The 2014 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo will feature the most powerful educational lineup in the history of the event, offering more sessions for today’s marine industry professionals than ever before. Twenty-four experts will provide 30 presentations at the MDCE, taking place Nov. 16-19 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., and half of those speakers will be presenting at the event for the very first time.
To best serve its audience, MDCE organizers seek a blend of the foremost experts in marine retailing with leading authors and professional trainers who can offer fresh insight and best practices from other industries.  
There are a total of 12 new speakers presenting at this year’s MDCE: Lisa Buller, ARI; Lauren de Vlaming, Dominion Marine Media; Tom Deans, Ph.D., Every Family’s Business; Chester Elton, The Culture Works; Jeffrey Englander, GE Capital; Ryan Estis, Ryan Estis & Associates; David Martin, Mar-Kee Group; Kelly McDonald, McDonald Marketing; Lenny Rudow, Dominion Marine Media; Samantha Scott, Pushing the Envelope Inc.; Matt Sellhorst, Boat Dealer Profits; and Brad Smith, ARI.
“These experts were chosen from the hundreds we consider each year because they have powerful, actionable ideas and practices never before featured at MDCE to share with our attendees,” explains Liz Walz, director of education for the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas, which produces the annual event in partnership with Boating Industry. “Dealers invest in MDCE to improve and grow their business, and we’re committed to supplying the strategies they need to achieve that growth, as well as the tools to put them in place when they return home.”
MDCE organizers use four tools to build each year’s educational agenda: The 2014 Pre-MDCE Dealer Survey, which is conducted each winter to gain insight into dealers’ unique needs in the current marketplace; the MDCE Call for Presentations, a process by which subject matter experts can submit ideas for educational sessions to organizers for consideration; attendees’ session evaluations from the prior year’s event; and insight from the MRAA Education Committee, a group of dealers and other industry insiders that provides guidance to organizers on a number of aspects of the MDCE.
The speakers returning to MDCE this year include Don Cooper, The Sales Heretic; Sam Dantzler, Sam’s Powersports Garage; Bob McCann, ARI; David Parker, Parker Business Planning; Jan Kelly, Kelly Enterprises; Pat Kennedy, Parker Business Planning; John Spence, John Spence Inc.; David Spader, Spader Business Management; and Valerie Ziebron, Yamaha Marine.
“We are thrilled to bring back each and every one of these experts,” says Boating Industry editor-in-chief Jonathan Sweet. “Their sessions and workshops have received some of the highest ratings from MDCE attendees in past years, and we’re excited for the new topics they are preparing for 2014.”
The 2014 MDCE 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 for the first time this year.

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