MDCE 2011 Gets Underway

Conference and expo breaks dealer attendance records.

November 7, 2011

ORLANDO — For the fourth year in a row, the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo is growing. The event, title=which kicked off with a networking reception last night at the Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando, not only offers a record-breaking 22 educational sessions and the largest expo hall in the history of the event, but also more than 470 dealers have already registered for the event, a slight increase compared to dealer registration numbers in 2010, and on-site registration continues to build.

“This event continues to deliver the content, networking opportunities and products and services that the market needs during these challenging times,” said Liz Walz, editor-in-chief of Boating Industry magazine, which co-produces the event with the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas. “The dealers here this week understand the role education and training play in their ability to grow in today’s market, while the industry’s manufacturers and suppliers are here to support dealer success, knowing that it drives their business success.”

Today, the MDCE Expo Hall opens for the second day, and a trio of bonus sessions began at 10:30 a.m., leading up to this evening’s keynote address and another networking reception. On-site registration remains available — with both single-day and full passes — for the four-day event.

“We continue to be gratified by the importance that dealers are placing n attending this one-of-a-kind event to educate themselves,” said Phil Keeter, president of the Marine Retailers Association of America. “Even in this slow market, an increasing number of dealers take advantage of the value offered to them through the MDCE and continue to invest in their business and in their future.”

A total of 96 marine industry suppliers have signed up to sponsor and exhibit at this year’s event.

Once again, MDCE offers three educational tracks, Powering Profits, Sales & Marketing and Service & Marina. The marina content, new for 2011, is offered through a partnership with the Association of Marina Industries and the American Boat Builders & Repairers Association. All three tracks begin on Tuesday and run through Wednesday.