The first show since NTP, Stag-Parkway and Coast Distribution all combined offered one large buying venue for dealers.
NEW ORLEANS – More than 2,500 people turned out for NTP-STAG’s distributor show, dubbed The Expo, to shop from nearly 200 exhibitors.
This year’s show, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, marked the first time that formerly separate distributors NTP, STAG and Coast Distribution were all together under one roof as a combined company. And while show officials didn’t release numbers, the expectation was that it would be the largest RV distributor show ever in terms of dealer turnout and sales.
“We don’t have the numbers in yet, but we’ve definitely exceeded any show we’ve done before, so we’re real pleased,” said Bill Rogers, NTP-STAG vice president and general manager. “I’m sure the numbers will exceed anything we’ve done in the past.”
For their part, vendors remarked positively on the volume of traffic and commerce throughout the two-day show.
“It’s gone very well,” Chase Healy, Furrion director of specialty vehicle sales, said late in the closing
day of the two-day event. “We’ve sold a lot of product.”
“Sales-wise, it was huge for us,” said Bob Brammer, president of Stromberg Carlson, who noted the company
saw particularly strong orders for its jacks. The NTP-STAG show “exceeded our expectations,” he added.
“It went well; we moved a lot of systems – even better than we expected going in,” said Erik Guldager,
national sales manager, mobile products, for Winegard. The supplier launched three major products at the NTP-
STAG show and got “an incredibly good response on our new, low-cost Dish Playmaker satellite product. Dealer
feedback on that product was wonderful,” he said.
Valterra CEO George Grengs commented favorably on the “excellent dealer attendance,” noting that “it looked
to be the largest show on record for the RV aftermarket.” Valterra reported that its best sellers at the show
included its Dominator Sewer Kits and its Pure Power and Odorlos Tank Treatments.
Debuting New Ordering Technology
The busy opening afternoon led to a shortage of order forms as dealers stopped by on the opening day to pick
up forms as part of a shopping process. Still, by the next day, the buyers’ demand for order forms appeared
met, leaving vendors to collect purchases throughout much of the day.
In future years, the need for a paper supply could become a contingency, as NTP-STAG tested an electronic
ordering system on 49 iPads at the show. That system operates like many online shopping carts, allowing buyers
to search through the NTP-STAG parts catalog for stock keeping units (SKUs) from NTP, Stag and Coast. Totals
are given in either Canadian or U.S. dollars, based on preference.
NTP-STAG’s parent company, Keystone Automotive, first tested the idea with a smaller batch of iPads at an
automotive show in Canada in July. The distributor used the NTP-STAG show to debut a larger rollout of the
Patrick Stevenson, who oversees information technology for NTP-STAG, said that the idea is to eventually
replace the paper shopping and ordering system with a more advanced version of the electronic system being
“The engine is just a search, and it differs from VIA as a value to suppliers,” he said. “It’s a cross-
reference search for parts, so you’re not going to look by part type to find (for example) a hitch, but if I
know my part type – whether its NTP, Stag, Coast or manufacturer part number – the results start to narrow
As he punched a number into the search bar, a dropdown list populated and began to narrow product options as
he reached the end of the SKU, before finally offering options of products.
The electronic system has some advantages over the paper standard, Stevenson said. Most notably, a full
electronic rollout – which the company hopes to achieve in the coming years – would minimize the amount of
paper used at the shows.
“The amount of paper that is used at a combined event like this is monumental,”
Stevenson said. “We brought more paper to this show than we did all four automotive big shows in the spring,
and the demand has been overwhelming.”
Still, it is unlikely that the paper system will ever become entirely obsolete, according to Stevenson, who
noted that it will likely play a role as a backup to the electronic system in the future.
“You always want to have a Plan B because you’re subject to connectivity challenges,” he said. “So we’ll
always have a Plan B in the form of paper, but the goal is to go into the electronic era full steam ahead, and
then maybe in conjunction with some combination of devices at booths and/or devices within the customer’s
Terry Trailer Auction Garners Money for Hall of Fame
At the close of the show on Jan. 20, NTP-STAG officials named the winner of a silent auction for a fully
restored 1978 Terry travel trailer, with all proceeds being donated to the RV/MH Hall of Fame.
Urs Buechin, owner of Heidi’s RV Superstore in Hawkestone, Ontario, won the auction, with a winning bid of
“NTP-STAG believes in the RV Hall of Fame mission, and we are happy to offer up the Project Terry Trailer as
a fundraising tool to help the Hall of Fame continue its good work,” John Spaulding, NTP-STAG marketing
director, RV said. “All the proceeds of the silent auction, plus a $5,000 contribution by NTP-STAG will go
the the RV Hall of Fame.”
The trailer was restored with new brakes, bearings, hubs, tires and wheels, as well as siding, an awning, a
new roof, vents and graphics. On the interior, new lights, toilet, sinks, tanks, furnace, air conditioning,
refrigerator, range, water heater, furniture, counters, floors and woodwork were installed.
Project Terry sponsors include Carefree of Colorado, Coleman-Mach, Dicor, Husky Towing Products, JR
Products, Norcold, Powerhouse Products, Suburban, Thetford, Valterra, Ventline by Dexter and Winegard.