The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas is off to a great start in 2012! I’m thrilled to let you all know that not only is 2012 the association’s 40th anniversary, but we’re expecting this year to be one of our best years yet.
Why? Well, we have numerous initiatives underway that will make membership all the more valuable to you and your business. Here’s a quick look at what you should expect from us in 2012:
Just before the turn of the new year, we locked in on a deal with a new association management system provider. In the dealership world, this would be the equivalent of a dealership management system, a customer relations management system and a new website provider rolled into one product. We’ll be launching a brand new website, hopefully by Feb. 1, which will make finding information about your benefits and other happenings at MRA a lot easier. We’ll be creating a series of new email newsletters so we can stay in contact with you more effectively. And behind the scenes, we’ll be running a new database that will allow you to manage your account, register for events and pay your dues online. All with the click of a button.
In the last three months of 2011, the MRAA more than doubled the number of benefits that it offers its members. Couple that with our new membership structure, and it’s extremely easy to see the clear return on your dues investment. But wait! There’s more. We have a series of new benefits we’re about to make public in the coming days and weeks, all of which will add even more value to your membership. Stay tuned.
New educational events
At last year’s Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, we announced the creation of Marine Retail University, a series of one-day dealer education events that we’ll be hosting regionally across the United States. These events will provide dealers with trends and data specific to their region, in addition to other expert advice and best practices the MRAA has accumulated. We’re close to announcing the title sponsor for this series, in addition to the first two marine trades associations that have locked in an event to be held in their region.
An even better MDCE
Last year’s Marine Dealer Conference & Expo was the best yet. The interaction between dealers and the suppliers, above and beyond the always-strong mix of educational sessions has created a great deal of excitement about the 2012 event. We’re moving back to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, which will facilitate the growth we’re expecting. If you haven’t yet attended an MDCE — where nearly 500 dealers and 1,000 industry people gather each year — you should make plans right now to do so in 2012.
All of these developments have been created to provide you a greater return on your membership investment. Watch for many great things to be coming out of the MRAA in 2012!