Get up close and personal

The Electronic Distribution Show (EDS) is all about one-to-one meetings. Planning your trip requires careful consideration of two key factors – time and topic

Every year, manufacturers of electronic components, instruments and accessories, as well as distributors and manufacturer’s representatives, come together to meet, make contacts and build their businesses at EDS. The event is more than a traditional trade show however, with the emphasis on forging and maintaining business relationships through scheduled one-on-one meetings.

This year, the show will take place at The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, a hotel which boasts a number of entertainment and dining options, luxury guest accommodation and a design that minimises time spent getting from meeting to meeting.

An online meeting scheduler helps delegates maximise their time

More than a typical trade show, planning for EDS meetings requires careful consideration of two key factors – time and topic. EDS is appointment-oriented with structured meetings. An online meeting scheduler is provided on the show website to facilitate the process of maximising your time. For new participants, it’s important to know that these meetings are scheduled well in advance and conducted in private meeting suites throughout the hotel and show floor. Although there are many opportunities for a chance encounter, for the most part attendees come prepared with a tight schedule.

The most successful meetings are those that are not only scheduled in advance, but where both parties are well versed in the topics to be discussed. It’s best to define a few key issues and remain focused on those throughout the meeting. Maximize your return on investment by sharing your goals with meeting participants in advance and having all support data available to review. Many manufacturers use this annual meeting to review sales goals and year to year performance. Others introduce new products. Regardless, it is an important time when manufacturers and their distributors and sales reps have each other’s undivided attention. Meetings are typically scheduled from early morning to evening, back to back in one-hour increments.

What if your schedule has some holes? Check the EDS website for lists of participants looking to pick up lines or have lines available. Use this information to introduce your company to those that fit those needs. The website is full of useful information to make the show experience successful.

Work it

Remember that every meeting is a chance to build your company’s brand. Whether you are in a booth, a suite or a conference room, your company is on display. EDS makes planning easy with a preparation checklist and an online manual for logistics and support services.

Making each encounter memorable takes thoughtful development. Company representatives should deliver a clear, concise message about your business. Discussions should center around the benefits of your company or product versus the features. Above all, remember that there should be a method to collect information about the people you have encountered, as well as a follow up plan when you return from the show.

EDS is held in Las Vegas for a reason. Make connections outside the company’s meeting space to build on business relationships.

Marketing matters

Many trade shows stress that bigger is better but at EDS it’s different. Grand scale booths are not the norm and your company may never make it to the exhibit floor, yet it’s still important to make a splash in front of 4,000 top decision makers in the electronic distribution industry, so marketing is key.

Whether you are a manufacturer, a distributor or a manufacturers’ representative, you’ll find helpful hints at the EDS website specifically geared towards structuring better meetings at EDS. More expert advice on getting the most out of EDS is available from members of the EDS board and/or show staff.