Prioritize strategies for improvement at MDCE 2014

MINNEAPOLIS — It’s not uncommon to read a great book, attend an eye-opening seminar or finish up a powerful 20 Group meeting and come away from the experience feeling inspired, but also overwhelmed. The trick is to have a process for harnessing the key take-aways from that experience and channeling them into the areas of your business that require the most TLC.

At the 2014 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, taking place Nov. 16-19 in Orlando, Fla., veteran business consultant Pat Kennedy of Parker Business Planning will help attendees organize and prioritize the abundance of good ideas they will accumulate at MDCE so that they can get the most out of their implementation back at the dealership.

In the MDCE session, “Prioritizing for the Principal,” dealers will identify their company’s biggest challenges, develop simple strategies for the most important areas of their businesses and gain a better understanding of the special role they play as dealership principal in the execution of company initiatives. Attendees will walk away from this session with downloadable tools that simplify a dealership’s financial data for better overall decision-making. The session takes place Tuesday, Nov. 18 from 1 to 2:15 p.m. ET as part of MDCE’s Leadership Track.

“Pat’s session is intended to help dealers sort through all the information that they and their teams learned throughout the conference,” explains Liz Walz, director of education for the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas, which produces the annual event in partnership with Boating Industry. “Then, they’ll learn how to turn it into actionable items that can truly make a difference in their day-to-day business operations.”

Each of the 2014 MDCE educational tracks — Sales, Marketing, Leadership and Service Plus — has a total of five sessions each. The Leadership Track includes sessions covering everything from Kennedy’s advice on improving dealership decision-making to creating a strategic plan; protecting your business, your family and your wealth; and understanding employee motivation and engagement, among other topics.

“Attending MDCE each year is a great strategy for your business, but it’s only valuable if you are able to put the good ideas you learn at the conference to work for you once you return home to the dealership,” says Boating Industry editor-in-chief Jonathan Sweet. “After making the financial and time commitment to attend MDCE, Pat’s informative session is a can’t-miss stop for dealership principals.”

The 2014 MDCE will offer 30 educational sessions in all, the most the event has ever offered, including seven Pre-Conference Workshops. The conference has traditionally included three educational tracks, but in 2014, it has expanded to four tracks: Leadership, Sales, Marketing and Service Plus. A Closing Keynote address also has been added this year.

The MDCE is scheduled for Nov. 16-19 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. It has attracted an increasing number of dealers every year since 2007. In 2013, MDCE featured double-digit growth in dealer attendance, for a total of 615 marine retail professionals. MRAA’s goal is to grow the event to more than 1,000 dealer attendees. To learn more, visit

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