Jamie Bradford, Florida resident and longtime Prevost motor home owner, found the motor home buying process to be overwhelming and difficult. In February of 2012, Bradford bought Prevost-Stuff.com due to his strong belief in Prevost products and to take the Web site to the next level. Prevost-Stuff.com is an online source for learning about and buying Prevost motor homes throughout the country. Prevost motor homes are nationally marketed on Prevost-Stuff.com and more than 95 percent of the Prevost motor homes sold each year are showcased on the Web site.
Bradford, frustrated with the buying experience of traveling across the country to look at one motor home at a time coupled with the lack of comparability, decided it was time to host an event where he could house 20+ motor homes for sale in one place. Since Florida has an extensive motor home owner community, and all the major converters have an established presence there, Bradford decided Florida was the optimal location for hosting an expo. “No one had ever held a show with all the converters together and I figured if I can make a show like this work, it would be a win-win for everyone – converters, dealers and customers,” said Bradford.
In January 2013, Bradford hosted the first Motorhome Expo at the Tampa Convention Center and was met with immediate success. All the major converters, several pre-owned dealers and a handful of vendors attended and were excited to take part in a new motor home buying experience. The Expo was held at the Tampa Convention Center for another four years, where attendance and vendor numbers continually rose. Due to the popularity of the event and limited parking, ample camping spots were becoming an issue so in February 2018, the Expo was moved to the South Florida Fairground Expo Center in West Palm Beach, Florida. The new location boasts 84,000 square feet of indoor, air-conditioned space and accommodations for more than 50 Prevost motor homes, more than 30 vendor booths and 140 full hook-up camping spots – taking the exposition to the next level and doubling attendance rates. At the 2019 show, almost 200 Prevost motor homes were present – including motor homes for sale and people attending in their own motor homes, proving the move to West Palm Beach was instrumental to the success of the event.
Since its inception, the Motorhome Expo has displayed roughly 300 motor homes, selling nearly half each year and generating sales for new production motor homes – custom-made for each client. “This show is so important for clients and potential buyers because it gives them the unique opportunity to interact with the converters, salespeople and perhaps most importantly, fellow owners who are more in-tune with their own needs and concerns. The Expo has provided clients with the buying process I was so eager to have and I am proud I can offer that to them,” says Bradford.
In response to attendees’ desires to spend more time at the event, Bradford created the VIP Camping Package in 2018 – and quickly sold out for both 2018 and 2019. The package includes camping for four nights, industry seminars hosted by Prevost and converters, receptions, dinners, nightly entertainment and “sneak previews” of the expo hall. Although this package is extremely popular, Bradford ensures the Expo is not limited to those who purchase the package. In fact, numerous people from all over the world travel to attend the event every year.
Each Prevost Motorhome Expo brings different elements to the show to ensure customers, converters, vendors and dealers obtain the most out of the experience, year after year. However, each expo takes place in February for two days and showcases roughly 50 motor homes, with dealers bringing three to five motor homes each and converters typically showcasing one pre-owned of their choosing and a few new motor homes. Additionally, each expo hosts between 25-30 vendors booths from insurance companies to motorcoach resorts.
Since moving to West Palm Beach in 2018, the Expo has provided seminars to participants – hosted by both Prevost and converters. Bradford felt the necessity for educational seminars because he wanted to offer attendees, especially those who participated in the VIP Packages, a deeper and more comprehensive experience. Each converter, as well as Prevost, presents a seminar on a topic of their choosing, which can vary widely – from the history of the converter to unique motor homes that have recently been converted.
The 2019 Motorhome Expo produced the biggest turn-out in the event’s seven years of running, with more than 500 attendees, 280 of which arrived in 140 motor homes for the VIP Package. This year 52 fully-customized Prevost motor homes, ranging from $200,000 to $3,000,000 and from a 1998 XL to the 2020 H3-45, were showcased. Overall, almost 200 Prevost vehicles were in attendance. All of the major converters were in attendance including Liberty, Marathon, Millennium, Emerald and Featherlite as well as several pre-owned dealers. Additionally, this year’s expo hosted almost 30 vendors while several Prevost and converter service vans were on hand to assist with maintenance.
The seven seminars presented at the 2019 expo were no less than extraordinary, educational and exciting. The seminar topics included: quality of care by Liberty Coach, exceptional approaches by Millennium, the uniqueness of a Featherlite by Featherlite Coach, a behind-the-scenes look by Marathon, tire care dos and don’ts by Michelin Tire and network and service/maintenance by Prevost.
“The Prevost Motorhome Expo stands as the premier event for Prevost and our motor home converter partners,” says Steve Zeigler, director, bus shell sales division. “Jamie Bradford has created a quality environment for “Everything Prevost” in which he provides a first-class presentation that allows all supporting motor home lifestyle businesses direct contact with Prevost owners and potential owners looking for the finest in luxury motor homes and services.”
Initially, the Motorhome Expo was intentionally held alongside the Florida RV Supershow as it is the largest RV show in the U.S. – hosting roughly 15,000 attendees annually. Albeit a highly beneficial and rewarding show, Bradford and Prevost alike saw the need for customers to speak directly and intimately to converters and vice versa. “Prevost needed a way to better support our converter partners in their marketing efforts since they produce the final product. We felt partnering with Jamie Bradford was an excellent opportunity to connect with our converters on another level and with clients who are serious about buying our products,” said Michael Power, director of marketing for Prevost. “We knew immediately that partnering with Jamie had the potential to be astronomically beneficial – and it has been. Prevost believed in Jamie and in turn, we wanted to help his show exceed expectations.” Although the Expo is a Prevost-branded show, the event itself is run by Bradford.
The Motorhome Expo will be held at the South Florida Fairground Expo Center in West Palm Beach, Florida in early to mid-February until at least 2025. “As for the future, I am looking forward to continual growth in attendance and the Expo itself as well as creating new and exciting events during the show to ensure customers, converters, dealers and vendors are fully enjoying their experience,” says Bradford. The 2020 expo will take place on Wednesday, February 12 and Thursday, February 13, with the VIP Camping Package event running from Monday, February 10 through Friday, February 14.