MDCE launches scholarship program

MINNEAPOLIS — The Marine Dealer Conference & Expo will offer three scholarships for the first time in 2015 for dealers to attend the industry’s leading retail education and networking event. The scholarships are offered in partnership with marine trade publication Soundings Trade Only.

“We believe in the power of education to help our industry improve and grow,” says Dean Waite, publisher of Sounding Trade Only, “especially when that education brings marine businesses together to build a better boating lifestyle for our customers. That’s why we’re so passionate about providing dealers who otherwise would miss out on MDCE with a chance to participate through this new scholarship program.”

Each scholarship includes an MDCE Standard Dealer Registration, up to $450 in travel reimbursement and a three-night hotel stay at the Rosen Plaza or Rosen Centre Hotel, for a total value of $1,396 a piece.

Marine dealers can apply for a chance to receive an MDCE scholarship by completing the application available at www.mraa.com/MDCEScholarships by Wednesday, October 21. To choose the recipients, the selection committee will consider how the candidates plan to put what they learn at MDCE to work in their businesses, as well as their financial need.

This year’s event, which is scheduled to take place Nov. 15-18 at the Orange County Convention Center, Rosen Plaza Hotel and Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Fla., features 12 Pre-Conference Workshops and four concurrent Educational Tracks, including Leadership, Sales, Marketing and Service Plus, plus an MRAA Special Session and an Opening and Closing keynote.
In total, MDCE 2015 includes 35 educational offerings, and attendees are invited to choose whichever combination of sessions best fits their needs and desires. All of these educational offerings are included with a standard MDCE Registration, with the exception of the 12 Pre-Conference Workshops, which require a separate registration fee.

“Dealers tell us what an impact the relationships they build and the training they receive at MDCE has on the success of their business,” explains Liz Walz, vice president of MRAA, which produces the annual event in partnership with Boating Industry. “We are incredibly grateful to Soundings Trade Only for making it possible for us to offer that experience to a whole new audience.”
The 2015 MDCE has inspired record dealer registrations so far this year, compared to the same period of time in previous years. Inspired by marine retailers own recommendations for the ideal event, this year’s MDCE campaign theme — “Made New. By You.” — may become the rallying cry for a resurging industry.

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