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MDCE Scores Home Run With 2014 Pre-Conference Workshops

Tuesday, November 18, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lindsey Johnson
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More than 200 dealers signed up to participate in yesterday’s MDCE Pre-Conference Workshops, the unofficial kick-off of the 2014 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, which runs Nov. 16-19 at the Orange County Convention Center and Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Fla.

The seven morning sessions were well attended by 213 dealers eager to learn about everything from sales and marketing strategies to social media and video editing.

After a successful initial launch in 2013, MDCE organizers decided to bring back the Pre-Conference Workshops for the 2014 event. The workshops give marine retailers access to hands-on training with leading experts in areas that have the biggest impact on their future success.

“In 2013, dealers rated the workshops higher than any other aspect of the MDCE education,” says Liz Walz, director of education for the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas, which produces the annual event in partnership with Boating Industry. “When the results are tallied, I expect this year’s workshops to be just as powerful for attendees, if not more so.”

This year’s workshop topics included leadership, sales, marketing, social media, succession planning, video production and editing, and the service department. Each workshop featured 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 returning to their respective dealerships.

“The Pre-Conference Workshops give MDCE attendees a chance to dig deeper into several subject areas they have previously identified as being critical to their business success,” says Boating Industry editor-in-chief Jonathan Sweet. “It’s an educational opportunity unlike any other we offer here at the conference, and attendees that chose to take advantage of the Pre-Conference Workshops report satisfaction and enthusiasm for implementing and sharing what they learned back at the dealership upon their return home from the conference.”

The 2014 MDCE feature more than 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 has attracted an increasing number of dealers every year since 2007. 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 more than 30 sessions. It will be held Nov. 16-19 at the Orange County Convention Center and Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Fla. For more information, visit