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More bang for your buck at MDCE

There has never been a better year for retailers to attend the Marine Dealer Conference and Expo in Orlando, Fla., because there has never been a more extensive choice of educational programs than those being offered this year.

“Dealers told us they wanted even more educational offerings that dig deeper into topics that impact their dealerships,” Marine Retailers Association of the Americas president Matt Gruhn says, “so we’ve committed a record budget to expand our topics and bring in top speakers.”

As an example, new this year is a series of preconference workshops, sessions that, by themselves, are reason enough to attend the conference in November. There are seven different workshops scheduled. Dealers can choose to attend one three-hour workshop or two 1-1/2-hour sessions. All are in-depth learning opportunities with sessions ranging from: "Best In Show: How to Boost Your Boat Show Sales” presented by veteran trainer Don Cooper to “Action Plan for Accelerated Growth” with leadership expert John Spence. Notably, when Apple’s Steve Jobs died, it was John Spence who was asked in to talk to the employees about the future.

Frankly, it won’t be easy deciding which of the seven workshops to attend but, to help you, take time now to go to what’s called the MDCE Video Channel. It has some short videos with various speakers and subjects at

Aug. 15 is pivotal date

It’s all about money and special offers. Registering for the MDCE as well as any of the preconference workshops by Aug. 15 garners some inviting discounts and bonuses. First, early-bird registration for the full MDCE carries a $50 discount. And, if you are an MRAA member, you get an additional $75 discount to register now. But there’s a lot more.

All-new this year is a special event-planning kit for all those who register by Aug. 15. The kit will include an event overview guide that will be especially helpful for first-time attendees to the MDCE. It will also include special profiles of dealers who have attended prior dealer conferences and the resulting benefits they’ve experienced.

The event-planning kit will also have an advance exhibit floorplan guide; an Experience Orlando coupon book in digital format so access is simple via smartphone; and personal tips from every MRAA and Boating Industry magazine staffer on what to do and where to go in Orlando, among other things.

Finally, everyone who is registered by Aug. 15 will be entered in a special drawing for five all-inclusive educational packages that will contain every book, report, handout, video, DVD, workbook and training material provided at all this year’s sessions. Value: $2,000.

The MDCE is by far the largest annual gathering of the marine industry’s retailers. While much publicity is being given to the addition of the preconference workshops, it important to note that the full MDCE is a robust event filled boasting more than 100,000 square feet of exhibits for dealers along with three distinct educational tracks (Sales & Marketing, Powering Profits, and Service Dept. Management) and a lineup of recognized speakers. For example, keynote speaker Jeffrey Gitomer, well-known author (nine books) and speaker on customer loyalty, sales and personal development, will present cutting-edge strategies to adopt to attract and keep today’s consumers; or Chip Thomas, the nation’s No. 1 Honda car salesman will share his secrets of success; dealership consultant and industry veteran David Parker; marine industry educator Bob McCann and search-engine marketing specialist Blane Vic; financial expert Jarad Zimlin; and the list goes on.

Best bet: Get all the details simply by taking a few minutes now to go to this link and see for yourself why I say, without reservation, that every dealer who is committed to growing his business can’t afford not to attend the MDCE, which runs Nov. 17-20. For information, go to:

To register, go to:



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