Dealer conference plans changes for November

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Following on the heels of five consecutive years of growth in dealer attendance, the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo is preparing to set new records in 2013.

The event, which will be held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., Nov. 17-20, will reinvent its educational lineup, offering dealers a new depth and quality of content. The conference is co-sponsored by the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas and Boating Industry magazine.

“Dealers attend MDCE to gain new ideas and insights that will give them a competitive advantage, invigorate their teams for the year ahead and ultimately make their businesses more successful,” MRAA president Matt Gruhn said in a statement. “With the improvements and new additions we will incorporate this year we’ll be able to deliver on those expectations and more. If there was ever a year to attend MDCE, this is it.”

The process of building that new agenda began with the Pre-MDCE Dealer Survey, which is under way. The next step will begin in early March, when organizers will issue their annual request for presentations.

“We’re listening to the needs of our attendees and exhibitors, offering new forms of education and fresh opportunities for dealers and exhibitors to connect, all of which will make MDCE more effective for our participants,” Boating Industry editor-in-chief Jonathan Sweet said in a statement.

With the continued growth in dealer attendance, exhibitors’ return on investment in the dealer conference is also increasing. In 2013, the expo hall will encompass more than 150,000 square feet of space and will improve upon a popular feature of the event in recent years — the modular classrooms that bring dealers and suppliers together for networking opportunities.

In 2012, the conference attracted more than 500 dealers and representatives from more than 100 exhibitors and sponsors for a total in excess of 1,000 attendees.

This year’s host hotel will be the Rosen Plaza, located adjacent to the Orange County Convention Center.

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