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Submit Your Dealership's Best Ideas at MDCE 2014

Monday, July 21, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lindsey Johnson
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Often, the best way to learn and grow in business is through understanding and embracing the successes of your peers. That’s the very idea behind Boating Industry’s Best Ideas Program, offering dealers secret strategies that fellow dealerships have implemented at their respective businesses to improve retail performance in today’s marketplace. The 2014 Best Ideas Program is now accepting entries for consideration from marine dealerships across North America.

Currently in its sixth year, the Best Ideas Program, sponsored by Dominion Marine Media, collects the best ideas spread throughout all dealership departments — sales, service, parts, accessories, etc. The aim of the program is for dealerships to share the most effective new practice their business has adopted within the past year, including tips and advice on how to put them to work.

"The Best Ideas Panel is one of the most popular sessions we host each year at MDCE,” says Boating Industry editor-in-chief Jonathan Sweet. "It’s a chance for dealers to see what their peers are doing and to learn from the strategies other successful dealerships have put in place to help them boost the bottom line, strengthen customer service, improve efficiencies in the parts and service departments, and much more.”

Here’s how the Best Ideas Program works. Dealers submit the idea(s) that helped them achieve the most success in 2013 or 2014 to Boating Industry. A panel of judges evaluates each individual idea and selects the dealerships that delivered those ideas deemed most outstanding. Best Ideas finalists will then be asked to present their ideas at the upcoming Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, Nov. 16-19 in Orlando, Fla., as part of the conference’s Best Ideas Panel. That panel takes place Tuesday, Nov. 18, from 10:15 to 11:30 a.m. ET.

Following the Best Ideas Panel discussion, audience members will vote on what they feel is the Best Idea of the Year from the dealerships that present, and the audience favorite/winner will receive a grand prize: A $500 American Express gift card, courtesy of Boat Trader. Finalists for the Best Idea of the Year will receive a $50 gift card. The ideas of everyone who participates in the 2014 Best Ideas Program also will be compiled and published in an e-white paper following conclusion of MDCE.

"Dealers learning from other dealers is a key component of the success of MDCE,” explains Liz Walz, director of education for the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas, which produces the annual event in partnership with Boating Industry. "The Best Ideas Program is a prime example of this peer-to-peer collaboration at work.”

To submit ideas for consideration in the annual Best Ideas Program, click here or visit The deadline for submissions is Aug. 25. For additional information about the Best Ideas Program, contact Jonathan Sweet at 763-383-4419;

The 2014 MDCE will offer 30 educational sessions in all, the most the event has ever offered, including seven Pre-Conference Workshops. The conference has traditionally included three educational tracks, but in 2014, it has expanded to four tracks: Leadership, Sales, Marketing and Service Plus. A Closing Keynote address also has been added this year.

The MDCE is scheduled for Nov. 16-19 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. It has attracted an increasing number of dealers every year since 2007. In 2013, MDCE featured double-digit growth in dealer attendance, for a total of 615 marine retail professionals. MRAA’s goal is to grow the event to more than 1,000 dealer attendees. To learn more, visit

About the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo
The Marine Dealer Conference & Expo is the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas’ annual conference and member meeting. As the marine industry’s only dealer-specific educational conference, the MDCE offers an in-depth lineup of educational topics, a full-featured expo hall and a series of fixed networking opportunities, all of which are designed to help marine dealers connect with and learn from others who can foster their success. The MDCE is co-produced by MRAA and Boating Industry, and it features Pre-Conference Workshops, Opening and Closing keynote presentations, four tracks of educational content and 30 sessions in all. It will be held Nov. 16-19 at the Orange County Convention Center and Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Fla. For more information, visit