How to get the most out of EDS

EDS is a very unique event, and much more than just "a show". To get the most from participating in this unique event, participants have to understand its multiple dimensions, and plan in advance to capitalize on its distinctive features:

EDS is an appointment-centered meeting place, and becomes more so each year. Planning for EDS should include contacting the people you want to see, well in advance of your arrival in Las Vegas.

Maintaining a schedule for EDS is a big task. To help you plan for a busy EDS, we offer this Excel file which is used by a number of our participants:

 Download Schedule Template 

EDS is a marketplace where conversation and conference lead to commerce. Appointments are not enough. 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, and preparation to meet those objectives, are the basic elements behind every successful EDS meeting. 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. Your planning should allow time to visit the Association Center, where the two sponsoring associations that bring you EDS also 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 and your prosperity. Keynotes and networking events all put you on top of the trends that shape your future.

A Dozen Best Practices for a Successful EDS

EDS week is extremely busy. Below are a dozen best practices that will help you and your company get the most out of your time and financial investment.

  1. Register. To guarantee the most positive experience while in Las Vegas, it is imperative that you register through edsconnects.com. The sooner, the better. We want to make sure your meeting space requirements and hotel room needs are met.
  2. Create a calendar. You will have very little time to make any adjustments to your schedule at EDS, so planning in advance is of the utmost importance. Make sure you set aside time for the EDS All-Industry Event on Tuesday, May 17th, from 4:30 to 6PM.
  3. Schedule your meetings early. Most distributors and manufacturers start scheduling their meetings in December. You don’t need to have the meeting details planned out this early, but making sure you have a time slot allocated for your meetings is first and foremost. As EDS gets closer, re-confirm your meeting times.
  4. While scheduling your meetings, identify specific people that you want in attendance. This is the best way for you to make sure that your meetings are going to meet your expectations. Relatedly, make sure the right people from your own company will be at EDS. If some key people’s time is limited, make sure the schedule of meetings and dinners reflects their availability.
  5. Make dinner plans just as early. It is also a good idea to agree in advance about the price range of the dinner and identify who will be paying (or if bill is to be split), to avoid any confusion or awkward moments.
  6. Set goals for the meetings. Identify your company’s internal goals when crafting your presentation material. What do you want your company message to be, and what do you want from your distributors, reps or manufacturers in return?
  7. Plan your hour wisely. Typically meetings are one hour in length, so make it count. Share your goals and agree upon a meeting strategy. Talk about things that you want to accomplish and who should be in attendance to make that happen. Allocate time for each of the companies to present and a 5 minute wrap-up period. Keep a close eye on the time, to avoid cutting into time for the next meeting.
  8. Prepare materials in advance. Back-up documentation will only help in making the meeting count, instead of having to ‘go back and check’ on some details that could have been prepared.
  9. Allow time before the meetings to set up your rooms or meeting space. Make sure you have the necessary equipment such as A/V requirements, drinks, snacks, business cards, handouts or giveaways, etc.
  10. Once the meetings start, keep track of who is there and what is discussed. Assign a person to keep meeting notes, action items, and commitments.
  11. Recap and agree to follow-up items prior to the meeting end.
  12. Post-meeting – follow up, follow up, follow up!