From an all-new educational lineup to new networking opportunities, there are plenty of reasons for dealers to come to Orlando for this year’s Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, produced by Boating Industry and the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas.
Here are 13 of the best reasons to join more than 1,000 of your fellow marine professionals Nov. 17-20 in Orlando.
To register or for more information on the event, visit MRAA.com/event/MDCE.
1. Keynote speaker – Jeffrey Gitomer
For several years, Gitomer has been one of the most-requested speakers by MDCE attendees. He’ll be making his MDCE debut as Monday night’s keynote speaker, kicking off the conference.
Gitomer is the author of 11 books, including four New York Times best sellers, and has sold millions of books worldwide. Gitomer’s keynote will focus on the strategies that your business can adopt to attract and keep today’s consumers and how dealers can set their business apart from the competition. Visit MRAA.com/event/MDCE to see a video of Gitomer (and other MDCE speakers).
2. All-new workshop series
For the first time, this year MDCE will feature a series of pre-conference workshops giving dealers a chance to take a deep dive into important topics in a small-group setting on Monday, the day before the regular sessions begin. The seven in-depth workshops, with topics ranging from boosting your boat show sales to building a service menu, allow the kind of hands-on work not available in a regular session.
3. Industry Leaders panel
We’ll be bringing some of the leading executives in the marine industry together to talk about where the industry is today and where we’re headed in 2014 and beyond. Audience members will also have a chance to ask the panel questions during this always-popular session.
4. Leadership guru – John Spence
When Apple needed to figure out its plan for moving forward after Steve Jobs’ death, John Spence is the guy they called. He’ll be delivering three different sessions at MDCE, including one of the Monday workshops.
5. And more new speakers
Gitomer and Spence aren’t the only new faces at MDCE this year. There are several others bringing their expertise to Orlando. Branding consultant David Arvin will help dealers and manufacturer reps create a competitive advantage that will persuade more customers to walk through the door in two different sessions. Chip Thomas, one of the most successful salesmen in the auto industry, will share his secrets of success. Steve Cohn, the king of customer satisfaction, will offer best practices for creating a customer-centric culture. And Kathi Kruse will help you rethink your social media efforts.
6. … plus the best of the past
MDCE is also bringing back the highest-rated speakers from the past, including Sam Dantzler (who received the highest MDCE attendee scores ever for his seminars last year), Josh Chiles, Don Cooper, Valerie Ziebron, David Parker and more. All of these returning favorites are bringing all-new presentations to MDCE.
7. Best Ideas program
Every year, Boating Industry and MDCE gather the best ideas from dealers throughout North America. We pick the very best and have those dealers share them in this popular panel discussion, as well as the annual Best Ideas white paper.
8. The New Faces of Boating
We’ve all seen the stats: demographic changes are drastically reshaping the country and the boating industry. But what do you do with that information? In this panel discussion, you’ll hear from leading dealers who have found success selling to Hispanics, African Americans, Asians and other diverse audiences.
9. Concrete takeaways
One of the best things about MDCE is that even if you can’t make every session you want to, you get to take MDCE home with you. Included in a full conference registration are the PowerPoint presentations from all of the sponsors. Plus, after MDCE, attendees get access to seminar recordings.
10. Poolside Fiesta
It’s not all work. This year, MDCE will kick off with a poolside networking reception featuring a Mexican fiesta theme. The reception will feature a mariachi band, as well as Tex-Mex hors d’oeuvres and a hosted beer, wine and margarita bar. Its just one of eight networking receptions, meals and coffee breaks included in the MDCE registration.
11. Top 100 Gala
The Top 100 Gala is a celebration of not only the Top 100 dealers, but the entire industry. Even if you’re not on the Top 100, you can learn from these elite members of the boating industry. Non-Top 100 dealers can purchase tickets by contacting Susan Clement at firstname.lastname@example.org.
12. Packed Expo Hall
With more than 100 exhibitors from boat builders to service providers to other manufacturers and more, the Expo Hall is a great place to look for new products, network with your current partners and gather information.
13. There’s an app for that
Want to get an early start on your MDCE planning? Then you’ll want to download the first MDCE mobile app, now available for iPhone/iPad and Android phones and tablets. Just go to your app store of choice and search for “MDCE” to download the free app. It’ll allow you to manage your schedule, plan your time on the show floor and follow all the social media action.