The Boating Industry ELEVATE SUMMIT 2020 far exceeded its goals to connect, collaborate, cultivate and celebrate top marine industry visionaries and emerging leaders over strategic content, posting an impressive 300% increase in participants from its 2019 inaugural event launch.
“We couldn’t be more pleased by the significant increase of participation by leaders from all segments of the marine industry,” said ELEVATE SUMMIT Show Director Susan Clement. “More than 200 companies were represented and nearly 500 registered for our virtual event. Equally important, the follow-up surveys and conversations have been highly complimentary of the event format, content and execution overall.”
Held online November 17, the ELEVATE SUMMIT featured a mix of internal and external experts addressing a variety of relevant topics expressly designed for industry thought leaders, ranging from economic and legislative updates and forecasts, to leadership strategies, late-breaking industry market data, plus an in-depth conversation with 2020 Mover and Shaker David Foulkes, CEO of Brunswick Corporation.
One of the major event highlights, however, was the long-awaited announcement of the 2020 Boating Industry Top 100 Dealer Awards.
“While the Top 100 is always a much-anticipated celebration, this year’s unique circumstances actually provided new opportunities for continued enhancement,” said Boating Industry Managing Editor Adam Quandt. “For the first time in history, the Top 100 was able to be viewed by the industry overall, not exclusively by the top dealers from around the nation. In addition, the virtual format allowed dealerships to celebrate their successes with their entire teams, many of which hosted watch parties during the live event. Another key highlight were the videos produced by the Top 20 retailers onsite at their locations, which were showcased during the award presentation.”
Quandt also noted that 20% of those dealers tapped for inclusion in the Top 20 were newcomers to this elite segment of top retail performers, while 9% were first-timers to the Top 100 ranking.
“We were very pleased by the quality and caliber of dealer submissions to the Top 100 this year and especially impressed by the growth of new dealer entries,” said Quandt. “The competition further reinforced that dealers do not have to be large, multi-location dealerships to make it into the Top 100 or Top 20. This year’s recipients include a wide mix of both family-owned, single-location dealerships and multi-location, large organizations. It’s all about the overall performance and excellence throughout the business, not simply the size of the organization or the revenue generated.”
According to Boating Industry’s Content Director David Gee, the vision to move from a two-and-a-half day, in-person conference to a one-day virtual conference required more than technical and logistical details to produce a program that would successfully educate, engage, entertain and excite attendees.
“The virtual version allowed us to expand the reach of the conference and engage and help educate more industry leaders,” he said. “I believe we have achieved greater clarity for the event, its unique audience and purpose, and how it adds value to our recreational boating industry eco-system.”
Gee also noted key advantages of being able to observe and analyze the back-end data side of digital which provided keen insight into attendee activity, social media chatter and more. Ultimately, Gee believes this new format provided “a great opportunity to learn more about the audience and its interests, which will help us continually refine and improve conference deliverables in the future.”
Added attendee and sponsor Myril Shaw, COO of Dealer Profit Services, “ELEVATE began with a different mission to bring together a smaller group of industry thought- leaders, top vendors, and the best dealers so that everyone had the opportunity to share their knowledge and learn from the best. This was achieved with great success in 2020.”
In addition to Dealer Profit Services, the 2020 ELEVATE SUMMIT was sponsored by KICKER Marine Audio, Ilmor, United States Warranty Corporation, Volvo Penta, SeaDek, App One, Correct Craft, Kenect, Motility Software Solutions, and Parker Business Planning.
Click this link to view the Top 100 presentation: https://boatingindustry.com/top-100/
Anyone who was registered for ELEVATE can view the sessions by going to the agenda page and clicking the on-demand button to watch the session*.
*Your registration email is what allows you to access the on-demand content.
And just because the virtual conference is over doesn't mean you still can't connect with sponsors and other attendees!
Virtual Community: Each sponsor and attendee can connect, send messages within the community.
Virtual Sponsor Booths: You can find out more about ELEVATE SUMMIT Sponsors, schedule meetings, ask questions and connect with them. This leadership conference wouldn't be possible without support from our sponsors. You can also connect with sponsors within the community page as well!
All video segments from the 2020 Boating Industry ELEVATE SUMMIT will be available for view to everyone after January 1.