Dealer conference sees increase in early registrations

Record numbers of marine retailers across North America have registered for the 2015 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo.
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Record numbers of marine retailers across North America have registered for the 2015 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, set to take place Nov. 15-18 in Orlando, Fla.

The total number of marine retailers who have registered since registration opened on April 1 is 167. That breaks the record set in 2013 of 162 retailers at April registration rates and represents a 77 percent improvement from last year’s retail registrations for this time of year.

In preparation for the 2015 event, MDCE organizers have done more to collect retailers’ ideas for building the education and networking event.

“This year’s show takes everything dealers love about the MDCE and expands on it,” Marine Retailers Association of the Americas vice president Liz Walz said in a statement.

The MRAA produces the annual event in partnership with Boating Industry.

“In 2015, we’re offering the widest selection of educational workshops and sessions in our history, plus brand new ways to learn through features such as our Learning Labs and Dealer-to-Dealer sessions,” Walz said.

This year’s MDCE campaign theme is “Made New. By You.” With web banners that say “Only you can sell the wind without a shield” and “Only you can sell a lift without a ticket,” among others, the new marketing campaign is designed to celebrate retail and service opportunities unique to boating.

“There’s no other event that gives marine retailers so many chances to grow and improve under one roof,” Boating Industry editor-in-chief Jonathan Sweet said. “The record-breaking registration numbers suggest the industry is ready to exploit that to the fullest.”

MDCE 2015 will include an opening and closing keynote address and four educational tracks — leadership, sales, marketing and service plus.

In addition, the MDCE Pre-Conference Workshops will return with a larger lineup of hands-on sessions. New for 2015, MDCE also will include Learning Labs, where conferees can consult one-on-one with leading experts.

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