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What's new in the education at Dealer Week?

Education has always been the cornerstone of the MRAA’s annual conference. In fact, for most dealers, it’s the reason they attend!

Every year, our collection of experts is chosen based on feedback from attendees, committee members and our education team. At the MRAA, it’s our mission to provide the most relevant, engaging and actionable content possible.

This year is no different in terms of fulfilling that mission, but when it comes to the implementation of it, new things are happening!

Here are the big themes for the Dealer Week educational lineup:

Organizational Learning

This year, along with many other changes to our annual conference, we’re taking the education to a whole new level. We’ve added more depth to the experience by lengthening each session and building in more opportunity for discussion. We’ve also shifted the focus of our concurrent sessions, now called Educational Pathways, to focus on areas that cut across the dealership.

The reason for this is “organizational learning.” In the past, we’ve encouraged the divide and conquer method, which consists of sending a team member to each educational track (previously “Sales,” “Marketing,” “Service” and “Leadership”) as it relates to their job description.

For 2019, things are a little different. Our pathways are “The Dealership,” “The Employee,” and “The Customer,” and we encourage you to attend with team members from different parts of the organization. Why? Studies show that perspective and discussion are crucial to learning and implementation. Your teammates hear the same message, but each of you walks away with a different perspective. Then you talk about it and find the best way to implement.

Roundtables in Every Session

We’ve also incorporated the dealer-to-dealer roundtables into our Education Pathways this year. If you’re not familiar with the roundtable discussions, they were 45-minute discussions where dealers could brainstorm, share challenges and offer solutions as a group. These were so popular that we believe they should be included as part of the overall learning experience. Each session will now include roundtable seating and opportunities to discuss with the other participants in the room. We will have a lot of smart people presenting at Dealer Week, but there will also be a lot of smart people in attendance who aren’t at the lectern, and we want to take advantage of all that brain power.

Workshops Are Now Included with Registration

Workshops, which historically have been optional and placed at the beginning of the conference, are now at the end. (Bonus! They’re also included with the price of registration.) This allows you to incorporate everything you’ve learned so far during the conference into the more hands-on workshop experience on the final day.

A Dealer Week Field Trip

Because a little fun never hurt anyone, right? And isn’t it true that when we have fun, we're more engaged and we learn best? *Heads nod “yes.”* During this field trip, Valerie Ziebron will guide you through a few local Tampa businesses that are known for great customer experience, employee relations and business operations. Valerie will help make the connection between your experience and what it means for you and your dealership.

10x10s, a new learning opportunity

These are 10 new 10-minute learning opportunities that will be delivered by some of the leading thinkers in the marine industry. Stay tuned for more information on this soon!

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