MDCE sets dealer attendance record

The final attendance numbers are in, and organizers of the 2016 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo – which took place Dec. 5-8 at the Orange County Convention Center and Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando – are thrilled with their results.

In total, 640 marine dealers attended MDCE 2016, which represents an increase of more than 5 percent compared to last year and a new record for the event. The 2016 MDCE featured 30-plus educational sessions, including four Educational Tracks: Leadership, Sales, Marketing and Service Plus, and 11 Pre-Conference Workshops. Organizers also added a Breakfast Keynote speech to the traditional Opening and Closing Keynote addresses, more than two-dozen Dealer-to-Dealer Roundtable Discussions, an Innovation Spotlight and more Learning Lab experts than ever before to this year’s event. Taking the stage to present this education were 36 presenters, including experts in nearly every facet of marine retailing.

“While we are delighted that the show attracted record numbers of retailers, the real measurement of MDCE’s success is in the results dealers achieve in the year ahead,” said Liz Walz, vice president and director of education for the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas, which co-produces the annual event with Boating Industry magazine. “We are optimistic about those results as attendees’ session evaluations – which ask about the usability of what they learned – also hit a record high this year.”
In addition to its educational offerings, the 2016 MDCE featured more than 100 booths in its expo hall, staffed by more than 436 manufacturer and supplier representatives.

“What dealers, exhibitors and speakers are telling us,” said Boating Industry Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Sweet, “is that MDCE 2016 brought them together to learn and build connections like never before.”

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