Whether it’s an online version of the IBEX Industry Breakfast, a boat show in hurricane-ravaged Fort Myers or the comprehensive Dealer Week program in Texas, marine retailers can benefit by putting these events on their calendars.
The Industry Breakfast
The annual Industry Breakfast typically kicks off the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference, but the show was cancelled this year because of Hurricane Ian. The IBEX team is holding a special online event Thursday, Oct. 20, at 10:30 am (ET).
The session will feature:
• an opening welcome by IBEX director Anne Dunbar
• an address to the industry by NMMA president and CEO Frank Hugelmeyer
• presentation of the Innovation Award winners by Zuzana Prochazka
Fort Myers Show Rescheduled
With southwest Florida still recovering from Hurricane Ian, the Fort Myers Boat Show has been rescheduled from November to January, the Marine Industries Association of Southwest Florida & Tampa Bay announced.
“We have been in constant communications with many exhibitors, our board, city officials, the Luminary Hotel and Convention Center, and downtown Fort Myers merchants,” said John Good, MIASWFTB executive director. “To the person, all strongly believe that while our original November dates are too soon, the boat show must take place for the good of the community and our industry.”
The show has been scheduled for Jan. 5-8. A major challenge for the association was finding dates that would work, given other scheduled boat shows, the availability of the convention center and adjacent Centennial Park, and the city’s calendar of events.
“I cannot say enough about the cooperation of everyone to shuffle things around and make these dates available for our show,” Good said.
“Businesses are recovering, our downtown is coming back to life, and looking ahead, it’s clear our marine industry will need to aggressively move forward, too,” Good added.
The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas reports that early registration for Dealer Week is up a whopping 70 percent compared with last year. The conference is slated for Dec. 5-8 in Austin, Texas.
Early registrations reached 456 last year, giving rise to predictions that the 2022 conference will be the largest ever.
“As we enter the post-pandemic marketplace and look ahead to all of the uncertainty that 2023 presents to us, our dealers need answers on how to continually evolve their businesses,” said MRAA president Matt Gruhn. “We’re building Dealer Week on the theme of ‘Discipline Amidst Disruption’ to provide dealers with a blueprint for how to continue the success they’ve experienced over the last three years. Every detail we’re planning will help them prepare for the year ahead.”
The three educational pathways are:
• Sales & Marketing
• Service & Parts
Following options developed during the height of the pandemic, “Dealer Week Online” will be available for those who are unable travel to Austin but want to “take Dealer Week back to their dealership.”
The value of this conference cannot be overstated. Given the potential economic clouds ahead, every dealer is urged to attend.
While early registration has closed, there’s still time to register for the in-person conference or the online version.