Marine Dealer Conference and Expo 2014

“More games are lost than won” This is a quote that I never gave true thought to until attending the keynote speaker at the 2014 MDCE. As it sounds it should be an equal amount of games won to games lost, correct? Wrong, the meaning behind this is actually a very valuable lesson I learned in the first 10 minutes of the expo. The true meaning is that there are more times where a game (sale) is lost by lack of marketing, sales skills, leadership techniques than actually won by having a perfect set of all three items. The customer will eventually buy a boat somewhere from someone, but how many people lost them along the way. This was a very simple idea that made so much sense when applied to the marine dealer business. You must not wait for sales to “fall in your lap” you have to be motivated and inspired to consistently exceed the expectations of the buyer. I believe Galati Yacht Sales does this on a regular basis, making our company culture extremely hard to compete with.

From the keynote speaker to the top 100 award ceremony the MDCE was outstanding. There is a large amount of information and motivation, to not only better your company but yourself, given out in these short few days. I cannot wait to attend next year!

-Jay Dee Jackson

It was my second year attending the 2014 MDCE and I thought for sure they couldn’t surpass what they did last year, I was wrong. The attendance this year was higher then ever, the speakers were top notch and the Top 100 Gala was elegant, fun, and memorable.

We started the kick off with the Opening Keynote Speaker, Chester Elton. His speech encompassed the meaning of having great culture within your company, employees and how it should radiate out to your customers. I believe Galati Yacht Sales has a culture of family and doing the right thing. We want our customers to feel and be treated as family. We always do the right thing in business, even when no one is looking. The rest of the three days were filled with amazing seminars and fun and knowledgeable presenters. I took the marketing tack that included classes like: FILLING IN THE HOLES IN YOUR ONLINE BUCEKT, INCURESE YOUR SEO THROUGH SOCAIL, and HOW TO MARKET TO THOSE NOT LIKE YOU. Each of these classes and others provided insight and ideas I have taken back to my team. I have already started to apply some of them.

The Top 100 was wonderful. This was their 10th year of holding the gala and awards. We were honored to be there representing the Hall of Fame again this year. Congratulations to all 100 dealers for their success this year!

-Angela Jackson

As a first time attendee of the Marine Dealer Conference and Expo I attempted to do my homework and gather some information about MDCE before heading to Orlando so that I would have an idea of what I was getting involved in. During the opening minutes of the conference I quickly learned that no amount of reading beforehand could have prepared me for the sheer amount of knowledge, experience, and motivation that were shared with me during my time in Orlando. From the opening keynote speaker, to networking receptions, to classroom sessions, to the Top 100 Gala & Awards Ceremony the education never stopped. With over 800 attendees including many vendors and sponsors the MDCE was truly the place to be this week for anybody who’s anybody in the marine industry. I divided my time between sales and marketing classroom sessions and was able to bring home several ideas that I believe will immediately benefit our whole team here at Galati Yacht Sales. Just as important as the classroom sessions was the opportunity to network with some of the most knowledgeable and experienced boat dealerships in North America and the exchange of ideas through the week was incredible. The week culminated with the Top 100 Gala & Awards Ceremony where Galati Yacht Sales was recognized for being in the Top 100 Hall of Fame and many of our fellow dealers were recognized for not only being in the top 100 dealers but also for various other awards for their contributions to the marine industry. Two days later I’m still reflecting on all of the information that we were given over the course of the conference, and I’m already looking forward to a great event next year.

-Josh Olsen

The MDCE is truly an exciting annual event. There were a # of strong training sessions under the Leadership track. My favorite was Hiring the Best Person for Job presented by David Spader. He articulated an interesting concept for rating and evaluating potential recruits during the interview process. Plus he presented research to emphasize the benefits (or lack thereof) of specific interview tools. After analyzing his hiring concepts, it’s clear that the same tools could be expanded to performance evaluations. I feel that these areas of my management performance will be improved.

The more important benefit of the conference and expo is interacting with other members of our industry. Face-to-face time with our business partners is so valuable. The opportunity to fully engage in discussion on our priorities allows us to move forward on a number of fronts. Listening and engaging others provided insight into products and services that spark ideas for the future. The positive energy that surrounds the event and the gala are so inspirational and motivating. It truly is an enriching experience!

-Tim Schaefer

I must say it was the best yet; this past few days were filled with excellent speakers and content surrounding topics such as Culture, Leadership, Sales, Marketing, etc.

The EXPO area was well attended; looking back on the years it was estimated to have 285 in attendance with 60 dealers represented in 2007; this past week has grown to have 300 plus dealers and 1,150 individuals attending.

Both organizations did an excellent job, with Matt and Liz from the MRAA and Jonathan along with his team from Boating Industry, combining their resources to host an excellent event.

We were recognized a number of times through out the week, namely our sponsorship with the Closing Key Note Speaker Ryan Estis. We sponsored his engagement along with the other 3 Top 100 Hall of Fame members, Ryan did an exceptional job. Between the completion of the conference and last night’s top 100 event, it is amazing how many fellow dealers shared their appreciation for our contribution to the event. I never engage the speakers and yesterday afterwards made a point to stay after and share my appreciation for his efforts.

Last night’s top 100 event was excellent, it was the largest attendance to date with over 450 participants last night attending. Gordy’s won and well deserved. The Top 100 acknowledged each of the Hall of Fame members with introducing us on stage and asking us for a few minutes at the microphone to address the audience. Legendary was represented by Sean the sales manager and announced the merger with Singleton, Prince William was represented by Carlton and Marine Max by Bill McGill. We were well represented with Angela, JD, Josh, Tim and myself attending. After being invited on stage, we had a photo opportunity and I addressed everyone attending and shared our support of the program and its contribution to the industry and how honored our Team is with being a HOF member.

I truly believe all of us attending left with excellent content and was well worth taking the time to attend. Again, it was their best effort to date.

This event continues to provide us an excellent opportunity to continue forging our relationships with those in the industry.

Thank you again for the confidence in me to represent Team Galati in such an event as last night. I am truly honored.

All my best, Darren

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