The Dealer Week Story

Let's start way, way back in the day...

The announcement of the 90s theme for the MRAA Annual Conference: "The Decade of the Dealer."

The MRAA has been building world class education for 43 years.

MRAA's Conference Growth

Fast forward to 2008. The most recent evolution of MRAA's annual conference powered dealers through the worst recession we've ever experienced.

We focused our efforts on building out the education and promising impact to anyone who would listen. Dealers responded, attended, and engaged in the event in all new ways. And our manufacturer and supplier partners responded by supporting us in larger and larger numbers.

Participation in MRAA's annual conference grew by more than 1,000 percent over the last decade. 

MRAA's conference in it's inception started out with 97 participants and grew to 1,200.

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participants

MRAA's conference in it's inception started out with 97 participants and grew to 1,200.

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MRAA's conference in it's inception started out with 97 participants and grew to 1,200. That's over an 1000% increase over 10 years.

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participants

In addition, we added:

MRAA added multiple new components to the conference experience over the decade including dealer to dealer roundtables, the learning lab, pre-conference workshops, and more education tracks.
MRAA added multiple new components to the conference experience over the decade including dealer to dealer roundtables, the learning lab, pre-conference workshops, and more education tracks.
MRAA added multiple new components to the conference experience over the decade including dealer to dealer roundtables, the learning lab, pre-conference workshops, and more education tracks.
MRAA added multiple new components to the conference experience over the decade including dealer to dealer roundtables, the learning lab, pre-conference workshops, and more education tracks.

Current Situation:

Since 2008, the conference evolved in numerous ways, expanding its education, adding new features and events, and growing its participation exponentially. 

Over time, however, our team felt as though we were falling into a cycle of "better sameness," where we improve incrementally each year, but the format of the event continues to be based on the same formula and foundation.

We believe we can do better. We believe we can have a much larger impact be reimagining how we deliver our annual conference. In order to continue moving this industry forward, change was needed.

The Solution:

MRAA's Dealer Week, a rewarding, memorable and impactful experience that will deliver those real-world solutions in all-new ways. We call it an IMMERSIVE experience, one that will engage you at deeper levels and guide you through educational sessions and help you grow and improve. It's also an experience that will be fostered through richer collaboration among dealers, partners, the MRAA and its subject matter experts.

How we built Dealer Week:

The formula for this all-new Dealer Week began with research. We attended conferences to learn how to build better conferences. We took courses on how to deliver more impactful courses. And the outcome was a vision we delivered to an in-depth strategy session where dealers, manufacturers and suppliers helped us co-create deliverables designed to empower dealers to capitalize on opportunities and overcome their challenges.

To illustrate the significance of this change, we needed a new brand and a new story. So we were intentional about how we named this event and how we pieced together the branding elements. Here's how:

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DEALER: We were big and bold with the name so we could be clear about what's important: The audience. The dealer is the critical link in the success of our industry, and MRAA exists to support them at the highest level. We wanted our conference to be clear about who it serves. 

WEEK: Is this conference really going to take up an entire week? No. But we reference it as a week because it's much more than just a conference and an expo. It will be packed with programs like the Young Professionals Networking Event, The MRAA Educational Foundation's scholarship presentations; the annual BoatPAC fundraiser; 20 Group Meetings; MRAA's Great Dealerships to Work For Awards Program; and much more. 

The Dealer Week flag represened in the logo.

The Nautical Flag: One of the most prominent branding elements for Dealer Week is the nautical flag found in the logo, the Charlie flag. This symbol has been the basis of our inspiration. It signals a literal change in course, which MRAA is navigating with this rebranding effort, but it also serves as a reminder that Dealer Week will always stand for the creation of positive change.

The 4 stars represented in the Dealer Week logo.

The 4 Stars: Throughout the history of the MRAA, our logo has incorporated stars. You'll notice that the MRAA logo features 3 stars, which symbolize the foundation of who we are as an organization and representing our mission, which is to deliver our dealers three things: 1. Tools 2. Resources and 3. Educational Programs.  Then we have the Five Star Certified Dealership Program, which of course consists of 5 stars in its logo. We consider this the pinnacle of our services to our industry, offering dealers a proven template for running a world-class dealership. With the evolution of our conference and the introduction of Dealer Week, we wanted to symbolize that this event and all that it offers, provides the stepping stone between the foundational membership and the formal Certification program.

And here you are. Whether you're a dealer or partner, you're a part of this story. Because the way we see it, we're just getting started.

 

We welcome you, and hope to see you December 8 - 11 in Tampa. To follow the story live, "Like" us on Facebook. 

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