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Marine Dealers Attend Annual Conference & Expo

Posted by Joe Gargiulo on Thu, Dec 28, 2017 @ 12:50 PM

marine dealersThe 2017 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo (MDCE) took place December 10 – 13, 2017 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. The four-day event was produced by the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA) and Boating Industry magazine, providing marine dealers with over two million square feet of exhibitor space and a variety of educational, networking and entertainment opportunities.

Day One Activities

Day one began modestly with registration and exhibitor setup, but ended on a high note at the Poolside Reception and inaugural MRAA Opening Night Awards Celebration.

An all-inclusive event for conference attendees, the Awards Celebration recognized dealership and personal achievement within the boating industry. Recognitions included the Darlene Briggs Woman of the Year Award and the Dealership Lifetime Achievement Award as well as other awards and scholarships.

Day Two Activities

The conference gained traction on day two with Pre-Conference Workshops requiring separate registration and fees. Selected sessions include:

  • The Service Department: From Nemesis to Competitive Advantage
  • Use Key Performance Indicators to Rocket Your Sales
  • Maximize F&I Profits Regardless of Market Conditions
  • Show Me the Social Media Money
  • 3 Steps to Mastering Service Efficiency

The day was rounded out by the opening of the Expo Hall at 11:30 am, Dealer-to-Dealer Roundtable Discussions, marine dealersthe MRAA Annual Meeting & Special Presentation: “Install a Culture of Training in Your Dealership,” and the MDCE Introductory Comments and Opening Keynote: “How Digital Can Supercharge Your Business” by Tim Sanders. It ends with a Networking Reception in the Expo Hall.

Roundtable Discussions provided opportunities to interact with other marine dealers while discussing industry challenges, conference workshops and track sessions.

Day Three Activities

The third day of MDCE featured 12 hours of Expo Hall activities and the start of multitrack seminar sessions. Three blocks of sessions (two morning and one afternoon) were offered in each of the four tracks: Leadership, Sales, Marketing and Service Plus.


  • Make Customer Service Your Competitive Advantage
  • Put Your Lazy Assets to Work
  • Pulverize Performance Problems

marine dealersSales

  • Use Technology to Sell More
  • Sell More Boats with CRM Coaching
  • 100% Turnover to F&I: From Idea to Reality


  • Why Branding Matters and What to Do About It
  • Move Inventory Through Positioning and Promotion
  • Increase Closing Rates with Content Marketing

Service Plus

  • Master the Write-Up
  • Coach Your Service Team for Success
  • Shop Talk: Master Communication Inside Service

Day three also offered more Dealer-to-Dealer Roundtable Discussions, a Networking Reception in the Expo Hall, and the Young Professional Networking Reception.

Day Four Activities

The final day of MDCE featured 7.5 hours of Expo Hall activities and two blocks of multitrack seminar sessions. All multitrack sessions were categorized by experience level: Fundamental, Intermediate, Advanced and All Skill Levels.

Day four offered more Dealer-to-Dealer Roundtable Discussions, the Closing Keynote: “Leaders Take the Stairs: Creating a Culture of Discipline” by Rory Vaden, the Top 100 Networking Reception, the Top 100 Dinner & Gala Celebration, and the Top 100 Gala Networking Reception.

Expo Hall

marine dealersMarine dealers visiting the Expo Hall had ample opportunity to meet with manufacturers, suppliers and service providers to start connections, share insights and find solutions to positively impact business.

Situated on the floor of the Expo Hall, the MDCE Learning Lab offered educational and professional development opportunities including one-on-one access to leading experts, virtual training prepared by MDCE speakers, and a plethora of educational materials.

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Tags: Events / Conferences