MINNEAPOLIS – General registration for the 2010 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, scheduled for Nov. 14-17, 2010, in Orlando, Fla., opened this morning, with nearly 100 industry leaders already signed up for the event. Online registration is now available at the official MDCE site, www.boatingindustry.com/MDCE.
The national dealer conference attracted 750 people in 2009 — three times as many as the 2008 event saw — and nearly 440 dealers, or more than twice as many dealers as the 2008 event. The 100 registered attendees to date are made up of mostly exhibitors.
This year’s event at the Orange County Convention Center and the Rosen Plaza Hotel represents more growth for the MDCE, which has added a third track to the educational line-up it has become known for, and it will feature an expanded exhibit hall. In fact, exhibit reservations are far ahead of last year’s total already.
“Based on last year and the buzz leading into this year’s event, we’re expecting our biggest turnout to date,” said Matt Gruhn, publisher of Boating Industry magazine, which partners with the Marine Retailers Association of America to produce the MDCE. “We’ve seen great growth over the last couple of years simply by giving the dealers more and more of what they’re looking for. With more educational opportunities, more networking time and more time in the exhibit hall, we expect to continue that growth pattern.”
The conference will once again feature a Sales & Marketing educational track and a Service Department educational track. The newest addition is a track geared specifically toward dealer principals and general managers, titled Powering Profits, which will cover pay plans, (re)building your culture, how to adopt best practices in your dealership, fact-driven dealer management and myriad best practices.
Registration options include a Full Conference Pass for $449, an Additional Attendee Full Conference Pass for $429, and a Social Registration for $179. For those who register prior to Sept. 27, 2010, however, the early bird rate will reduce the full conference passes by $50 to $399 and $379, respectively. Additionally, this year, the MRAA is also providing a $50 discount off a full conference pass to its members, reducing their rate to $349. Click here for full information on MDCE registration.
“We’re always looking to add value for our members, which is why we made the decision to provide them a discounted rate,” says Ed Lofgren, MRAA Chairman. “This year’s conference has so much quality content, we want to give something back to our members by providing them this lower rate. With that in mind, we’re effectively holding last year’s rate for them while adding a third track of content, a third networking reception and a lot more exhibit space.”
The Marine Dealer Conference & Expo is the Marine Retailers Association of America’s annual conference. Through a five-year agreement, signed in 2009, the MDCE is co-produced by the MRAA and Boating Industry magazine.
The partnership actually began in 2008 when Boating Industry magazine provided marketing support and content creation services to the MRAA in addition to helping re-brand the event. That year dealer attendance doubled, compared to the 2007 program, called the MRAA Annual Convention. Then, in 2009, aided by a move to Orlando, Fla., the partnership led to a 200-percent increase in total attendance and exponential growth in the amount of sold exhibit space.
For more information on the conference or to register, go to boatingindustry.com/MDCE.
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