The third annual Boating Industry ELEVATE Summit Conference, held at the downtown Atlanta Hyatt Regency November 8- 10, 2021, continued the positive momentum as the unique industry event designed for marine industry thought leaders and visionaries, providing opportunities to connect, collaborate, cultivate and celebrate. This year’s summit included 12 strategic, executive-level sessions featuring 23 expert presenters, plus 21 active sponsors.
“We couldn’t be more pleased and encouraged by the industry participation and engagement at this year’s ELEVATE,” said Boating Industry Content Director David Gee. “While the recreational boating industry calendar is crowded with boat shows, conferences, sales meetings, 20 Groups, etc., ELEVATE is focused solely on the leadership segment of our industry and allowed plenty of opportunity to learn, share, collaborate and discuss many of the key issues facing our respective businesses, and the industry at large. The summit drew attendees representing boat builders and engine manufacturers, dealerships, marina owners and operators, trade associations, aftermarket providers and others throughout the industry.”
Sessions featured a mix of relevant content including emerging economic trends and developments, late-breaking market data, the state of recreational boating in America, plus a synopsis of the marine industry’s current political climate. A deep dive was also featured to explore the boating behaviors and buying habits of today’s boating consumer, along with insights regarding the boating customer of tomorrow. A panel of executive women presented mentoring strategies, while a second panel of Top 100 retailers shared their best practices for success. Networking receptions were held nightly, including a special VIP “Women’s Making Waves” event which toasted more than 75 recipients of the prestigious Boating Industry’s annual Women Making Waves award.
“What is so amazing about ELEVATE is that members from all facets of the marine industry are together in one room sharing their knowledge and experience,” stated Marion Minor, CEO, EPG Specialty Information, the parent company of Boating Industry. “It’s a great start to navigating our new business models in the post-pandemic world.”
Another major highlight of this year’s ELEVATE SUMMIT was the invitation-only reveal of the Boating Industry TOP 100 retailers throughout North America, which served as the grand finale of this year’s event.
“There's something so special about being in person to celebrate the best dealers in North America during the Top 100 Gala,” said Top 100 Director Adam Quandt. “This year's program saw some of the most intense competition I've seen in my four years with Boating Industry. Evaluating this year's Top 100 was no easy task for the team, but every dealer on the 2021 Top 100 certainly earned it, with some of the most impressive results we've ever seen.”
Participant feedback scored high among attendees and sponsors alike.
“Being somewhat of a veteran attendee of industry conferences and educational seminars, I figured that ELEVATE would, as most of the others, re-expose me to much of what I have already been presented … not a bad thing, I just figured it would be the case. I was wrong. Much to my surprise, the ELEVATE content not only addressed new material, but was high-level, put forth by high-end presenters,” said Paul Terzian, co-founder and co-owner of Causeway Marine and a “Best in Class” Top 100 winner. “In addition, the ELEVATE SUMMIT provided ample networking opportunities at a welcomed, less hectic pace which allowed for more in-depth interaction with people I wanted to talk with.”
Added Jeremy Bale, National Brand Manager for three-time, returning sponsor KICKER Marine Audio, ”KICKER is proud to support the ELEVATE SUMMIT because we believe this unique format of high quality, executive-level content and gathering is good for the industry. I personally learned a lot from the sessions and had an opportunity to meet several key executives representing multiple segments. In addition to the ELEVATE SUMMIT, we are also very pleased to support and sponsor the Top 100. It is always inspiring to be surrounded by the top retail performers in the country and to learn about their strategies for success.”
In addition to KICKER Marine Audio, the 2021 ELEVATE SUMMIT was sponsored by AppOne, Correct Craft, Dealer Profit Services, ILMOR, Motility Software Solutions, SeaDek Marine Products, United States Warranty Corporation, VOLVO PENTA,ARI, Dealer Spike, BADASS LEADER, National Powersport Auctions, Chaparral, Robalo, Sheffield, BRUNSWICK, the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation, SAFE-GUARD Products International, Cycle Trader, Boatline, YAMAHA WaveRunners & Boats, YAMAHA Outboards and CrankyApe.com
“Our team is already planning for 2022 and we look forward to continuing to provide a unique forum for senior level discussion, development and networking opportunities,” added Gee in closing. “We welcome suggestions and recommendations from the industry regarding topics, speakers and general areas of focus for future consideration.”
Speaking of the future, mark your calendars for ELEVATE 2022, as we return to Orlando from November 13-15.