May 11–15, 2020

Mirage ◦ Las Vegas

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:

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.


Best Prac­tices for a Suc­cess­ful EDS

EDS week is extreme­ly busy. Below are 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 edssum​mit​.com. The soon­er, the bet­ter. We want to make sure your meet­ing space require­ments and hotel room needs are met. EDS is finan­cial­ly sup­port­ed by the par­tic­i­pa­tion fees paid by man­u­fac­tur­ers. It is impor­tant to attend meet­ings held at the EDS Lead­er­ship Sum­mit hotel.
  2. Cre­ate a cal­en­dar. You will have very lit­tle time to make any adjust­ments to your sched­ule while attend­ing 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 12th, from 4:30 to 6PM. A tem­plate is avail­able here on web­site if it will assist with your scheduling. 
  3. Sched­ule your meet­ings ear­ly. Most dis­trib­u­tors, man­u­fac­tur­ers, and manufacturer’s sales rep­re­sen­ta­tives 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 reserved for your meet­ings is first and fore­most. As EDS gets clos­er, re-con­firm your meet­ing times. It is strong­ly rec­om­mend­ed to plan ear­ly as sched­ules fill quick­ly and last-minute meet­ing requests are dif­fi­cult to accommodate. 
  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. Here is a list of restau­rant sug­ges­tions and loca­tions for groups.
  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? Manufacturer’s Rep meet­ings: (See sug­gest­ed guide­lines for hold­ing Manufacturer’s / Manufacturer’s Sales Rep­re­sen­ta­tive meetings)
  7. Plan your hour wise­ly. Meet­ings are typ­i­cal­ly 50 to 55 min­utes 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. It is a good prac­tice to be respect­ful and aware of time to allow every­one to make their next sched­uled meet­ing. Keep­ing all of your appoint­ments at the Mirage, rather than off-site will allow you to max­i­mize your time at EDS.
  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. Con­sid­er hav­ing all of your mate­ri­als on a USB or Flash Dri­ve to help facil­i­tate a good flow in the meet­ing with­out hav­ing to stop and switch out lap­tops & con­nec­tions. Con­sid­er tools for orga­niz­ing your­self at the show such as elec­tron­ic cap­ture of busi­ness cards, elec­tron­ic tasks lists for fol­low up, etc.
  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, cables, 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 with­in 30 days. It is impor­tant to fol­low up with­in 30 days before every­one for­gets every­thing that was agreed upon at EDS. It is easy to just get wrapped back up in our dai­ly jobs when return­ing home, so it is imper­a­tive to spend the time to fol­low up and keep the great momen­tum going from a suc­cess­ful week at the EDS Lead­er­ship Summit. 
  13. If you are host­ing meet­ings, send out con­fir­ma­tion emails 60 days, 30 days and a week before EDS begins. Try and get the list of atten­dees of the indi­vid­ual dis­trib­u­tors beforehand.
  14. Appoint one indi­vid­ual from your team to keep track of your entire teams’ appoint­ments includ­ing din­ners and oth­er social events.

Best Prac­tices for Suc­cess­ful Meet­ings with Your Reps

  1. Respect time. Often due the nature of EDS reps in many cas­es are over­sched­uled, so 2 and 3 hour Rep meet­ings cre­ate a huge challenge.
  2. Due to hourly time slots set up, the off prop­er­ty events are extreme­ly chal­leng­ing and may not be attend­ed at all by reps.
  3. Try to hold meet­ing away from busiest days. Wednes­day and Thurs­day are used pri­mar­i­ly for Dis­trib­u­tor / Man­u­fac­tur­er meet­ings. In most cas­es Reps need to attend these.
  4. Avoid week­end meet­ings out of respect for attendees
  5. Do not expect your Reps to have to bring extra peo­ple from their com­pa­ny out to Vegas just to attend the Man­u­fac­tur­er / Rep meet­ing unless par­tic­i­pa­tion is required
  6. The meet­ings should be focused on NPI, Strate­gies, Tools for the Reps to use going for­ward, Mid-year State of union type sub­jects, Issues / Chal­lenges. It is extreme­ly chal­leng­ing to do busi­ness reviews, rep coun­cil meet­ing QBRs’, etc. due to the nature of the short time slots and active meet­ing sched­ules. The qual­i­ty of these meet­ing tends to be dimin­ished because of the amount of meet­ings at the show.

Video Dave Norris

Best Prac­tices Video Series

We’ve cre­at­ed a series of videos on best prac­tices and tips for a suc­cess­ful EDS. Watch them here.

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