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Bringing the big boat show organizers together

Members of the National Marine Trades Council will be headed to the Port of Anacortes, Washington, for this year’s scheduled three-day meeting. The group will be hosted by the Northwest Marine Trades Association from July 16–18.

It will be the 48 annual meeting of the NMTC, an informal group comprised of national, state and local marine trade associations from across the country. MTA officers and executive directors meet to examine industry issues, including boat show production, membership development, legislative issues and regulatory advocacy, and overall association management functions.

Representatives of 35 of the industry’s largest boat shows around the country typically attend the NMTC event. The group will dedicate a session dubbed “2020Vision” to show production and reveal the best ideas for increasing attendance and boat sales for exhibitors, while also reporting on ideas that bombed and should be dumped.

According to Wendy Mackie, CEO of the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association and NMTC chairperson, this year’s agenda goes well beyond shows and will address the widest variety of subjects yet. On the schedule, for example, is a workforce session at the Northwest Center of Excellence for Marine Manufacturing & Technology at Skagit Valley College, with a review of its programs to create a highly skilled workforce for different industries, including marine.

Among other NMTC sessions on the schedule will be a first-look at the extensive “Professional Development Opportunities” programs now slated to be part of the all-new “Dealer Week: The MRAA Conference and Expo” that will be premiered by the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas in Tampa, December 8-11.

A special session entitled “Workforce Strategy 10 - Regional Collaboratives Workshop” will be led by Jaimie Francis from the US Chamber of Commerce. In addition, “Workforce Strategy 6 - Best Practices” will be presented by Julie Balzano, the senior director for Export and Workforce Development with the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

Freya Olson, assistant director of our industry’s Discover Boating national campaign, is set to present the newest DB videos and materials. She’ll also teach how all MTA’s can help their members capitalize on the available free DB materials. Coupled with that presentation will be reports from some MTA’s describing how they are currently working to cultivate future boat buyers with their DB-style programs in their respective markets.

The NMTC is unique in that it brings counterparts from around the nation together in an open, sharing and educational atmosphere. There are no dues or extensive membership requirements to participate in the NMTC, except that the attendees must be directly involved in administering or overseeing MTA programs and/or the production of boat shows.

For more information, contact: Wendy Mackie at


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