First timer FAQs

What is EDS?

EDS is two events in one, both of which have elements that make EDS more than just a show. To get the most from this event, participants have to plan in advance to capitalize on its distinctive features.

EDS is an appointment-centered meeting place. Planning for EDS should include contacting the people you want to see well in advance of your arrival in Las Vegas. Whether your purpose is to refresh an existing relationship or to create a new one, you should have a checklist of what you want to accomplish at each meeting. Planned objectives are the basic elements behind every successful EDS meeting.

Make connections outside the company’s meeting space to build on business relationship

EDS is a marketplace, where conversation and conference lead to commerce. Every meeting at EDS has to explore or confirm a ‘fit’ between the products a manufacturer offers and the markets a distributor or representative serves.

EDS is a resource center and a forum. Tri-Association Central is where the three associations that bring you EDS put their resources at your disposal. As a forum where industry trends are explored, EDS provides both formal and informal methods of learning what’s new, what’s happening, what’s going to be happening and what it means to your company. Keynotes, seminars and networking events all explore the trends that shape the future.


Who attends EDS?

Most of the people wearing exhibitor badges at EDS sell products they manufacture, or have manufactured for them, through the distributor channel. They may be at EDS to find new distributors, or to meet with their established distributors, or to recruit manufacturers’ representatives. Other companies offer products or services that the companies attending EDS use in their own businesses, such as software, internet services, or consultancy.

Distributors of electronic components and related products attend EDS from all over the world, including those who do business primarily in local markets, those who do business nationally and globally. Some distributors specialize in particular component categories, such as switches or batteries, and some specialize in particular customer categories, like lighting or security.

Many manufacturers participating in EDS outsource their field sales to professional organizations that serve a clearly defined territory, do not take title to the goods they sell, and are compensated primarily through commissions on sales results. Many also receive fees for providing special services and/or retainers for introducing ‘missionary’ product lines — new market entries without an existing customer base in the territory.

Three U.S. trade associations sponsor EDS: Electronic Components, Assemblies and Materials Association, Electronics Representatives Association and National Electronic Distributors Association. All have personnel on site to answer questions about the industry and the associations.

Why attend EDS?

Distributor attendees are looking for new lines to carry, compatible with the needs of their distributor base, or for new products from their existing vendors. Be prepared to tell them who uses your products and how they differ from similar and/or competitive products. They expect new vendors to have a program in place, including recommended inventories, selling prices, return policies, lead generation and marketing support.

Representative attendees are at EDS to facilitate dialogue between the distributors that they call on and the manufacturers whose products they bring to market. They may also be looking for new line opportunities and to meet with their current principals for review and planning. Representatives who are looking for product lines, want to be sure that a new line will fit well with the other products they sell. They want exclusivity in their clearly defined territories. If you do not have an established customer base, expect them to want to be paid fees for introducing your missionary line.

Manufacturer attendees may be looking for new distributors, new representatives, or both. They may be at EDS only to interface with their existing channel network. They may be planning to introduce new products for their distributors to sell, or new strategies and programs.

The EDS environment is conducive to adding a personal element to every business relationship

How does EDS work?

Whether your EDS ‘home’ is a booth, a Euro-suite, a conference room, or a hotel suite, your company is being represented so make sure your environment projects the right message about your brand.

In a booth or Euro, be on your feet to welcome guests, whether drop-ins or appointments.Take notes on action items and keep a record of everyone you’ve talked with. Qualify the people you’re talking to so you don’t appear busy when you’re with someone you can’t do business with, thereby discouraging a real prospect from waiting.

Sometimes you’ll have more meetings than your space can accommodate. Contact EDS Management for additional options. Remember, the Tri-Association Central has lounge facilities available, even for non-members.

Shows are about commerce — whether the deal is made on site, or the site visit is setting the stage for later, the ultimate goal is to sell. At EDS, the attendee is not looking for something to buy, but for something to sell. Branding is key so advertising in the Show Daily and Directory, sponsorships and hospitality are all ways to build brand.

How do you get an appointment at EDS?

Ask for it. Make a list of who you want or need to see and call or email with a suggested time. Tell them what you’ll have at EDS and what it can mean for them. Using the EDS mailing list of registered distributors is one way to get appointments or drop-ins from people you don’t know. Tell them what you’ll have at EDS and what it can mean for them.

Use your own contact list too and don’t worry about crosschecking it with the EDS list. Your invitation may be the tipping point for someone who hadn’t previously registered. Use the EDS meeting facilitator service to announce that you are open to seeing new distributors, whether in specific regions or across the country. It’s free and effective because it prequalifies mutual interest. Use the EDS online scheduler to keep track of appointments and download to your PDA. Attend the speed networking session to meet many new potential business partners in a rapid and efficient forum.

How do you prepare for appointments at EDS?

Every appointment needs an agenda. Ask the distributor or rep you’re meeting with what they want to talk about and integrate your agenda with theirs. Have necessary support data on hand, including sales history, market share/competition, new product information, business plans and be prepared to discuss foreseeable problems and opportunities.

Here are some of the issues that are likely to be on any agenda. Be prepared to answer them as well as to ask them.

  • How’s business?
  • What’s affecting business in your market area?
  • What are your forecasts for the year ahead?
  • How are we doing? How can we improve our service to you and your customers?
  • How have you been impacted by the major trends and issues in the marketplace?
  • Globalization and manufacturing moving offshore
  • Impact of e-commerce and industry consolidation
  • Environmental pressures, technology advances — wireless and others

Don’t talk about your product, talk about what your product can do for your visitor. Take notes, collect business cards and follow up.

The two basic elements that make EDS tick are new opportunities and old friends and certainly the EDS environment is conducive to adding a personal element to every business relationship.