I visited the 50th anniversary CCIA Supershow at Rosehill yesterday and while there was a lot of the same as every year, there was also a major effort by the organisers to make the show more family oriented and engaging.
It seems like forever that I have been going to these shows and have exhibited a number of times, but I have to say there was a different feel to this year’s show.
Having the same features every year doesn’t make it boring, rather it makes it familiar. There was a long list of the usual suspects of displays, and exhibitors.
What has shaken up the show this year is the extraneous activities and a renewed layout.
In the past the kids that were dragged along had to endure endless caravans, motorhomes and camper trailers, all providing excellent adventure if only they were allowed to play, so after about an hour the kids became a real drag. The alternative was to leave them at home, which meant that mum and dad could wander and look in peace, but not always an option.
This year there are a number of places all well placed throughout where the kids can play and parents can sit and relax.
The best is the combination children’s play area, entertainment and champagne bar all rolled into one outside area.
I spoke to a couple of families and the general response was that not only was the play area a welcome addition, but the entertainment and bar meant that they parents could sit and relax, chat and reflect compare what they were looking at and plan a bit better what they wanted to go and revisit and see next.
They didn’t feel so overwhelmed or rushed and felt they got more out of the day and the kids could blow off steam, get their faces painted, see the reptile show and were more compliant when looking through exhibits.
Well done to the organisers.
Now to the show itself. Yes it had the same exhibitors that have been there for years and years, but new ones as well.
The revised layout (for a few years now) seems to flow better and allow easier comparisons. For example, it is unlikely that someone that is looking at a camper trailer will also be looking at a $200,000 4WD motorhome.
Some overall impressions and thoughts from the show
- What does a massage lounge chair for your home have to do with caravanning and camping?
- There seems to be an endless supply of cooking gadgets to buy, all better than the competitors
- It seems these days that almost anybody can import camping accessories from China
- The level of innovation and quality from some businesses is astounding. Take KORR lighting products, they continue to stay at the forefront of technology, are innovative in what they are designing, and provide excellent products at a reasonable price.
- 4WD Motorhomes are becoming more prevalent, with long time proponents like Trakka at the forefront, but some new entrants as well.
- Camper trailers seem to be getting bigger, more complicated and heavier every year. Which goes against the very thing that made them popular in the first place. Simplicity, light weight and inexpensive.
- The Hybrid camper continues to grow in size and market share.
- I wonder how many buyers of heavy 4WD caravans that weigh upwards of 2500kg actually go off road
- Jayco is still the Bunnings of the RV industry. A category killer with offerings in every segment of the market.
- There must be a factory in China that is mass producing camper trailers all the same but with different names on them
- If you take the time to weed out the pretenders and sales wankers (often dressed in Khaki) there are some genuine, down to earth exhibitors that are worth getting to know and stop and have a yarn with. Like the guys from Hillbilly Camping, the editor of ROAM magazine, Biji-Barbi, KORR lighting, Ya Mate, etc.
- Some people just want to sell you something, other obviously want to sell you their products, but also engage you as a person.
There are two days left of this year’s Caravan and Camping Supershow and it probably is the best show they have done. Make sure you get down and have a wander through over the weekend. It definitely is worth the visit.