Registration for the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo opened on April 1. The 2015 MDCE is scheduled for November 15-18 at the Orange County Convention Center and Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando, Fla.
With the registration kickoff comes a new marketing campaign, branded by the tagline “MDCE 2015: Made New. By You.” Marine dealers and their passion for the boating business inspired the campaign and it was built to celebrate dealers’ drive to be the best in delivering the boating lifestyle to their customers. MDCE aims to help fulfill that drive through its four educational tracks, networking opportunities on the expo floor and more.
MDCE is produced by Boating Industry and the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas.
“The most exciting part of boating is the lifestyle – the joy of being on the water,” said Boating Industry editor-in-chief Jonathan Sweet. “We’re focusing on giving dealers the tools to get that message out to their customers.”
The MRAA and Boating Industry collected prescriptions from dealers at the 2014 conference to understand what dealers are looking for at MDCE, combining that feedback with post-MDCE CSI surveys and session evaluations from the educational tracks. The MRAA Education Committee, which is largely comprised of marine dealers, also aid in selecting the most relevant educational content for the marine retail community.
As a result, the MDCE organizers have more feedback than ever before to craft the event specifically to meet those needs.
“The fresh marketing campaign is really an effort to show dealers that we’re listening, we’re delivering what they’re looking for from MDCE and what they’re looking for to help drive their success,” said Liz Walz, vice president of MRAA. “We’ve always made listening to dealers an essential piece of building the conference around what their needs are, what they’re looking for to help them take their business to the next level and be successful in today’s marketplace.”
With the new marketing campaign comes a new website, marinedealerconference.com, which also launched on April 1. As speakers, topics, exhibitors, networking events and more are unveiled for MDCE 2015 throughout the spring and summer, the website will bring those aspects of the event to life for dealers, highlighting where they will find the biggest opportunities for their business.
“I think it will do a better job of helping dealers understand where the value is for them in attending MDCE and connect with how MDCE can help take their performance to the next level,” said Walz, “and I think that starts with a website that provides an incredible user experience, and that’s what we’re building.”
Last year’s MDCE was the most highly rated event in the conference’s history. The educational content received its highest ratings, which Walz says is in part due to the expansion of the educational tracks from three to four – Leadership, Sales, Marketing and Service Plus – as well as the pre-conference workshops, which have been among the highest scoring educational events at MDCE since they were added to the agenda two years ago. Post-event surveys also indicated more attendees than ever said they would recommend MDCE to their peers.
“We were thrilled with the post-conference surveys in 2014, with dealers showing more enthusiasm for MDCE than ever before,” Sweet said. “We’ve got plenty of new ideas for 2015, though, to keep making the conference better.”
New for 2015, MDCE will also include Learning Labs, where attendees can consult one-on-one with leading experts. The details of these Learning Labs will be unveiled in the coming months, along with the topics covered in the educational tracks and pre-conference workshops, opening and closing keynote speakers, networking events, exhibitors and more.
To learn more about MDCE 2015 and register for the event, please visit www.marinedealerconference.com.