VIDEO: Pre-conference workshops planned for MDCE

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Organizers of the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, which is scheduled for Nov. 16-19 in Orlando, Fla., are planning pre-conference workshops for the second year in a row.

The workshops will give marine retailers access to hands-on training with leading experts in areas that have the biggest impact on their future success, organizers said.

The 2014 MDCE will feature seven pre-conference workshops, scheduled for the morning of Nov. 17. Conferees have the option of attending a single three-hour workshop or as many as two 1-1/2-hour workshops.

“Attendance at last year’s workshops exceeded our expectations,” said Liz Walz, director of education for the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas, which produces the annual event in partnership with Boating Industry.

“Many rooms were chock full of attendees, and we expect some will sell out this year. The pre-conference workshops offer value MDCE attendees won’t find in the individual educational track sessions. Attendees are led down the path of building new processes, plans and strategies that translate into real results when they are implemented back at the dealership.”

In 2014, workshop topics will include leadership, sales, marketing, social media, succession planning, video production and editing, and the service department. Each workshop will feature takeaways (job descriptions, workbooks/guidebooks, report cards, tip sheets, etc.) to help attendees implement what they learned in the pre-conference sessions without delay when they return to their dealerships.

“The pre-conference workshops are unique in that these are small-group sessions designed to encourage maximum participation between attendees and speakers in a hands-on, classroom-type setting,” Boating Industry editor-in-chief Jonathan Sweet said in a statement. “Because attendees leave each workshop with tangible worksheets and the like, it’s easy for them to incorporate what they learned into the fabric of their daily operations. The pre-conference workshops are an excellent value for anyone looking to make the most out of his or her MDCE experience.”

The 2014 MDCE will offer 30 core educational sessions, the most the event has ever offered, including the workshops. The conference has traditionally had three educational tracks, but this year the educational programming has expanded to four: Leadership, Sales, Marketing and Service Plus. There will be a closing keynote address for the first time this year.