MINNEAPOLIS – Oct. 30, 2020 – Close to 200 attendees participated in a special Dealer Week Preview Event this week, which offered a sneak peek at the platform where the Dealer Week Conference and Expo will take place online in December. More than 350 dealer attendees have already registered to attend the main conference in December.
“Since Dealer Week is online this year, we’ve understandably received a lot of questions about what it would be like,” said Mike Davin, Brand Director at MRAA. “So, we figured we’d show people and give them a chance to get familiar with the technology before the big event.”
The Preview Event included a walkthrough of the online Dealer Week platform, live Q&A with the Dealer Week Education Hosts, tips on how to get the most out of Dealer Week, roundtable discussions with other attendees, and a special message from Dealer Week’s keynote speaker, Jay Baer.
With Dealer Week online and accessible from laptops, tablets and phones, dealers have a lot of flexibility in how they choose to experience the event. Some teams plan to attend remotely from a variety of locations. Others report that they will set up their businesses like a “mini-conference” in December, with people watching together on big screens, and separate conference rooms available for breakout sessions. Rob Soucy, President of Port Harbor Marine in Maine, plans to re-create the Dealer Week experience with everyone attending together, and he used the Preview Event as a dry run for his team.
“I think that us all being in the same room, even though we had laptops or iPads in front of us, it was still very valuable,” said Soucy. “I think if I let them stay in their offices, they wouldn’t be as engaged. For us, come December, that’s how we’re going to do it. We’re going to have everyone registered and then we’ll sit all in the same conference room together. If it’s different presentations, we’ll find different rooms to set up in.”
The Preview Event featured a limited number of exhibitors, represented by MRAA’s Strategic Partners and Education Champions. Even during the relatively short span of the 2.5-hour Preview Event, they reported positive results.
“Wow, what an impressive Dealer Week preview,” said Ross Solwold, president of Vantage Resource Group. “I am so impressed with everything that you have going for this event. We even received a message in our Dealer Week booth this morning from a dealer who wants to sign up with us. You can’t beat that for immediate results.”
Analytics show that the exhibits received 587 individual visits, even though only 15 minutes was set aside for dedicated exhibit time during the content-packed Preview Event. However, attendees were also able to browse exhibits while still viewing education sessions, as will be the case in December.
“We hosted the Preview Event as a bonus for attendees and to help them prepare,” said Davin. “But candidly, we also hosted it as a dress rehearsal for our team. Dealer Week is the most important event of the year for us and our members, so we needed to ensure the experience will live up to the high expectations that both we and our attendees have. Thankfully, based on the reaction to the Preview Event, we are ready to go for December.”
Registration is currently open for Dealer Week at DealerWeek.com. If you missed the Preview Event, you will be able to watch a recording of it — as well as a growing list of Pre-Conference “Ask the Expert Webinars” — after you register. Once registered, you can also log in to the system to set up your profile, make connections and get familiar with the platform.
At the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas, we believe that for the marine industry to thrive, the retail organizations that interact with the boaters in their community must thrive. With that in mind, MRAA works to create a strong and healthy boating industry by uniting those retailers, providing them with opportunities for improvement and growth, and representing them with a powerful voice. For more information, visit MRAA.com or contact us at 763-315-8043.
About Dealer Week
For more than 40 years, the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas has delivered world class educational programming to dealers, retailers and service operations that power the boating industry and serve today’s boaters. Dealer Week evolves as MRAA’s rebranded and reimagined annual conference and expo, a profoundly new event experience designed to engage, energize and empower the dealer community. The MRAA envisions a brighter future for marine retail, and Dealer Week is the preeminent means for bringing that vision to life.