First Time at EDS

  • What is EDS?

    EDS is the premier annual event for the main players in the international electronics industry.

    Every year, the 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. Suppliers of industry goods and services also are on hand to market their products.

    The emphasis at EDS is on forging and maintaining business relationships through scheduled, one-on-one meetings, but the event is also filled with important product exhibits educational, educational programs and networking opportunities.

    EDS is an combined effort and strongly supported by the industry's top member organizations — the Electronic Components Industry Association and the Electronics Representatives Association International.

    Have more specific questions? 


    As a small distributor, how do I get access to those good industrial lines who are locked away in suites?

    Although most of those companies have established and very limited distributor networks, they do make changes from time to time. If you want to stimulate an interview, however, you can't wait until you get to EDS. Identify lines for which you think you're qualified, and call the Distributor Sales Manager in January or February to ask for an appointment at EDS. Many companies leave time open on their appointment calendars just for the purpose of meeting with selected potential distributors.


    Why aren’t the suites closed while the show floor is open?

    EDS exists to facilitate dialogue between manufacturers and distributors, but not to regulate it. Accordingly, we provide a choice of venues to meet the style and preferences of the various companies who participate in EDS. Typically the companies in suites are heavily OEM-oriented manufacturers and their distributors; where the companies on the show floor are more likely to be MRO-oriented.


    How many people attend?

    Attendance at EDS is typically about 4000 individuals, divided relatively equally among manufacturers' suppliers, distributor, and manufacturers' representative personnel. EDS has superb market penetration, attracting some 80% each year of the target audience of companies who distribute electronic components. Electronic distribution is a compact industry, so that computes to about 600 distributor attendees from 200 companies. When you divide that number among 300 manufacturers, participating in meetings that often run half an hour or longer, you understand why it's so important for manufacturers' suppliers to take aggressive action to be sure to attract the distributors they want to see


    What’s the procedure for getting a badge to EDS?

    For distributor and rep badges, there is online registration right here on our website. Badges are $60, but are prepaid by association members when they pay their association dues.

    Manufacturers who are at EDS will receive badges from the Show Corporation, for all personnel attending EDS.

    Companies who wish to meet with EDS attendees, or to evaluate the event for the future participation, and who do not require meeting space, may register for the EDS Affiliate Registration badges. These badges provide access to all areas, to all official EDS programs, and provide space for a limited number of meetings.

    Affiliates who register in advance will be listed in the Show Directory and on the EDS website, including address, phone, email, key personnel and products.

    There is a fee of $750 per company for Members and $800 per company for Non Members for Affiliate status, which includes the issuance of up to two (2) badges.


    Why are some manufacturers in other hotels? It would be much more convenient for distributors to see everyone in one place.

    It's rare that we can't accommodate every manufacturer who wants to be part of the EDS marketplace in the headquarters hotels. Chances are that any company in another hotel is there to avoid paying a participation fee to the Show Corporation. Thus that company is taking advantage of a marketplace paid for by others. We advise you to decline appointments with manufacturers in other hotels. It's not the best use of your time, and efficient use of time is what EDS is all about!


    Why is EDS always in Las Vegas?

    First and foremost, because it works best for most people! Las Vegas comes out on top every time we survey the industry on the best place. That has something to do with value -- low priced plane fares without a Saturday stayover, deluxe hotel rooms over $100 a night less than comparable rooms in most big cities, favorable rates for exhibit services, etc.

    But the other big point is that the industry likes the under-one-roof idea, with suites, conferences, seminars and housing all in the same place. There are very few facilities that offer enough rooms, and suites, plus adequate space for displays, seminars, meetings, conferences, etc., all in the same complex!


    Why does EDS have registration fees for distributors and representatives?

    EDS operates for the benefit of the three functions in the distribution channel, manufacturers, distributors, and professional field sales (manufacturers' representatives). All three groups derive financial benefit through their participation; but essentially the entire cost of producing EDS has been borne by manufacturers. The EDS Board believes that the manufacturing community should not pay the full freight for putting on an event which is of equal importance to the other functions in the channel. Given the over-all investment distributors and reps make in coming to Las Vegas (plane fares, hotels, meals, etc.), the $60 badge fee (per person) is not expected to deter any one from attending; but will help keep the bottom line black. Of equal importance, it will spread the cost among all the people who benefit, not put the whole burden on one segment.


    Who owns EDS?

    Where the Electronics Industry Connects is operated not-for-profit under the sponsorship of the two electronic industry trade associations most concerned with distribution, ECIA and ERA. (Originally organized by manufacturer groups in 1937, the distributor association joined in a year or so later, and the Electronics Representatives Association became an equal partner in the early 1970's.)

    A Board of Directors of leaders in the two trade associations sets policy and direction. Directors are selected because of their stature in their companies and their association and serve without compensation, for terms not to exceed six consecutive years. The presidency rotates among the three groups.



    The EDS participant list includes most of the important manufacturers of interconnect, passive and electro-mechanical components, but not of active components. How does EDS relate to the semiconductor industry?

