Chaparral and Robalo Boats hold successful 49th annual dealer conference
Chaparral Boats, Inc.
September 5, 2013
Filed under News
September 5, 2013 – The 49th Annual Chaparral and Robalo Dealer Conference held at the exclusive Ocean Reef Club in the Florida Keys, was truly an “Experience Like No Other”. Cool ocean breezes and unique meeting sites provided Chaparral and Robalo Dealers with an exceptional meeting experience. With over 480 attendees the meeting was a huge success. “We asked our staff to really think outside the box for our dealer conference this year, to provide our dealers with an experience like no other. The conference agenda and Ocean Reef Club provided us the unique experiences we were looking for.” said Chaparral President Jim Lane.
There was a balance of business and fun at this year’s conference. With over 20 Chaparral and Robalo boats in the water and an exciting business meeting, dealers were updated on the company in style. New to the water this year were the Chaparral H2O 21 and the 307 SSX and the Robalo 206 Cayman and R222. The Ocean Reef Club provided many fun actives including snorkeling and an alligator tour.
The annual business meeting was held in the Ocean Reef Club’s Cultural Center. Jim Lane, President of Chaparral, provided updates on the company and the boating industry. Buck Pegg, Founder, and Mike Fafard, VP of Engineering, presented the exciting updates to the boats and also introduced new boats available this year. Buck and Mike also provided in depth presentations on Chaparral’s entrance into the Jet Boat Market. In addition to these presentations there were also dealer speakers and a Presidents Panel.
Four of Chaparral’s leading dealers presented, Johnny Padgett – Modern Marine, Nashville, TN – Earning and Retaining Exceptional CSI, Phillip Foss – Destin Sunrise Marine, Mary Esther, FL – Profiting from Nationally Advertised Boats, Gary Nichols – Nichols Marine, Monkey Island, OK – The Dividends of Investing in Your Boat Show, and David Lowman – The Boat Rack, Sherrills Ford, NC – Brand Focus & Market Share Leader. “Each of these dealers that spoke had an interesting message and experience to share with our dealer base” Jim Lane said.
The first time ever assembled, the Presidents Panel was made up of Presidents from companies that are leading the marine industry. The Presidents Panel fielded questions that had been provided by the dealers. Topics discussed ranged from the right size of inventory dealer levels, future interest rates, grow boating funding, changing demographics, sterndrive sales increases, importance of boat shows, the role of the Internet in the consumers’ buying cycles, customer satisfaction and the necessity for political involvement in our industry on the local, state and national levels among many other relevant strategic discussions.
The Presidents Panel included: Thom Dammrich – President National Marine Manufacturers Association, Matt Gruhn – President Marine Retail Association of the Americas, Ron Huibers – President Volvo Penta Americas, Mark Schwabero – President Mercury Marine, Ben Speciale – President Yamaha Marine Group, Bruce Van Wagoner – President GE Commercial Distribution Finance Marine Group. Liz Walz of the MRAA served as the moderator for the Presidents Panel.
“To have this group of leaders in the industry assembled in one location was truly a great opportunity for our dealers” Lane said.
The conference ended with the annual awards banquet with Key Note Speaker Mike Pilot, Chief Commercial Officer of GE capital. Dealers enjoyed gourmet food and video presentations throughout the evening.
For some fun, Chaparral and Robalo hosted a Fishing Tournament and a Golf Tournament. Chaparral and Robalo also hosted unique evening events including a Street Party and a Beach Party. The fish that was caught during the fishing tournament was later served at the beach party.
With over 49 years in the boating business Chaparral and Robalo are proud of their dealer network and the success it has had. “I believe that any time you do a job well and you are successful in your endeavor it brings a lot of satisfaction and when I look at our dealer network I see a lot of satisfaction.”, said Lane. It was truly a Dealer Conference Like No Other!