Press Releases

Grow Boating and MRAA unveil MDCE educational partnership
The two organizations are working together to help dealers navigate a changing marketplace

Grow Boating Inc. and the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA) are partnering to provide training and education at the 2017 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo (MDCE) to be held Dec. 10-13 in Orlando, organizers announced today. 

During the Grow Boating Summit in December 2016, which was held to take a pulse on the industry’s support of the Discover Boating campaign, participants voted unanimously in support of continuing the industry-funded marketing campaign and identified four areas of focus for Grow Boating moving forward: the boating experience, consumer education, research and industry education. 

“An integral part of our strategy is to make sure that we provide our stakeholders with insights and learnings that they can apply to their businesses while better understanding the value that the Discover Boating campaign brings the industry,” said Carl Blackwell, president of Grow Boating Inc. “We see MDCE as a great venue to help us with our education effort.”

Grow Boating is committed to creating opportunities  to help marine businesses enhance their marketing, sales and customer service success, by attracting more prospects to boating and providing consumers with an outstanding buying and ownership experience.

“The No. 1 reason marine retailers come to MDCE is to participate in the more than 30 educational sessions and workshops offered,” said Liz Walz, Vice President and Director of Education for MRAA, which co-produces MDCE alongside Boating Industry magazine. “With Grow Boating as our education partner, we can do even more to provide marine retailers with the data and training they need to successfully adapt to changes in today’s consumers.”

While this partnership officially kicks off at MDCE 2017, the two organizations are exploring ways they can build on the momentum generated by their MDCE collaboration to help the industry improve and grow through education year-round.

MDCE is the premier educational conference designed exclusively for marine retailers by marine retailers. In recent years, attendee numbers have increased dramatically. As a result of new and improved features for this year, coupled with record year-to-date registration numbers, MDCE now expects a record turnout for the 2017 conference.  

About the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo
The marine industry’s only dealer-specific educational conference, MDCE offers an in-depth lineup of educational topics, a full-featured expo hall and a series of fixed networking opportunities, all of which are designed to help marine dealers connect with and learn from others who can foster their success. MDCE is co-produced by MRAA and Boating Industry, and it features Educational Tracks, Pre-Conference Workshops, Keynote Presentations, Roundtable Discussions and Learning Labs. The 2017 event will be held Dec. 10-13 at the Orange County Convention Center, Rosen Centre Hotel, and Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando, Fla. For more information, visit

About Boating Industry
Boating Industry is the leading trade magazine serving the marine industry. For more than 85 years, boating professionals have turned to Boating Industry for market intelligence, product updates, best practices and industry news. For more information, visit

About the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas
The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas works to create a strong and healthy boating industry by uniting marine retail businesses, providing them with opportunities for improvement and growth, and representing them with a powerful voice. For more information, visit