NORFOLK, Va. — Dominion Marine Media and the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas have partnered to bring a third season of the Marine Retail University series of one-day educational conferences to life.
Designed to take fresh professional development opportunities to marine retailers in regions throughout the country, the series stops in seven or more locations each season, which runs from September through April.
Since the launch of this event series in November 2011, it has attracted more than 700 attendees. The MRU’s success can largely be attributed to the power of industry collaboration, such as that with Norman-Spencer Marine Insurance, which has supported the event series through a title sponsorship for three years running; the state and local Marine Trade Associations that host many of its stops, and Boating Industry magazine, which serves as the exclusive media sponsor.
“We feel incredibly grateful that we are able to share our passion for education through this partnership program with MRAA,” says Courtney Chalmers, director of marketing for Dominion Marine Media. “It is important to the mission of both our organizations that educational programs in our industry continue to grow and become more widely available to dealers and other marine retailers across the country."
At each Marine Retail University, attendees participate in six educational sessions that offer local and national data, trends and best practices, as well as several networking opportunities. Topics range from analysis of the latest boat sales registration numbers and consumer research to expert advice and proven strategies in areas like succession planning, marketing, the service department, hiring and human resources, sales, and finance and insurance.
“Each year, we choose topics and speakers that provide attendees with new opportunities to improve and grow their businesses,” says Liz Walz, director of education for the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas. “For some retailers, the affordability of the MRUs makes quality professional development uniquely accessible. For others, they represent a rare opportunity to train together as a team. Either way, thanks to MRAA’s partnership with Dominion Marine Media, the MRUs offer those who participate an incredible value.”