Industry interview – the Adria NEC replacement

Adria take to the road in place of the NEC

By William Coleman

This year’s caravan shows, dealer exhibitions and manufacturer displays have all had to be scaled back or cancelled altogether. With such a high demand for caravans and motorhome, Adria decided to take the show on the road.

At this time of year, the CaravanTimes team would ordinarily be at the NEC Caravan and Motorhome Show covering all the news and info for the 2021 season. Due to the events of this year, both the October and February shows have been cancelled, but the industry rolls on.

Dealers are open, manufacturers are building vans and touring folk are going away on holiday. So the show must go on and Adria is an example of how to bring the newest offerings to the public.

A couple of weeks ago we reported on the Adria dealer roadshow and wanted to know more about where the idea came from and what Adria hoped to achieve.

This week we caught up with Kirstie Howe, part of Adria’s UK marketing team, about the roadshow and what the future may look like when it comes to showing off stock to the masses.

CT – This year yourself and the Adria team had quite a unique idea to counteract there being no NEC show, can you tell me a little bit about it?

Kirstie – We feel the October NEC Show is such a fundamental part of the launch of the new season products, it seemed such a shame that our existing and prospective customers would miss this chance.

With our demo fleet of caravans and motorhomes already produced and following the success of our Trade Launch in July, we felt the perfect alternative would be for us to bring our products to the customer instead and ensure that a large range of models could be viewed in one place at one time.

CT- Where did the idea come from?

Kirstie – Season 2021 saw the launch of many new products for us including our NEW Generation Coral, Matrix and Adora ranges. These are our bread and butter ranges and following years of development to create such innovative products, we naturally wanted everyone to see them and generate the same excitement as we would do for people willing to travel to Birmingham to view them as they usually would.

Dealer roadshows are something we have been considering for some time and many of our dealers host open events throughout the year but we wanted to try out an Adria exclusive open event where the main focus was on the Adria brand and at the beginning of the new season. To provide our dealers with a demo fleet of vehicles for customers to view at the earliest opportunity, even prior to dealerships receiving their own stock. We also heavily promoted these events through our own channels to generate interest and footfall to the dealerships.

CT – What are the benefits for both Adria and the dealerships taking part in the roadshow?

Kirstie – Our main goal is for the customer to benefit from our idea and be able to have a similar experience to visiting the Adria stand during the NEC, a wide range of products on display and one-on-one time with a salesperson, but at their convenience. However, both Adria and our dealerships see a huge benefit to hosting an event like this to increase brand exposure and generate a large number of sales as they would usually during the NEC Show. We managed to get 16 events booked across the UK through our dealer network, which is a fantastic result.

CT – From what I can tell, Adria is the first to do something like this. Can you see other manufacturers adopting a similar idea?

Kirstie- Whilst the circumstances are what they are, we simply wanted to make the best out of the current times. After seeing the success of this type of event so far and the fact the dealerships are still entering the new season with as much enthusiasm as they usually would it means this may become a more regular thing and other manufacturers may be keen to do something similar. With the confirmed absence of the NEC Show in February 2021, dealerships are already discussing potentially hosting another spring event to compensate for this which would be a positive step into the new year.

CT – How has it been so far?

Kirstie – We have genuinely been blown away by the numbers of attendees and the sales figures during these events. We think the customers quite enjoy the more personal experience and some have booked appointments to ensure they have more time with the salesperson to complete their sale. The response to our new model ranges has been great and people have travelled 100 miles plus to ensure they see them at the earliest opportunity.
This response really does cement the fact we have launched the right products and the dealer roadshows have achieved exactly what we hoped they would.

CT – The roadshow is almost over, how many more destinations are there left?

Kirstie – With a total of 16 booked which started from the beginning of September and move into mid-November, we now have ten events remaining. All of which can be found here, Adria events.

CT – Will you do something like this again?

Kirstie – With the absence of the shows this season, the idea to replace them with these events was intended to be a temporary solution. However, due to their success, this is definitely something we may consider again in season 2022. Bringing the vehicles to the customer has been a different yet incredibly positive experience for them, our dealerships and for Adria and ensured that we all entered season 2021 with the same drive and determination in which we always do.