Five reasons to attend ABC 2014

This year’s American Boating Congress is still more than two months away, but your deadline for getting the best rate is fast approaching.

Scheduled for May 5-7 in Washington, D.C, ABC gives anyone in the industry a great opportunity to meet with policymakers and affect the laws and regulations that affect boating. You can register all the way up to the event, but Friday is the deadline for Early Bird registration. You can sign up on the NMMA website.

ABC is something we here at Boating Industry feel is very important. It’s the reason that we’re serving as one of the co-hosts for the second year in a row. Others feel the same way, with 30 other co-hosts at last count.

With that in mind, here are five reasons to attend this year’s ABC:

1. Nothing affects your business more. From taxes to environmental regulations to healthcare reform, every aspect of your business is affected by what happens in Washington. You can hate the partisan politics and the political wrangling, but it doesn’t change the fact that these are real-life issues shaping our industry.

2. The other side is there. Take the ethanol issue, for instance. While the marine industry and affiliated groups have made great progress on revising the Renewable Fuel Standard, E15 proponents are well-organized and well-funded. They are making their voices heard on the issue and we need to as well.

3. You matter a lot more than lobbyists. The government relations staff at NMMA and MRAA do a great job advancing the industry’s goals, but nothing competes with a visit from a constituent. Tying an issue to real people, jobs and economic impact in your Congressman’s home state is powerful.

4. It’s easy. Once you sign up and let the NMMA staff know you want to make Hill visits, they’ll set them up for you with your representatives. Plus, this year’s ABC will feature an Effective Lobbying Techniques session to help you understand how to make the most of those visits.

5. It’s your business. As NMMA president Thom Dammrich says, you wouldn’t leave your marketing or your distribution in the hands of your competitor, so why would you do that with your government relations efforts? All of us need to be involved.

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