Dealer conference discount ends Friday

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If you’re planning to attend this year’s Marine Dealer Conference and Expo — and all dealers should be — you only have today and Friday to land worthwhile savings on registration fees.

According to Liz Walz, vice president of education for the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas, which produces the annual event with Boating Industry, the MDCE early-bird discount expires at midnight, Sept. 18. And if you are a member of the MRAA, you can enjoy even more savings by getting registered now.

Here are some details: For a non-member retailer, the full conference pass is $499, without the $25 early bird discount that ends Friday. For an MRAA member, there’s an additional $75 off the Full Conference Retailer Pass price (total price of $399).

If you are a dealer and not an MRAA member, you should be, regardless of whether you attend the MDCE or not. Why? Aside from staging the powerful MDCE, which is the largest industry event designed solely for dealers, the MRAA is the national organization that represents the retail arm of our industry with a wide array of beneficial programs. And here’s another incentive:

With the MDCE discounts being offered, if you bring three people from your dealership to the conference, the discounts essentially pay for the MRAA membership cost. But it really shouldn’t be about discounts anyway. Ask any dealer who attends the MDCE and I am sure they will tell you this conference is an out-and-out university of subjects and sessions that have made them more profitable.

"This year’s conference takes everything dealers love about the MDCE and expands on it,” Walz said. "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.”

The high energy will kick in immediately with opening keynoter Steve McClatchy, the New York Times best-selling author of "Decide: Work Smarter, Reduce Your Stress & Lead by Example.” McClatchy is recognized as a premiere authority on leadership, performance and work/life engagement. His powerful presentation, with a touch of humor, will set an uplifting tone for what’s ahead.

“Get Your Ship Together” will wrap it all up and be the urging of conference closing keynoter Mike Abrashoff. His book entitled ”It’s Your Ship” is a Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestseller with more than 800,000 copies sold to date. His story as a naval officer is an example of management at its best. Having a closing keynoter is another new addition to the MDCE this year.

Last year, more than 600 dealers from across the country attended MDCE. It’s expected that number will be topped this year as the MRAA’s goal is to grow the event to more than 1,000 dealer attendees. There is also a 50,000 square-foot exposition of products and services for dealers as part of the conference.

The 2015 MDCE is scheduled for Nov. 15-18 at the Orange County Convention Center, Rosen Plaza Hotel and Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando. To learn more, visit


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