MAATS expects boost from new location, features

CHICAGO, Ill. – With a new location in Orlando, Fla., and the addition of several new features, the National Marine Manufacturers Association expects the 2009 Marine Aftermarket Accessories Trade Show, taking place July 15-17 at the Orange County Convention Center, to be an “ideal venue for new business opportunities amid the recession,” NMMA reported in a release this week.

“We recognize the economic climate presents numerous challenges to our industry, notably, travel budgets, and so we’ve created a worthwhile, valuable event that will allow attendees to walk away with real, tangible benefits,” said Ben Wold, executive vice president of NMMA. “MAATS is a crucial venue for U.S. accessory manufacturers, buyers and dealers to conduct business and we’re enhancing the agenda this year to offer additional means for attendees to walk away having received the most for their time and money.”

MAATS is launching a Green Product Zone to help accessory manufacturers showcase their eco-friendly products to buyers onsite and create a marketing opportunity for winners post-show. The Green Product Zone will feature a prominent display area within the show floor, helping to draw attention to participating green aftermarket products and accessories.

Also new to MAATS 2009 are three seminars tailored specially for dealers, exhibitors and buyers on how to improve their business. The three seminars are:

  • Improving Dealer Margins Through Online Education, hosted by long-time West Marine Buyer Richard Mundell, on Wednesday, July 15, from 10:00-11:00 a.m. The seminar illustrates how online training can address potential factors that reduce sales in a cost-efficient way.
  • Using eLearning to Improve Your Sales and Margins, also hosted by Richard Mundell, on Thursday July 16, from 9:00-10:00 a.m. The seminar outlines why eLearning should be a priority and how it can open up options not considered feasible until now through blogs, SharePoint, social networks and more.
  • Enhanced Marine Retail 101, hosted by Ocean Marketing CEO John Thommen and West Marine’s Dan Aulwurm, on Thursday, July 16 from 10:00-11:00 a.m. This seminar is designed to help accessory manufacturers prepare their products for the marine retail environment and emphasizes the four Ps – Pricing, Packaging, Programs and Presentation.
  • Additional new business opportunities happening at MAATS 2009 include the buyer-supplier meetings, which provide an opportunity for exhibitors and buyers to conduct business in a face-to-face environment; daily new product previews; and the National Marine Distributors Association’s S.T.E.P. Purchasing Conference July 13-14.

    Registration is free for dealers and buyers. MAATS is co-located with the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, the world’s largest sportfishing trade show, giving attendees a chance to attend two shows in one. For more information, visit or contact Stephen Evans at 312-946-6238;

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