Planning for the next Super Bowl

Once you put on a big event for the first time, you start to have a different perspective about all events, whether you’re there as a spectator, a participant or the producer.

Take the Super Bowl, for example. The planning that goes into an event like that starts years beforehand, typically three to five years, to be exact. Once that may have surprised me, but having had a hand in putting on a few events of our own, that’s no longer the case.

In fact, Boating Industry is already hard at work planning for our “Super Bowls” – the 2011 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo (produced in partnership with the Marine Retailers Association of America) and the 2011 Top 100 Dealers Program. We work on both programs all year long. And, if you haven’t heard, we recently announced two new developments.

A new location and new dates have been selected for MDCE 2011. This year’s event will take place at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center hotel, Nov. 6-9. And while some aspects of the event will stay the same – it will once again feature three tracks of seminars, and more than 100,00 square feet of expo space – you’re also in for some surprises. For instance, the show will feature a new layout intended to bring exhibitors and attendees together for more one-on-one interaction. To learn more, visit

In addition, the 2011 Top 100 Dealers Application has been made available for download on the Boating Industry website. After tabulating the results of the first-ever Top 100 Dealers Survey, we responded to dealer feedback and moved the deadline a month earlier to June 15, 2011. To download this year’s application, please visit the Top 100 section of and click on “Application.” (Look below the Top 100 logo on the right-hand side of the page.)

Each year, we begin planning for these events a little earlier. One of the lessons we’ve learned from experience is that success always comes back to preparation.

MDCE and the Top 100 are our annual Super Bowls. What is your BIG event of the year and how do you prepare? What lessons have you learned over the years?

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