An estimated 140 boating business professionals convened at the River Rock Casino in Richmond, BC, in late November for the 2012 BC Marine Trades Association (BCMTA) conference.
"We're very pleased with the attendance this year,' says BCMTA Executive Director, Kim Barbero. "This represents an attendance increase of almost 40 percent over the 2011 event. We had an expanded program this year that allowed for an even stronger lineup of speakers that, combined with the enthusiasm from the success of last year's conference, resulted in a very strong turnout.'
With a focus on ‘business and personal growth' the 2012 BCMTA conference presented a number of keynote speakers. Businessman Cameron Herold, best known for growing 1-888-GOT-JUNK from a $2 million to a $106 million company, discussed the values associated with successful business practices while mountaineer Laurie Skreslet spoke about parallels between personal and business success. Richard Straka, Marine Industry Leader for Toronto-based GE Capital Solutions, provided an overview of current global and local economic conditions, and their implications for marine dealers. Trade show marketing educator Robin Johnston spoke at length about best practices for building profitable customer relationships at winter boat shows, while multi-cultural marketing specialist Milind Shirke discussed ethnic marketing strategies with a view to attracting more business from British Columbia's growing South Asian community.
One conference highlight was presentation of the association's first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award to Dwight Davies, former President of Mustang Survival. "This is the first time the BCMTA has bestowed such an award and there is no doubt this is absolutely the right time and the right person,' said BCMTA President Don Prittie. "Dwight Davies successfully evolved and expanded a local company, fostered a culture of commitment and broke geographic barriers to create a brand that is today synonymous with safety and success.'
The 2012 event marked the second year of a three-year commitment to explore the viability of making the BCMTA conference an annual event. "The event is open to everyone in the marine industry,' says Barbero. "There are many common issues, whether one is a BCMTA member or not.'