Keynote speakers named for dealer conference

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Bestselling author and motivational speaker Chester Elton was named the opening keynote presenter at the 2014 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo in November.

Elton is the co-author of several successful leadership books, including “All In,” “The Carrot Principle” and “The Orange Revolution” and is considered an expert in the field of company culture and employee engagement, MDCE organizers said.

His research shows that the most successful businesses deliver extraordinary results by developing a team culture in which employees believe what they do matters.

“Leadership was the No. 1 topic dealers asked for in our pre-MDCE surveys, and there’s no better way to demonstrate leadership skills than by establishing a strong, positive dealership culture,” Liz Walz, director of education for the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas, which produces the annual event in partnership with Boating Industry, said in a statement. “The research Chester will share during his opening keynote address demonstrates how big an impact such culture can have on a business’ bottom line.”

The MDCE is scheduled for Nov. 16-19 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. It has attracted an increasing number of dealers every year since 2007. In 2013, the event featured double-digit growth in dealer attendance, and the MRAA’s goal is to grow the event to more than 1,000 dealer attendees.

During Elton’s high-energy keynote presentation, titled “All In: How the Best Managers Create a Culture that Drives Big Results,” attendees will learn real-world strategies to engage, enable and energize their employees, strategies that are proven to boost revenue and profitability for businesses of any size — from mom-and-pop shops to corporate entities — MDCE organizers said.

Key takeaways include three characteristics of the world’s most profitable team cultures; seven steps today’s most successful managers use to generate employee buy-in; and how any manager can build a culture in which employees give an extra push of effort.

Elton’s message will provide keynote attendees ways to excite and motivate their employees, which will boost employee morale and translate to a more productive workplace, organizers said. His methods have been put to good use in his role as leadership consultant to firms such as American Express, Avis Budget Group and Cigna.

“Securing Chester Elton was a big win for MDCE this year,” Boating Industry editor-in-chief Jonathan Sweet said. “It’s through the generous support of exhibitors and sponsors like Smoker Craft, which has sponsored the MDCE opening keynote address for several years running, that we are able to enrich the attendee experience by bringing speakers of this quality and prestige to the conference.”

The MDCE added a closing keynote address this year, and business performance expert Ryan Estis will provide it.

“To properly close the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, we knew we would need a high-energy speaker like Ryan,” Walz said. “He’ll be able to break through the weariness that follows three days of intense education, grab the audience’s attention with some incredibly useful tools and information and then inspire them to go back to their dealerships and put what they’ve just learned to work.”

During his address, titled “Lead Your Business to Breakthrough Performance,” Estis will help prepare MDCE attendees to compete for and win more business in the market.

Organizers said attendees will learn about the evolution of customer buying behavior; where to spend the most time to get the biggest impact; creating a sales culture of accountability and performance; coaching your team to maximum productivity; using technology to engage customers and shorten the sales cycle; and how to develop a plan to take immediate action.

Attendees also will walk away with a 23-page e-book called “Leading Breakthrough Sales Performance: How the World’s Best Brands are Turning Customer Transformation into an Opportunity for Growth.”

A former chief strategy officer at McCann-Erickson Advertising, Estis is particularly skilled in the areas of sales effectiveness, leadership and the future of work, MDCE organizers said. He is the chief experience officer in his own training and development organization, Ryan Estis & Associates, which is based in Minneapolis.

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