American Boating Congress extends general session, adds industry panel

This year’s American Boating Congress (May 9-11) includes several additions to aid attendees in maximizing their time on Capitol Hill and with advocacy efforts throughout the year.

Highlights include a new extended two-day General Session, new Marine Industry Panel – the Power of Advocacy on Friday, and new Millennial Happy Hour, plus a robust lineup of Issue Workshops, the popular and must-attend Hill visits, and much more. Here’s a complete rundown of special sessions, workshops and events:

Wednesday, May 9

Welcome Lunch & Eddie Smith Manufacturer of the Year Award Presentation – Join us as we officially kick off the 2018 American Boating Congress for a luncheon and special presentation of the Eddie Smith Manufacturer of the Year Award, honoring leaders in conservation.

Issue Workshops

Putting Out the Welcome Mat for Foreign Flagged Yacht
Modernizing Recreational Fishing Saltwater Policy
Conservation and Regional Policy Issues Impacting Boating: Everglades, Aquatic Invasive Species, and Pacific Salmon
Trade Updates from Around the Globe: North American Free Trade Agreement and Beyond
Trade: How Aluminum Tariffs Could Impact Your Bottom Line
Workforce Development
Reducing Regulatory Burdens and Ensuring Business Compliance
Water Infrastructure
Fuel Policy

Hill Prep Session – The Hill Prep Session will educate you on the current political climate, prepare you on our industry’s top issues, and give insight on how to maximize your advocacy efforts while at ABC.

Recreational Angling and Boating Reception – Join us at the 20 F Street NW, an iconic rooftop overlooking the Capitol for an opportunity to gather with fellow PAC donors, as well as meet Members of Congress and their staff to educate them on the top issues affecting the recreational boating community. For information on how to attend, please contact Erica Crocker.

Thursday, May 10

New! Extended General Session, Day 1 – New for 2018, ABC’s must-attend General Session takes place over two days, featuring high profile members of the Trump administration and leading decision makers and influencers across Capitol Hill. The General Session provides attendees with a front row seat to political insights that matter to your business and an exclusive opportunity to get your questions answered from some of the most notable names in Washington.

Hill Visits – Hill Visits are the cornerstone of the American Boating Congress. Each year, ABC attendees are given the chance to meet with hundreds of Senators, Congresspersons and top staffers to discuss legislative concerns and opportunities. It’s your chance to advocate directly on behalf of your business, and our industry’s best opportunity to protect and promote recreational boating in Washington.

New! Millennial Happy Hour – Our industry marine millennials are invited to join us for a new networking event and Q&A panel with Capitol Hill staffers. Please RSVP to Laura Crisler if you would like to attend.

Networking Reception – Join attendees for the 2018 ABC Networking Reception, located at Arroz, Mike Isabella’s eatery specializing in Spanish & North African food and drink in beautiful surroundings.

Friday, May 11

New! Marine Industry Panel & Breakfast – the Power of Advocacy – New for 2018, NMMA Vice President of Federal and Legal Affairs, Nicole Vasilaros, will moderate a panel of marine industry leaders as they delve into their involvement in advocacy and shed light on the impacts of their lobbying efforts on their business and the recreational boating industry. Join us for this special luncheon and learn just how powerful advocacy can be to effect change on Capitol Hill. 

New! General Session, Day 2 – This year’s keynote speaker, Chris Wallace, award-winning veteran journalist and host of Fox News Sunday, will address ABC attendees during Day 2 of the General Session, followed by a host of other special guest speakers including BEA Communications Chief Lucas Hitt, NOAA Assistant Secretary of Commerce Admiral Tim Gallaudet, NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray, and more.

Farewell & Awards Ceremony Luncheon – Join us as we wrap up ABC 2018 for a farewell lunch and presentation of several significant industry awards including the Hammond Marine Industry Leadership Award, Co-host Marketing Award, and BoatPAC Participation Award.

Access the 2018 ABC schedule here, and visit for complete details.

REGULAR REGISTRATION ENDS MONDAY, APRIL 16. First-time attendees get a $100 discount.

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