Dealership Events That Deliver

Given the change in consumer mindset this year, it’s especially vital to create meaningful connections with both prospects and devoted clients around their passion for the boating lifestyle. Hosting dealership events creates opportunities for you to engage with boaters, remind them of the joys of boating, and demonstrate options for enhancing their on-water experience, which can drive revenue across your dealership’s departments.


Survey: Dealership Events That Deliver

Learn how marine retailers use gathering, event frequency and other strategies to attract and engage customers. Dealers recently participated in the MRAA/Baird/Trade Only Pulse Report survey, sharing what’s working, what’s not and how they have found success producing events that connect with both existing customers and future clients.

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Data Infographic - Dealership Events That Deliver
Dealership Events that Deliver - The Boat House

Event Management Wizardry

Dealership events present you with opportunities to engage your customers, strengthen relationships and build your brand. Events with authentic experiences help you connect and keep your customers boating. Successful marine retailers who can master event management, become community pillars and beacons of trust for their customers. Learn how The Boat House Florida team has developed a process for its events and customer and team buy-in.

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Marketing to Current Customers

From personalized buying experiences to loyalty programs to quality content, are you taking the necessary steps to connect with your existing customers so you can retain them? Let’s revisit a blog written by Lori Stacey, CEO Trader Interactive, that shares five helpful tips to help you market to your current customers.  

Lori Stacy, CEO Trader Interactive

Lake Havasu Gathering Promotes Boating Advocacy, Education

Learn how you can include advocacy into some of your events to reinforce boating, safety, education and more. Chad Tokowicz, MRAA Government Relations Manager, shared in this blog how a get-together at Lake Havasu in Arizona helped reinforced the ongoing need for cooperation between businesses, law enforcement, user groups and state and local government to ensure the lake remains a top boating destination in the West. 

Don’t know where to start with your advocacy efforts? Check out the MRAA Advocacy Toolkit that is designed to help you understand the nuances and importance of advocacy while giving you the tools to forge relationships with your elected officials and begin building a relationship.

MRAA Advocacy Toolkit
Discover Boating, new safe boating video series

Many people are willing to expand their thinking and are open to learning new things, but they don’t actually do either of those. The reason isn’t a lack of interest; it is a lack of intentionality. Expanding your perspective won’t just happen; you must make it happen.” — Bill Yeargin, Correct Craft CEO, April 30, 2024 article

Understanding Industry Data

During your event-planning process, be sure to become a learner! In addition to your existing customers, you need to expand your invitation list to include other prospects and recreational enthusiasts in boating and fishing.

Both Discover Boating and the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation have great resources for understanding next-generation buyers, emerging demographics and engaging different audiences.

  • Discover Boating Next Generation of Boaters Research (PDF / Webinar)
  • RBFF Special Report on Fishing (PDF)
  • RBFF Find Your Best Self on the Water campaign (PDF / Webinar)

Keep Your Customers Boating

Don’t let customer events intimidate you. You can lean into your industry expertise and create lasting relationships with your customers by holding events that build memories and form long-lasting bonds.

The MRAA Guide to a World-Class Customer Experience provides tools and resources to help you with customer engagement and retention. From movie nights to boat-parades to dock parties — and everything in between — it’s time to increase both the quality and quantity of your touchpoints with current boat owners to help them live their best boating life.

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2023 revised MRAA Operation: Keep Your Customers Boating Guide
Guide offering tips for dealers, including best practices for improving sales close ratios

The Guide to Navigating 2024

It’s critical for you to engage customers beyond the sale of the boat. Events, when done correctly, can help you form deeper connections, which, in turn, can help keep your customers boating and build loyalty.

Read through navigation strategies eight and nine in the MRAA Guide to Navigating 2024, which includes several educational sessions on customer engagement and retention tactics and best practices to establish trust.

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Not a Member? Get a preview of the Guide to Navigating 2024, here.

WATCH: Courses

Ignoring next-level customer experiences that promote the touch-and-feel aspect of boating limits your business potential and may let your competition gain ground.

While the digital landscape and online shopping persist, providing customers pathways to immerse themselves in the boating lifestyle at your dealership or on the water are vital to your success. Now is the time to implement strategies and tactics to enhance customer interactions and heighten their experience with your dealership.

We’ve selected three courses (BELOW) that will help your team improve your store, your approach to selling and how you market the boating lifestyle.

Silver & Gold Members ONLY:

MRAA Bronze members can upgrade to gain access to more course? Email Director of Membership Sherri Cuvala. 

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MRAA Members use for training your team

Selling Value and Experience in the New Economy

with Ryan Estis

The best sales professionals know how to humanize the process, making the experience all about the customer and offering acute levels of personalization and customization. Learn strategies to help your sales team embrace change to win in this ever-changing and complex world. Learn how to gain more customer access, position value over price, elevate customer confidence – using industry expertise – and drive decisions to close.

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Marketing the Boating Lifestyle

with Samantha Scott

Learn the importance of integrating visual elements in marketing to improve at selling the on-water experience and the boating lifestyle. Gain best practices to help you bring the boating experience to life in your marketing. Learn how to make your own videos and photos stand out and get shared by customers.

Silver & Gold Members ONLY:

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Design Your Way to More Parts and Accessories Profits

with Brett Beaudette

Marine retailers often hold events to drive sales and traffic at their location. It’s important to improve your dealership and design so you’re making a positive first impression on customers. Find creative ways to engage your customers that provide an experience they cannot get online, and tactics to boost parts and accessories revenue and inspire customer loyalty. When successful, you’ll lift impulse and add-on sales regardless of why the consumer visited your dealership. 

Silver & Gold Members ONLY:

Not a Silver Member? Learn more about Silver Membership!