Thom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association, will address business leaders at the summer general meeting of the Marine Industry Association of Central Florida Thursday at the newly renovated Regal Factory Showroom in Orlando, Fla.
"We expect there will be about 50 people in attendance," said Thurlow Spurr, director of marketing development in the Southeast for Regal, told Soundings Trade Only. "[Thom] will talk about the current state of the industry and where he thinks it will be going in the near future."
Spurr said the MIACF chose the showroom because it displays an example of how manufacturers are taking different approaches to appeal to customers. The 15,000-square-foot air-conditioned space displays all 26 Regal boat models and its location near the Orlando airport makes it an easy destination for customers and dealers to visit. More than 500 people attended the March 20 grand opening of the showroom.
"Any dealer can bring any of their customers here and show them our full line," said Spurr. "We do routine tours of our factory and it is ideal for customers who are flying into the area for vacationing to visit."
Spurr said Dammrich will touch on various topics such as how to extend customer base and increase sales through various initiatives.
Other speakers include Florida state representative Sandy Adams, who is running in the Republican primary for the 24th district congressional seat; and Florida state representative Kurt Kelly, who is running in the Republican primary for Congress for the 8th district.
Spurr said the meeting will conclude with an opportunity for all MIACF members and guests to take the Regal Factory tour.
"We are acutely interested in hearing what Mr. Dammrich has to say about where our industry is headed," said David Ray, executive director of MIACF. "The recession has caused many of our members to have significant challenges remaining in the marine market space. I think we would all like to hear some positive messages."
Last month, Dammrich presented an optimistic view of the U.S. market at an industry breakfast before the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show in Queensland, Australia.
Dammrich told the editors of Marine Business he predicts U.S. boat sales will "bottom out in 2010" leaving a slowly recovery leading into 2011.
— Elizabeth Ellis