My high school geography teacher had several quirky expressions he used to say to help a student realize their effort was not meeting his expectations. The one he used most often was, “There are two kinds of people in the world, the quick and the dead.” Typically, his message delivery included a Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson eyebrow raise and a classroom full of teenagers rolling their eyes. Nearly the entire room erroneously viewed his message as something a cranky teacher would say. While he aimed to inspire the person to work harder, be faster and prosper, the class saw it as a playful, unamusing old-man triviality.
You see, he was an educator and had his way of inspiring his students to learn better. As an adult, it’s much simpler to see this as an analogy to an old west gunfight: the winner is quick; the loser is, well, you get the idea. And you never want to be the slower one in this scenario!
Let’s be serious, though. Remaining stagnant is no longer an option in an ever-changing, fast-paced world. We know reading books makes a difference in our lives and career trajectory. Listening to podcasts and attending webinars is also beneficial for growth and increasing knowledge. Live events, which appeared ruined in 2020-2021, have rebounded tremendously to offer in-person education to help us improve, polish and develop our skills in whatever role we serve or hope to fulfill, personally and professionally.
MRAA’s Dealer Week is a survivor in and of itself. It began as a rebranded and all-new industry conference five years ago but became an online-only event during the height of the COVID pandemic. The MRAA took Dealer Week to Texas for the first time in 2021 as a hybrid event, offering an in-person event in December and online learning with live interactions in January 2022. Last year, Dealer Week — which included pathway session recordings online on MRAATraining.com — hosted the first-ever manufacturer dealer meeting on-site and set attendance records.
These examples show you that even the MRAA has had to adapt Dealer Week to meet our customers where they are and withstand economic pressures outside our control. Remember, it is better to be quick than the alternative!
And this year, Dealer Week returns to Florida for the first time since the inaugural 2019 event. The 2023 conference, featuring 18 on-site dock slip, has already established new records for the number of exhibitors and total Exhibit Hall showroom space coverage. Along with offering three different education pathways and 16 subject matter experts and educators, the Tampa event, Dec. 4-7, will host two on-site dealer meetings.
It’s time to meet the intellectual crew of subject matter experts, leaders and educators who comprise Dealer Week’s incomparable education. They are leaders and industry influencers who will provide you and your team with implementable solutions to improve your search for wisdom and growth.
Marcus Sheridan: Marcus — a Dealer Week-attendee favorite — was named “One of 20 Speakers You Don’t Want to Miss” by Forbes. The Pathway Host is also an established author and owns a digital sales and marketing company and a charter fishing business. He’s a savvy business leader with remarkable motivation and forethought.
John Spader: A South Dakota resident and President of Spader Business Management, John is well-versed in business management, offering training and sharing his knowledge in his Total Management Workshop, Spader 20 Group events and various speaking and writing engagements. He is as sharp-witted and insightful as they come.
Dave Newell: Dave empowers leaders to find personal and company-wide fulfillment, helping them align the misaligned. His coaching abilities and organizational development expertise help build foundations for success. He’s an authentic obstacle crusher!
Kurt von Ahnen: An author, speaker and agency owner with a deep connection to marine, automotive and powersports, Kurt specializes in leadership and personal and business development. He is so fast that he got it done yesterday!
Paige Wittman: A skilled marketing, sales and retail expert, Paige helps dealers and brands generate lasting and profitable customer experiences. She is instinctual and nimble.
Sales & Marketing Pathway
Bob McCann: Pathway Host and MRAA Lead Certification Consultant Bob trusts in processes, proactive solutions and cultivating winning cultures with high accountability. He is an astute highflier and educator.
Ryan Estis: Opening Keynote Speaker and session expert, Ryan has looked under the hood of the best global companies to learn why they are so successful. His comprehensive experience helps guide clients in their effort to change, grow and perform at a higher level. Meetings & Conventions magazine called him one of the “the best keynote speakers ever heard.” He is energetic, attentive and a true conductor of success.
