Shows and Events

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This roundup of recent and upcoming shows and events includes news from the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas and Dominion Marine Media, and the Los Angeles Boat Show.

The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas and Dominion Marine Media said the inaugural Norman-Spencer Marine Retail University, held Oct. 21-22 in San Antonio, attracted 61 people.

The event featured a networking riverboat cruise and dinner and six educational sessions. They began with GE Capital’s Kevin Runnells providing insight into the trends affecting today’s economy and an outlook for the marine industry’s path during the next 12 to 24 months.

Statistical Surveys’ Tom Walworth followed with a detailed analysis of the sales trends in various Texas markets. MRAA president Matt Gruhn wrapped up the morning with a presentation on some of the leading trends that dealers are following as the industry approaches 2013.

In the afternoon, Shane Pierce of Dominion Enterprises provided an overview of how to sell to the various generations in today’s marketplace.

Dominion Marine Media marketing manager Courtney Chalmers followed with a presentation on how dealers can improve their digital marketing efforts. The event wrapped up as three experts from the lending sector — Ken Chambers, of the Texas Partners Federal Credit Union, Michael Bryant, of Trident Funding Corp. and the National Marine Bankers Association, and Jared Zimlin, of Priority One Financial Services — discussed ways that dealers can increase the odds of getting customers financed.

The next Marine Retail University event will be held Nov. 10-11 in Orlando, the day leading up to the opening of the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo. It will be held at the Rosen Plaza Hotel.

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The National Marine Manufacturers Association’s new 2013 Progressive Insurance Los Angeles Boat Show, scheduled for Feb. 7-10, returns to the Los Angeles Convention Center and debuts a new in-water location at Burton W. Chace Park in Marina del Rey Harbor.

The 2013 boat show will showcase hundreds of boats, thousands of the newest marine accessories and gear and daily seminars.

“As part of our effort to grow the show we’re very excited about the new in-water yacht and brokerage addition,” NMMA West vice president Dave Geoffroy said in a statement. “This site will not only help attendees discover the boating lifestyle, one of California’s premier recreations, it will also allow exhibitors the chance to offer demos and test drives that help close sales. With two very distinct first-class venues, the Progressive Insurance Los Angeles Boat Show is primed to become the West Coast’s premier boating event.”

The show will offer entertainment, speakers and celebrity guests, including:

? Fred’s Shed DIY seminars and Interactive Learning Center

? Welcome to the Water Center — resources to help people get started in boating

? DEMA’s “Be a Diver Pool” — visitors can try scuba diving free

? Powerboat Docking Challenge

? Very Important Boater Night, featuring $5 admission after 5 p.m. on Feb. 8

? Celebrity appearances by Phil & Bob Soven from MTV’s WakeBrothers

? Southern California Speed Boat Club — boat display and driver meet and greet.

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Fueling Fishing

The Kenai River Women’s Classic shows how female anglers are generating new markets for fishing gear and clothing, as women comprise the largest group of new participants in the sport.

New Deal for Dealers?

MRAA promises a fresh show experience with next year’s Dealer Week, which replaces MDCE. “It’ll feel like you’re immersed in the event,” says an organizer.

Erich Pfeifer

Marine Travelift CEO Erich Pfeifer has helped pioneer innovations in boat-moving equipment while expanding his company’s global network of clients.