Hutchings Marine Products' 6th annual Shirt Sleeve Training Sessions held at the Muskoka Boat and Heritage Centre in Gravenhurst, ON March 4, provided essential information for its dealer base by scheduling key speakers from various segments of the Canadian marine industry.
While this year's training sessions did not include a trade show as in previous years, the series of popular speakers, which ranged from environmental marketing topics to various products reviews and seminars, attracted approximately 150 attendees from 85 marine dealerships.
“We have always done well with the seminars,” says Judy Semple, Hutchings Marine's co-owner and secretary treasurer. “Our dealers appreciated the one-on-one time with the manufacturers. They received up-to-date information and I think they liked it better this year because in the past, we have had the tradeshow as well as the seminars. Dealers have commented that one distracts one from the other. We did have a few new products on display, however it was not a selling show. We strongly feel this has a positive impact, and leads to future sales.”
In addition to the series of speakers during the training sessions, Semple explained Peter Muir, program director for the power sports and recreational marine technology program of Fenelon Falls Secondary School, was in attendance with students to further promote the school's cooperative program in the Canadian marine industry.
“The dealers were very receptive,” said Semple. “Students were able to make contact with the dealers in regards to the cooperative programs,” said Semple. “It was also great that the students were able to come and see another side on the marine industry. They took part in the seminars and were able to speak with the dealers and get involved in being co-op students at their marinas. Peter also spoke about his students partaking in the cooperative program.”