ORLANDO — In the face of the new normal of today’s economy, the most innovative dealerships are exploring creative strategies to generate growth, profitability and solutions to the challenges they face. Assemble the best of those strategies in one place, and you have one of the most powerful guidebooks to marine retail success available.
That’s the concept behind the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo’s Best Ideas program, which is now in its second year. Created to foster and reward dealer-to-dealer learning, it invites MDCE registrants to submit the single best idea implemented in their dealerships since last year’s MDCE by filling out a one-page application form.
The applications will go before a committee, led by Boating Industry magazine’s editor-in-chief, Liz Walz, and the dealers who submit what are chosen as the top five “best ideas” will be asked to sit on a Best Ideas Panel Discussion during this year’s conference.
Once on the panel, each of the five dealers will then present their best idea to the audience, how it worked, what they learned, and how other dealers can implement the same idea in their own businesses. A question-and-answer session will follow. After these presentations, the audience will vote on the single best idea, and the dealer who submitted that idea will be awarded the grand prize, a 16 GB Apple iPad.
In addition, dealerships will be recognized for excellence in specific categories, such as Marketing and Events, Sales and F&I, Customer Satisfaction, Service Department and Business Management.
Introduced at last year’s MDCE, the Best Ideas dealer panel was one of the most talked about sessions of the event.
“Post-event surveys revealed that the ideas presented during the Best Ideas panel discussion were among the strategies most likely to be implemented by attendees following the conference,” Walz explains. “That really demonstrates the power of this dealer-to-dealer learning opportunity.”
The ideas represented during the panel discussion offered merely a glimpse into the pool of dealer submissions. All of these ideas were shared through an e-white paper, produced by Boating Industry magazine and distributed for free throughout the industry. After the 2010 event, Boating Industry will once again publish the white paper, with the expectation that it will be packed with even more content.
To learn more about the Best Ideas in today’s marine market, make plans to attend the 2010 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, to be held in Orlando, Fla., Nov. 14-17. With three concurrent educational tracks and more than 20 all-new individual educational sessions, this event has been designed to help dealers return to the growth phase they knew prior to the economic downturn. And don’t forget to demonstrate your company’s creativity and innovation by submitting its best idea.