It’s live and in-person, and set for Dec. 6-9 in Austin, Texas. Dealer Week is organized by the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas and, as the name indicates, it’s our industry’s only major event focused solely on dealer success. Moreover, with the growing fear of inflation, foreseeable supply chain issues, prospective tax increases and more ahead in 2022, attending Dealer Week will help find answers to some lingering questions.
• How will the lack of inventory impact your bottom line?
• Can you find ways to make up the gross margins you won’t see without enough boats?
• Will the preowned boat market be a positive answer or a competitive problem?
• Are you doing all you can to ensure your current customer experiences will have them remain loyal?
Clearly, every dealer needs a plan to successfully navigate 2022. Here are nine reasons you should attend Dealer Week.
1. Dealer Week is 100 percent happening. If you’ve delayed a decision to attend to see if the event might be canceled, it won’t. “I can assure all dealers there are zero considerations about canceling,” says MRAA president Matt Gruhn.
2. Safety is paramount. Events have changed in the world of Covid, and the MRAA team has adapted. The safety of attendees, exhibitors and staff is the top priority. Vaccinations and mask wearing will be urged. Sanitizing stations and all protocols from the Austin Convention Center will be followed, and attendees will be able to choose name tags that let others know how comfortable they are in close quarters.
3. MRAA will offer two great Dealer Week events. The first is the in-person conference in Austin. The second is an online event, scheduled for Jan. 11-13. The first two days of the latter will showcase recorded variations of the pathway sessions from Austin, and on the final day there will be nine new in-depth workshops. These events don’t overlap each other on the calendar, which allows you to attend both.
4. Get two bangs for your buck. If you attend Dealer Week in Austin, you get free access to the online January event. Plus, you’ll have access to those nine additional workshops only offered in January. Imagine accessing all of those courses all for the price of just one event.
5. Whom should you bring? Dealer Week’s Educational Pathways are now easier to understand. Each captures the most up-to-date strategies and tactics. So bring your team members who can have the biggest impact in each of the departments.
6. This year’s lineup of course offerings ensures you’ll be on top of the latest issues challenging dealerships. “I’m convinced dealers won’t find ideas and insights better-tuned to today’s business climate than what Dealer Week has to offer,” Gruhn says.
7. Each year, 100 or more suppliers populate the Expo Hall, offering new and upgraded methods for driving greater profitability. Exhibitors will showcase the latest products and services to boost dealer success in 2022.
8. Celebrate being back together. The popular Dealer Week Industry Celebration is back, too. Banger’s Sausage House and Beer Garden will be the place all celebrate the resilience demonstrated throughout 2020 and 2021. Apps and refreshments are on MRAA, of course.
9. Closing keynote will be special. “Do not, I repeat do not leave Dealer Week early this year,” Gruhn says. “We have a great presentation at the closing keynote of Dealer Week, an experience and success story you will not want to miss. It will inspire you to make great things happen in 2022.”