Boating Industry

October 2014

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October 2014 | Boating Industry | 15 [ MDCE Preview ] Ditka. He works with a number of category-leading brands and com- panies, including AT&T, Mayo Clinic, Adobe, MasterCard and the National Basketball Association. "We are fortunate to have a speaker of Ryan's caliber on the docket to deliver the fi rst-ever clos- ing keynote at the 2014 MDCE," said Boating Industry editor-in-chief Jonathan Sweet. "It wouldn't be possible without the generous sup- port of the dealers who make up Boating Industry's Top 100 Hall of Fame. They volunteered to spon- sor this closing keynote, and we are incredibly grateful for their contribution to the success of the MDCE and the dealer community at large." The Boating Industry Top 100 Hall of Fame consists of MarineMax, Inc.; Galati Yacht Sales; Prince William Marine; and Legendary Marine. Dealers are awarded a spot in the Hall of Fame after being named the No. 1 Dealer in North America by Boating Industry for two years. Pre-conference workshops After their successful introduction in 2013, the pre-conference workshops return in 2014. The 2014 MDCE will feature seven Pre-Con- ference Workshops, scheduled for the morning of Monday, Nov. 17. Attendees have the option to take in either a single, three-hour workshop or up to two, one-and-a-half-hour workshops. "Attendance at last year's workshops ex- ceeded our expectations," Walz said. "Many rooms were chock full of attendees, and we expect some will sell out this year. The Pre- Conference Workshops offer value MDCE at- tendees won't fi nd in the individual educational track sessions. Attendees are led down the path of building new processes, plans and strategies that translate into real results when they are implemented back at the dealership." In 2014, workshop topics will include leader- ship, sales, marketing, social media, succession planning, video production and editing, and the service department. Each workshop will fea- ture takeaways (job descriptions, workbooks/ guidebooks, report cards, tip sheets, etc.) to help attendees implement what they learned in the pre-conference sessions without delay upon re- turning to their respective dealerships. "The Pre-Conference Workshops are unique in that these are small-group sessions, designed to encourage maximum participation between attendees and speakers in a hands-on, classroom- type setting," Sweet said. "Because attendees leave each workshop with tangible worksheets and the like, it's easy for them to incorpo- rate what they learned into the fabric of their daily operations." Pre-Conference Workshop seating is lim- ited and is available on a fi rst come, fi rst serve basis. A separate registration and additional fee is required to attend these workshops. MRAA members may attend each three-hour session for $135; the non-MRAA member price is $175. One-and-a-half-hour sessions are $99 for MRAA members and $129 for non-MRAA members. Expanded education lineup The 2014 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo will feature the most powerful educational lineup in the history of the event, offering more sessions for today's marine industry profession- als than ever before. Twenty-four experts will provide 30 presentations at the MDCE, and half of those speakers will be presenting at the event for the very fi rst time. To best serve its audience, MDCE organizers seek a blend of the foremost experts in marine retailing with leading authors and professional trainers who can offer fresh insight and best practices from other industries. There are a total of 12 new speakers present- ing at this year's MDCE: Lisa Buller, ARI; Lau- ren de Vlaming, Dominion Marine Media; Tom Deans, Ph.D., Every Family's Business; Chester Elton, The Culture Works; Jeffrey Englander, GE Capital; Ryan Estis, Ryan Estis & Associates; David Martin, Mar- Kee Group; Kelly McDonald, Mc- Donald Marketing; Lenny Rudow, Dominion Marine Media; Saman- tha Scott, Pushing the Envelope Inc.; Matt Sellhorst, Boat Dealer Profi ts; and Brad Smith, ARI. MDCE organizers use four tools to build each year's edu- cational agenda: The 2014 Pre- MDCE Dealer Survey, which is conducted each winter to gain insight into dealers' unique needs in the current marketplace; the MDCE Call for Presentations, a process by which subject matter experts can submit ideas for educational sessions to or- ganizers for consideration; attendees' session evaluations from the prior year's event; and in- sight from the MRAA Education Committee, a group of dealers and other industry insiders that provides guidance to organizers on a number of aspects of the MDCE. The speakers returning to MDCE this year include Don Cooper, The Sales Heretic; Sam Dantzler, Sam's Powersports Garage; Bob McCann, ARI; David Parker, Parker Business Planning; Jan Kelly, Kelly Enterprises; Pat Ken- nedy, Parker Business Planning; John Spence, John Spence Inc.; David Spader, Spader Business Management; and Valerie Ziebron, Yamaha Marine. More expo hall time Finally, based on feedback from attendees and exhibitors, this year's MDCE will include more time for networking on the expo hall fl oor. It's a great opportunity to learn about and see new products from leading manufacturers and service providers, or to touch base with current partners. "While education is a top priority for MDCE attendees, dealers have also asked us for more networking time on the expo fl oor," Sweet said. "In response, we took a fresh ap- proach to the schedule that will allow both attendees and exhibitors to make the most of their time at MDCE." Full registration for MDCE is $499, with MRAA members receiving a $75 discount. For more information on MDCE or to register, visit or see the brochure in- serted in this issue. Pre-conference workshops offer in-depth education.

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