ORLANDO, Fla. – During the final session of the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo on Wednesday, Nov. 18, organizers presented the first ever MDCE Best Ideas Panel Grand Prize to Lauren Woodard-Splatt, general manager of Woodard Marine, Lake Bomoseen, Vt.
Created to support and reward dealer-to-dealer learning, the MDCE Best Ideas program invited conference registrants to submit the single best idea implemented in their dealerships during the past year.
A panel of judges read and scored all 30 of the ideas submitted, which resulted in a field of six finalists, each of whom presented their idea during a panel discussion on Tuesday, Nov. 17.
The finalists included Lauren Woodard-Splatt, general manager, Woodard Marine, Lake Bomoseen, Vt.; Gary Poole, owner of Buckeye Marine in Bobcaygeon, Ontario; Roy Parker, president of Parker Boats in Orlando, Fla.; Barry Bensz, president of B & E Marine Inc. in Michigan City, Ind.; Jeff Wilcox, president of George’s Marine & Sports in Ottawa, Ontario; and Mark Watts, owner and president of Liquid Sports Marine in Orlando.
Once the best idea presentations were complete, more than 200 members of the audience voted on their favorite idea. Those votes were tallied, and the winner, Woodard-Splatt, was presented with the Grand Prize, a brand new Acer Aspire One 10.1″ netbook computer.
The idea she presented was a Trade-In Coupon – a sales promotion in which the dealership sent its boat storage, service and mooring customers a coupon that looked like a check made out to them in the amount of the trade value of their current boat. Through the promotion, the customer was pre-authorized to use that amount toward the purchase of a new boat package, should they decide to trade-in their current boat.
All 30 of the “best ideas” will be published by Boating Industry magazine in an e-White Paper to be distributed exclusively to MDCE attendees following the conference.
The Marine Dealer Conference & Expo is owned by the Marine Retailers Association of America, which has signed a five-year contract with Boating Industry magazine to produce the event.