Jim Million: With nearly 5 decades of experience, Jim has a diverse background with hands-on business knowledge and technical proficiency for teaching and training. He specializes in helping businesses educate, instruct and develop the personal and company-wide skills necessary to achieve a higher level. Jim is a training catalyst and a skillful go-getter.
Danny Decker: As an author, speaker and business owner, Danny uses his speaking, writing and podcasts to educate businesses and their employees about modern marketing tactics. He is a well-honed marketing guru with an entrepreneurial mind.
Jamison Carrier: A proven industry leader highly adept in team building and training, Jamison has worked with numerous high-performing dealerships. He is a kinetic guide to mastery.
Dom Zappia: Vice President of Operations for Relentless Dealer Services, Dom excels at educating and leading others within the RV, marine, and automotive industries. He is a razor-sharp F&I business scholar.
Service & Parts Pathway
Valerie Ziebron: From best practices to proactive solutions to improve business, Valerie is a marine industry leader, guide and educator. Along with being the Service & Part Pathway host, she is also a session speaker who continues to provide invaluable insight to help dealers of all sizes improve daily. Valerie is a genuine guide, visionary and service department authority.
Steve Jones: With three decades of marine and powersports industry experience, Steve (A current Certification Consultant for MRAA) is a skilled speaker and workshop facilitator, helping to educate business leaders and managers. He is a well-versed and engaged trainer.
Dixie Morrow:Dixie has specialized in training and education for 20+ years, helping dealers improve their business. She joined PCLM Business Solutions as a partner to continue working in the industry. Dixie is a successful solutions-driven instructor.
Paula Crosbie: Founder of PCLM Business Solutions, Paula has spent over 20 years helping dealer customers find more success through training and education. She is a formative influencer of results.
Dan Thurman: Dan, the Dealer Week 2024 Closing Keynote Speaker, is a renowned speaker, author, researcher and performer. He delivers interactive, experiential and high-impact lessons about confidently excelling despite challenges to produce attractive outcomes. Dan is a highly talented, dynamic and vigorous educator.
Exhibitors and Peers
When you add these 16 intellectual speakers to the combined wisdom found on the Dealer Week Expo Hall floor — comprised of nearly 150 exhibitors, numerous media, 20-plus MRAA staff and the total dealership personnel in attendance — you understand the true potential to learn and grow as a team and as an industry.
Dealer Week provides attendees with one-on-one opportunities to learn from industry spearheads in the form of peers, business pros and boating champions through roundtable discussions, classroom education and networking opportunities. The data, proficiency and wisdom at the MRAA conference offers an unequaled professional experience for everyone who attends. Dealer Week is THE educational chance to understand the current market conditions and develop well-informed plans to control your future decisions.
Planning for 2024
It’s one thing to be quick and an entirely different issue to be foolish. Quick decisions, using insight and rationale, keep you going. Reckless decisions can do great harm. Knowing the difference helps you understand the challenges you’ll face in 2024. The inventory surpluses, inflation, the upcoming Presidential election and ongoing consumer hesitancy to spend will push some businesses to the absolute limit and cause a few hasty choices.
That’s why it’s crucial to continue to immerse yourself in learning and expose as much of your team as possible to the education, best practices and proven tactics for success so you can act swiftly and do so with the cool, calm and collected demeanor of the old gunfighter. Attending Dealer Week, boating’s only event focused on dealer growth, will reinforce your business for more success with the wisdom and the awareness needed to boost your confidence as a leader and help you prepare for 2024.
You still have time to register for Dealer Week 2023, a one-of-a-kind industry experience. We offer you and your team three ways to participate:
- In-Person Event (Dec. 4-7, Tampa, Fla.)
- Online Event (Dec. 11-March 1, 2024)
- Combo Event Registration (Attend the live, in-person event in Florida and bring the virtual education back to your dealership for the rest of your team.)
Contact Membership Manager Sherri Cuvala at 763-333-2420 or click the button below to learn how an MRAA Membership will save money on a Dealer Week registration.