Successful MDCE closes after record dealer attendance

Marine Dealer Conference & Expo
November 19, 2012
Filed under News

Press Release

November 16, 2012 – Boating Industry magazine and the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas announced today that the 2012 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, the premier education event for boat dealers, attracted a record number of attendees and expo space this past week in Orlando.

Nearly 1,000 members of marine industry attended the conference this year at the Orange County Convention Center. More than 500 dealers attended this year’s MDCE, an increase of 7 percent over 2011. With more than 183,000 square feet of exhibit space and more than 100 sponsors and exhibitors, this year’s expo hall was also the largest yet.

This year’s MDCE featured more than 20 educational sessions, networking events and more. Hundreds of dealers attended the three tracks of educational sessions: Sales & Marketing, Powering Profits and Service & Marina. Topics ranged from the changing demographics of the country to showroom design to improving service department profitability.

“We’re thrilled because the educational opportunities that this event features are the central focus of the MDCE,” explains Matt Gruhn, president of the MRAA, “and from start to finish, the educational sessions received rave reviews. As an example, a first-time dealer attendee walked out of the very first session of the event and told me that that session’s content had just paid for his entire trip. We received that kind of sentiment all week long.”

MDCE also featured the conference’s first manufacturers’ rep seminar, a half-day workshop run by Don Cooper, The Sales Heretic. The event garnered extensive positive reviews and was attended by more than 100 manufacturers’ reps.

Several companies sponsored this year’s MDCE:

  • Powered By Sponsors: ADP Lightspeed, ARI, Boat Trader, Forest River Marine, Manheim Specialty Auctions, Nautic Global Group, Regal Marine, Starcraft Marine & the Smoker Craft Family of Products and Volvo Penta
  • 2012 Digital Sponsor: Global Marine Insurance
  • Official Sponsors: Bennington Marine, Brunswick Boat Group, GE Capital and Tigé Boats
  • Best Ideas Program Sponsor: Boat Trader
  • Service & Marina Track Sponsor: Marine Mechanics Institutes

Visit for more coverage of MDCE.

About the MRAA: Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2012, the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas is the only North American association dedicated to furthering the interests of boat and engine dealers and other marine-related retailers throughout North America. For more information, visit

About Boating Industry: Boating Industry serves the marine industry through its mission to be a source of Intelligence you can profit from, in person at events such as MDCE, online at, through in-depth white papers and in the magazine.


Feel free to leave a comment...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!