@cryptoman: I didn't mean to imply that a lot of deals aren't made on the show floor. They are. It's just that deals are no longer sealed with a handshake. The supplier-distributor relationship has become so complex that a lot of due diligence and negotiation has to happen before the first part is ever sold. There is a lot of value for suppliers in getting their products out in front of potential distributors. And distributors could add a line or two and almost carry inventory from the show floor. Trade issues and environmental regulations are just two of the hurdles these partners have to iron out...life was simpler 'back then.'
I am surprised to hear that there is a declining trend in closing deals on the trade floor in EDS. I was almost certain that distributors and suppliers would be shaking hands on new business there and then. If the distributors and the suppliers visit EDS just to establish an initial familiarity, this sounds like little benefit for the costs involved.
Having said that the biggest advantage seems to be because everyone is present in the same place, many companies can meet one another in a time-efficient way without having to spend too much time travelling and organising meetings.
Laurie: I'm curious if you attend other trade shows and how they compare to EDS? It's been awhile since I had the time or resources to attend a trade show for the sake of attending a trade show. I will say the venue of EDS (the Cosmopolitan) blows the top off of previous locations, although sprinting from the show floor to the suites and back again hasn't changed a bit. :-)
@cryptoman: Thanks for your perspective. You make a very important point and it does pertain to EDS. EDS was originally established so that SMBs in the tech sector could attract the attention of distributors and other potential sales channels. Most of these companies were not household names; displayed their products in their booth; and measured their ROI in the number of distributors (or OEM customers) they could sign. That population has declined, and my impression is that franchises are not given away on the show floor. A supplier and a distributor have to invest time and money in one another and it is not a handshake deal anymore. On the other hand, just having a booth or your name on the registration list may develop a familiarity, so when you call a distributor, they'll have an idea who you are.
I have not attended the EDS either but I can say a few words on attending exhibitions and shows.
I have spent most of my professional life in small businesses (SMEs) where the budgets are limited, efficient work is critical and where there is a constant drive to bring new business in. Therefore, for SMEs attending trade shows is something that needs to be thought carefully as this means extra cost. This extra cost needs to be compensated by bringing new business to the company. General approach taken by the direcors of SMEs is based on the following simple question most of the time "How much business potential does a trade show offer?" Due to the cost concerns, attending trade shows that offer no potential business return is often not even considered by the SMEs. Some exhibitions offer great opportunities for engineers to gain knowledge on new technologies but no potential business. However, the SME bosses are so focused on hard cash that these good chances are ruled out and ignored.
This is different for big companies where engineers are free to attend the relevant exhibitions regardless of the business potentials involved. I know in some companies engineers are 'strongly encouraged' to follow and attend trade shows to show presence.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.