April MDCE registrations break record

Organizers of marine retailers’ premier annual educational event report they have once again seen strong demand for the year’s best registration prices, announcing a record number of dealer sign-ups at April rates.

A total of 169 retailers registered for the 2016 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo during the month of April, two more than the high water mark set last year. Those taking advantage of the month’s special pricing enjoyed a $50 instant savings over the full price ticket — with members of the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas eligible for an additional $75 discount.

“While this record was broken by a relatively slim margin,” MRAA Vice President Liz Walz said, “it is particularly noteworthy because the industry is experiencing one of the busiest spring seasons in recent years — and because the event takes place in December, three weeks later than its traditional November time frame.”

The 2016 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, produced jointly by the MRAA and Boating Industry magazine, will take place Dec. 5-8 in Orlando. Some of the benefits of the later time frame include fewer scheduling conflicts with key events like the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show and the Marine Equipment Trade Show in Amsterdam.

“The December dates are also likely to allow marine retailers in northern climates to be further along in their boat winterization and storage processes,” Jonathan Sweet, editor-in-chief of Boating Industry, said. “This may prompt some dealerships to participate for the first time and others to register more team members.”

Sponsorships for MDCE 2016 are likewise off to a fast start, with the conference’s top “Powered By” tier nearly sold out.

The strong April numbers, coupled with the later dates, put MDCE 2016 on track to see the highest attendance to date. In 2015, a total of 1,147 marine industry professionals from throughout North America and as far away as Australia traveled to Orlando for MDCE, which featured a sold-out expo hall filled with more than 100 exhibitors.

Dealers can still register for MDCE 2016 and save $25 off standard rates; MRAA members will continue to save an additional $75.

About the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo

The marine industry’s only dealer-specific educational conference, MDCE offers an in-depth lineup of educational topics, a full-featured expo hall and a series of fixed networking opportunities, all of which are designed to help marine dealers connect with and learn from others who can foster their success. MDCE is co-produced by MRAA and Boating Industry, and it features Educational Tracks, Pre-Conference Workshops, Opening and Closing Keynote presentations, Learning Labs, and for the first time ever, Dealer-to-Dealer Roundtable Discussions. The 2016 event will be held Dec. 5-8 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. The host hotel is the Rosen Centre. For more information, visit marinedealerconference.com.

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