battle to fight: bushfires. Record-breaking temperatures and months of severe drought resulted in a devastating bushfire season last summer, which had a major effect on local communities and the RV industry.
The hard work and dedication of all firefighters and volunteers has not gone unnoticed by the Victorian population during the crisis and therefore the Caravan Industry Victoria expressed their gratitude by offering free Supershow entree to all CFA and MFB Firefighters. CEO Rob Lucas: “Offering free entry for all firefighters is a small thank you, one that allows us as an Association, on behalf of our members to reach the firefighters directly. The State’s firefighters have spent weeks and months protecting our homes and assets across the state, and all deserve to have a day out, and maybe even plan their next adventure and getaway”.
Now that the fire season is behind us and Covid-19 restrictions are starting to be eased, it is a priority for Australians to support local communities and economies. Multiple nation-wide initiatives have been rolled out over the last months, including Keep on Camping, Camp at Home Heroes and the latest We are Open campaign.
Event partner Truma
Celebrating 70 years in manufacturing, Truma is excited to be the major sponsor for the 2020 Victorian Caravan, Camping & Touring Supershow. Aboutcamp BtoB spoke to Paul Widdis, General Manager of Leisure-Tec, part of Truma Group in Australia.
Aboutcamp BtoB: What makes the Melbourne show different from other shows?
Paul Widdis: The Truma Victorian Caravan, Camping & Touring Supershow is one of the prestige shows of the year. It starts off the show calendar being held in February every year, so most manufacturers leverage this opportunity to launch their new products. It also brings much attention to the industry from various media, most notable in 2020 live national Television broadcasts. It also is a very interactive show with so much to see and do (especially for the kids).
Aboutcamp BtoB: What are some of the reasons you became a naming partner for the Melbourne show?
Paul Widdis: Simply, brand exposure, and what better way to get out there than partnering with the premier show of the year! It is a great partnership. We feel that this is a great opportunity and fit for the Truma brand. Truma’s core values Reliability, Customer Service and Quality are closely shared by the Caravan Industry Association Victoria; and together our partnership will continue to support the industry to grow bigger and stronger.
Other sponsors for this year’s Victorian Caravan, Camping & Touring Supershow are AL-KO, Dometic, G&S Chassis, BMPRO and Matthew Steers.
Victorian RV Industry
It is not a coincidence that the largest Australian industry show is located in Melbourne Victoria, considering 90% of the Australian Caravans are built in Victoria. The state’s industry contributed more than $2.1 billion to Victoria’s economy in 2019 and employed almost 6,600 Victorians in caravan manufacturing, retail, repair and servicing. Therefore Victoria is considered the home of caravan manufacturing in Australia.