The Ontario Marine Operators Association's (OMOA) Boating Ontario Conference and Trade Show, themed Survive and Thrive, begins Sunday and runs till December 1 at the Ambassador Conference Resort in Kingston, ON.
“Last year we certainly didn't have a theme like surviving the crisis,” says Jackie Crawford Wink, Conference Coordinator. “This year's conference will be more focused on what's happening now that's affecting marine businesses. There will be more hard facts about 'how we did it', 'how we're going to improve' and 'how the HST is going to affect you'. This is going to be a much more factual, how-to conference versus just a general way of running business. It will be specific on how to survive.”
The OMOA reports 260 pre-registered attendees for the event.
Opening day of the show will include registration, starting at 3:30 p.m. followed by the Survivor Party at 6:30 p.m. where John Gerretsen, MPP, Minister of the Environment will present the Clean Marine awards.
Monday's agenda offers a full day's schedule of timely discussions including updates on insurance issues, the skills shortage, floor planning, the Pleasure Craft Operators Card and water lot leases. At 9:00 a.m., Donald Cooper of The Donald Cooper Corporation, will make his keynote presentation on Survive & Thrive in the Marine Industryâ€¦how to sell more, manage smarter, grow your bottom lineâ€¦and have a life!. Following that there will be a brainstorming session that will involve breaking marina operators (separated into municipal and privately owned), trade members and dealers into their groups to discuss good business practices ideas. After lunch, Digital Communication Specialist Heather Robertson will present on Growing your Business Using Effective Web Marketing Tools, followed by Bob Emptage's presentation on Georgian College and a discussion on how HST will affect your business.
Tuesday will include a couple of presentations prior to the four-hour trade show featuring 70 exhibitors at Portsmouth Olympic Harbour. The presentation by Duane Kuck, President and CEO of Regal Boats, is quite possibly the most anticipated.
“He is going to open himself up for questions,” describes Crawford-Wink. “It's not going to just him standing there giving a presentation. He's one of those people who is in the know of everything in the industry, so we're hoping to get some hard line questions about what he really thinks is happening.”
The conference will wrap up later that evening at the President's Dinner where there will be an awards presentation.