Last call: MDCE early bird registration ends today

Marine retailers planning to attend the 2016 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo have just today — Friday, Sept 23 — before special Early Bird Registration pricing expires. Each registration processed before 11:59 p.m. EST today, qualifies for an instant $25 discount per attendee, and members of the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas can also enjoy an additional $75 in savings.

As of the end of the day Thursday, more than 400 retailers have registered for the MDCE, keeping the event on pace to set records for dealer attendance. More than 33 percent of those registrants will be attending MDCE for the first time in 2016.

A total of 169 marine retailers registered for MDCE during the month of April, setting a new record, and August registrations were up nearly 5 percent year-over-year, according to organizers. In addition, year-to-date, retail registrations were up 13 percent as of the end of August, compared to the same time in 2015 — putting the 2016 MDCE on track to be one of the largest to date.

“Dealers are responding in large numbers to the incredible educational line-up we’ve created for this year’s event,” MRAA Vice President Liz Walz said. “We are particularly excited about our three keynote sessions, our dealer-to-dealer roundtables and the dealer case studies, and believe those sessions are driving the dealer interest to new heights.”

Manufacturers and suppliers are responding positively, as well, as their support is also outpacing that of 2015. The MDCE’s top “Powered By” sponsorship tier is nearly sold out, and several new exhibitors will be on display for the first time in 2016.

Taking place two weeks later in the calendar than usual, the new December dates avoid scheduling conflicts tied to winterization chores and hunting seasons, as well as events such as the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show and Marine Equipment Trade Show in Amsterdam.

“We believe these new December dates are also adding to the excitement and attracting a host of new dealers and exhibitors to the event,” Jonathan Sweet, editor-in-chief of Boating Industry, said. “With all of the excitement surrounding the new educational programming, the new dates, and the new ways that MDCE can help dealers grow, we believe this record pace of registrations will continue all the way through the event.”

Jointly produced by the MRAA and Boating Industry magazine, MDCE is the premier educational conference designed exclusively for marine retailers and takes place Dec. 5-8 in Orlando.

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