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Increase Attendance at Annual Meetings

Posted By Matt Gruhn, Tuesday, August 1, 2017

In a recent article for The Membership Management Report, MRAA President Matt Gruhn wrote about the association’s role in growing the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, which is co-produced by MRAA and Boating Industry magazine. Here is an expert from the article Matt was featured in:

Increase Attendance at Annual Meetings

“The Marine Retailers Association of America’s annual convention has grown by 1,100 percent over the last decade. Here’s how:

  1. “Authenticity. We exist to help our members find success and grow. We live and breathe that directive every day, so it’s very natural to extend the authenticity of that mission to our conference.

  2. “Curiosity. We could never fully understand the intricacies of our members’ businesses like they do. We need to remain curious about our members’ needs, so we ask them several times what they want to learn at our conference: in pre-event surveys, in personal conversations, in our committee meetings, in session evaluations, following a keynote, and in post- event surveys. And then we deliver exactly what they ask for.

  3. “Focus. We stay very focused on why this event exists: to educate our dealers. Association conferences tempt us with distractions to take us off of our mission, but we remain diligent about delivering a first-class educational experience. If we succeed in this effort, every other interested party succeeds as well.

  4. “Humility. We have a deep understanding that our formula is effective because our members gave us the opportunity to make it work. We owe our success to them for giving us the opportunity, for believing and trusting in us and for encouraging us to keep pushing forward. So, we shower them with gratitude in the form of complimentary tools and resources, in addition to personal outreach, handwritten cards and, sometimes, little thank-you gifts.”
— Matt Gruhn, President, Marine Retailers Association

Attached is the entire Membership Management Report.

Download File (PDF)

Tags:  \  Annual meetings  attendence  authenticity  Conference  curiosity  focus  humility  MDCE  Membership Management Report 

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