MAATS 2009 at a glance

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In addition to relocating to Orlando, Fla., this year's Marine Aftermarket Accessories Trade Show is offering a number of features designed to enhance business opportunities for exhibitors and buyers.

"We recognize the economic climate presents numerous challenges to our industry, notably travel budgets, and so we've created a worthwhile, valuable event that will allow attendees to walk away with real, tangible benefits," said Ben Wold, executive vice president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association, in a statement.

"MAATS is a crucial venue for U.S. accessory manufacturers, buyers and dealers to conduct business, and we're enhancing the agenda this year to offer additional means for attendees to walk away having received the most for their time and money," he added.

The show is scheduled for July 15-17 at the Orange County Convention Center, and one of the new features is a Green Product Zone to help accessory manufacturers showcase their eco-friendly products to buyers onsite and create a marketing opportunity post-show.

Also new to MAATS this year are three seminars tailored specially for dealers, exhibitors and buyers on how to improve their businesses, creating a comprehensive learning environment for attendees.

The three seminars are:

• July 15: Improving Dealer Margins Through Online Education, hosted by longtime West Marine buyer Richard Mundell. The seminar illustrates how online training can address potential factors that reduce sales.

• July 16: Using eLearning to Improve Your Sales and Margins, also hosted by Mundell. This seminar outlines why eLearning should be a priority and how it can open up options not considered feasible until now through blogs, SharePoint, social networks and more.

• July 16: Enhanced Marine Retail 101, hosted by Ocean Marketing CEO John Thommen and West Marine's Dan Aulwurm, will help accessory manufacturers prepare their products for the marine retail environment and emphasizes the four Ps - Pricing, Packaging, Programs and Presentation.

Additional business opportunities at MAATS 2009 include buyer-supplier meetings; daily new product previews, which can be previewed online here for the first time; and the National Marine Distributors Association's S.T.E.P. Purchasing Conference July 13-14.

Registration to MAATS is free for dealers and buyers. Click here to reserve a badge. For information, contact Stephen Evans at (312) 946-6238.

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