Comparing and contrasting can be illuminating. Let’s do that with the Biloxi Manufactured Housing Show for 2022. This column will compare the manufactured home trade show to some of the industry trade shows of years gone by, including the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show.
Before getting to the Biloxi Show and other manufactured housing trade shows, let’s note that the Recreational Vehicle (RV) and automotive industries have trade shows too. We’ll circle back to that too herein. Then note that as with your email or text inbox, there is a routine flow of messages that come into our inboxes too. One of those included the words, “Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything more is from the Evil One.” (Matthew 5:34-37). The timing of that is interesting, because it is Sunday as this is being written. For our steady stream of new readers and as a reminder to longer visitor-viewers on MHProNews, among the meanings to the word “masthead” is an editor’s column. Opinions are not Gospel. Opinions are a dime a dozen. By contrast, facts are what they are. On this Masthead, the editorial writer strives for objectivity about evidence, reason, morality, and reality. Another short segue may help before swinging back to the problems and opportunities that trade shows represents for the manufactured housing and other industries.
There are few things more painful than to inform someone of a loss significant loss or about apparent evidence that they have been (or are being) betrayed by someone trusted.
A common reaction to evidence of betrayal is denial by the betrayed.
That’s said for several reasons that will become clear.
Odds are good that if you are older than 20, you have already been betrayed in some sense several times.
In pondering your personal experiences of betrayal, odds are you’ll agree with this statement. The closer the betrayer is to the betrayed, the greater the sting tends to be mentally, emotionally, and otherwise. But for numbers, the closer the betrayer is to the betrayed, the more likely that the idea of betrayal is so painful that the betrayed may go into denial: sometimes despite clear evidence.
For those who are not sadistic and have tried to break bad news to someone, you know that delivering bad news can be a thankless task. For such reasons, it’s common to want to avoid being the bearer of bad news. That said, let’s pivot back to trade shows in general, manufactured home shows such as Louisville, Tunica, Tulsa, and Kansas City, and the scheduled 2022 Biloxi Manufactured Housing Show specifically.
Manufactured Home Trade Shows, Past and Present
So, the historic Louisville Show – once an international event that drew mainstream media attention – was canceled for the first time in 2010. There was no pandemic. The decision was made that the industry’s business had declined so badly that having the show was too costly and risky. We can review what that decline, cancellation, and eventual comeback looked like later. But the backdrop is significant.
- “the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show, which was cancelled in 2010, after it had trended down for years prior to that point.”
More recently, “Nov 12, 2020 — The onsite Louisville Manufactured Housing Show has been cancelled for 2021,” said the Wisconsin Housing Alliance (WHA). Via Facebook, the Midwest Manufactured Housing trade group said: “The Louisville Manufactured Housing Show has been postponed until 2023.
The Midwest Manufactured Housing Federation Board of Directors has made this difficult decision in order to ensure the safety of our exhibitors and attendees amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to accommodate our manufacturing and supplier partners working to meet unprecedented product demand.”
Anyone can make an allegation. Allegations can come from sources that are trustworthy as well as from those deemed unreliable. Even a good source can get something wrong. Even a liar can at times tell the truth. Sorting out truth from fibs or fiction is part of the journalistic and editorial endeavor. But everyone who deals with the public knows that discerning the truth is also part of day-to-day living.
That’s said because a source deemed reliable with long ties to Show Ways Unlimited informed MHProNews verbally that Clayton Homes was trying to kill off the industry’s manufactured home displaying trade events. That source then ticked off some examples from the past, such as the North Carolina trade show, or more recently how Clayton attempted at significant cost a company trade show at Birmingham to allegedly rival and weaken the Tunica Show. When Clayton returned to Louisville, a source then told MHProNews that it was a “defensive” move on the part of that Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) owned brand.
Without documentation, that tip from the Show Ways source have to be carefully discerned based on various factors. Those factors include, but are not limited to, other possibly related evidence. Some might even wonder, why does it matter at all? Let’s see.
Live events, or in person contact, has its own advantages as well as costs. Zoom or other virtual communications can save travel time and mimic in person engagement. People and professionals have talked by phone for decades before smart phones or FaceTime existed. Before there was Zoom, there was GoToMeeting and other such platforms that allowed presentations and visual communications. Once novel, 3D hours of housing are now rather common.
Most of the above is demonstrably true, but some of that is plausible but unproven. Now, let’s pivot back toward the announcements about Biloxi.
- Why is it that the Biloxi Show is being associated with the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)?
- Why is it that the producers attending Biloxi who are members of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) are mentioned without mentioning MHARR? What’s up with that disparity?
- The Biloxi event may be interesting. But are there reasons to be concerned about what is going on behind the scenes that don’t make their official announcements? Are the political maneuvering’s occurring that should cause MHARR members and other industry independents cause for concern?
This Masthead editorial column is part of a planned periodic look at those topics. Because some want the industry to grow and thrive. Others have long postured that desire but have not done the common-sense things that would actually make a difference to make sustainable, ethical industry growth possible. More coming in the days ahead on Biloxi, manufactured housing, how it compares to other industry trade events, and beyond. Our industry should be soaring. Trade shows done properly could be a part of that. There is a case to be made that MHARR members should have their own trade event, that allows MHI members to come, but that is not beholden to MHI and/or MHI front groups. Stay tuned.
Persuading Americans to Consider Different Housing Options During a Growing Affordable Housing Crisis
Stay tuned for more of what is ‘behind the curtains’ as well as what is obvious and in your face reporting that are not found anywhere else in MHVille. It is all here, which may explain why this is the runaway largest and most-read source for authentic manufactured home “News through the lens of manufactured homes and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Affordable housing, manufactured homes, reports, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary. Third-party images or content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.) (See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them.)
By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.
Tony earned a journalism scholarship and earned numerous awards in history and in manufactured housing.
For example, he earned the prestigious Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied history and business management. He’s a managing member and co-founder of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.
This article reflects the LLC’s and/or the writer’s position, and may or may not reflect the views of sponsors or supporters.
Connect on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which can be accessed by clicking on them.
“Where is the ‘Equity’ for Manufactured Homes and Consumers of Affordable Housing?” – Unpacking Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform CEO Mark Weiss “Issues and Perspectives”