    EDS has tried a number of formats and devices over the years to attract semiconductor manufacturers as program participants. Their general response is that the importance of the relationships they have with their distributors is such that they see one another regularly, and don't need the facility provided by the EDS marketplace. (This does not explain, however, why so many personnel from semiconductor companies happen to be in Las Vegas while EDS is going on.)


    The OEM segment of the EDS universe and the MRO segment seem to have differing needs. Would the industry be better off with separate shows?

    While the premise of different needs is largely correct, a significant number of respondents in our surveys classify themselves as Both OEM and MRO, and thus could be faced with having to attend an extra show.

    Moreover, the costs of operating two separate events would be so much higher that the industry prefers to accept the small trade-offs necessary to accommodate the OEMs, the MROs, and the hybrids in a single event.


    As a new or potential EDS participant, how do I decide which of the many participation options is best for my company’s needs?

    Your distribution strategy, the size of your distributor network, and the importance of your line to your distributors are among the factors that come into play. You'll find a thumbnail description of the various formats — Exhibit Booths, Euro Suites, Conference Units and Hotel Suites — elsewhere on this Web site. In addition, you can Ask the Experts on the EDS staff and Board or at the sponsoring associations for advice.


    What kinds of products do distributors look for at EDS?

    • Amplifiers
    • Antennas and accessories
    • Audio components
    • Bar coding equipment
    • Batteries and battery packs
    • Cabinets and enclosures
    • Cable assemblies
    • Capacitors
    • Cases
    • Catalogs and books
    • CB products
    • Chassis slides
    • Chemicals
    • Circuit protection devices
    • Coils
    • Communications equipment
    • Computer peripherals and supplies
    • Connectors
    • Consumer products
    • Controls
    • Crystals
    • Datacom
    • Decals and marking devices
    • Displays and readouts
    • Fans and blowers
    • Fasteners
    • Fiberoptics
    • Filters
    • Fuses
    • Heat sinks
    • Heat tools
    • Hybrids
    • Indicator lights
    • Insulating products
    • Integrated circuits
    • Interconnect devices
    • Jacks and plugs
    • Lamps
    • LEDs
    • Magnetic materials
    • Marine electronics
    • Meters
    • Microphones
    • Microwave products
    • Optical devices
    • Oscillators
    • Outlet strips
    • Paging systems
    • Plugs and sockets
    • Potentiometers
    • Power protection equipment
    • Power supplies
    • Printed circuit boards
    • Printers
    • Rectifiers
    • Relays
    • Resistors
    • RFI power line filters
    • Security products
    • Semiconductors
    • Sensors
    • Sockets
    • Solar equipment
    • Solenoids
    • Solder and soldering irons
    • Solid state systems and devices
    • Speakers and sound equipment
    • Static control products
    • Surface mounted devices and hardware
    • Switches
    • Switchboards
    • Telephone equipment
    • Terminal blocks
    • Test equipment
    • Timers
    • Tools
    • Towers and accessories
    • Transformers
    • Tubes
    • Tubing
    • UPS
    • Video equipment and accessories
    • Voltage protection devices
    • Wire and cable
    • Wire harness equipment
    • Workstations

  • What is EDS?

    EDS is two events in one, and both of the events have dimensions that make EDS much more than just a show. To get the most benefit 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. 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.

    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. Your planning should also allow time to visit Association Central, where the three 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, seminars, and networking events all put you on top of the trends that shape your future.


    Who attends EDS?

    Most of the people wearing Manufacturer 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 primarily to recruit manufacturers' representatives. Other companies with Manufacturer badges offer products or services that the companies attending EDS use in their own businesses… software, internet services, consultants, etc.

    Distributors of electronic components and related products attend EDS from all over the world, and they include both those who do business primarily in their own local markets, and 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 (rep firms) 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).

    The three primary U.S. trade associations concerned with electronics distribution, Electronic Components, Assemblies, and Materials Association, Electronics Representatives Association, and National Electronic Distributors Association, sponsor EDS and have key personnel on site to answer questions about the industry as well as about the associations.

    All of the major electronics industry trade publications (print and online) that cover the channel, and many of those that cover products and technology attend EDS. Thus, EDS is a prime venue for interfacing with editors and reporters. As with the other aspects of EDS planning, you need to tell the media in advance what you have that's new and suggest a time to meet, either one on one, or through a press conference in Media Central.


    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, and/or to build relationships and to find out what's going on in the industry. 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. They know that at EDS they can get more done at less expense than via any other meeting of their channel partners.


    How do you get an appointment at EDS?

    Ask for it. Make a list of whom 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.

    The experts tell us it takes three repetitions to get an idea across. 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, it's easy, and it's effective, because it prequalifies mutual interest. Go to and sign on. Use the EDS Online Scheduler to keep track of your appointments. Before the show, you can download it 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, although it won't necessarily be the same agenda for each meeting.

    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 and their customers.

    Don't scare people away because you're so busy talking to your own staff.

    Take notes, collect business cards — and follow up.

    An industry sage once remarked that the two basic elements that make EDS tick are new opportunities and old friends. Certainly the EDS environment is conducive to adding a personal element to every business relationship.