EDS Through New Eyes: Part 2

In the first part of this blog, I focused on what companies can do to increase the benefits they get from attending industry shows such as the annual Electronics Distribution Show. In this concluding part, I address how social media is being used by everyone, including conference attendees to raise corporate visibility and advance the entire industry.

My focus in the first blog was on the three pillars of networking, education, and industry improvement that together make industry shows relevant. (See: EDS Through New Eyes: Part 1.) TTI got social at EDS, and we wanted to find out how others in the industry were using social media. Although weather cut our trip a little short and WiFi was sketchy, we learned a lot.

Do You Get Social Media?

There is a place for social: Before we left, we created the #EDSshow hashtag in the hopes that people on Twitter would see it and join the conversation. Not only did we see other people adopt the hashtag for their own tweets, but it led to us meeting other folks at EDS who are interested in bringing social media to the front page. We found that even though Twitter was where the most activity was happening, other networks like Facebook probably would have been just as successful.

There is desire for social education: We found multiple opportunities to educate people who want to take part in social media, but just don't quite know where to start. In fact, we ran into more folks who fell into this category than any other. Both at the executive and representative level, people are clamoring for knowledge about harnessing new media and making it work both on a professional and personal level. Barriers commonly identified were time, access, knowledge, and security of information.

The future is already social: Didn't expect this one, did you? While at the show, we had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with fifteen students from eight universities around the nation who were visiting EDS through ECIA's “Project Host.” The students were nominated by their professors to attend EDS as part of their ongoing education in electronics distribution.

We learned a lot from these students, not just from talking to them but from observing them. Their phones are their personal portals, and most were making Facebook and Twitter posts from the show. These are tomorrow's crop, poised to enter this industry, and they are already social. Not only do we need to make some improvements to relate to them, but we need to learn to speak their language in order to attract them.

So how do we make the jump? Together, I hope. As I mentioned in several conversations at EDS, we have set up a group on LinkedIn for those who want to take part in moving social media forward for our industry. The group is a place where we can post best practices, how-tos, and links to resources we have found useful. But most of all, it's a place to continue our discussion and keep the momentum. So spread the word; share this link, and join conversation.

8 comments on “EDS Through New Eyes: Part 2

  1. Daniel
    June 7, 2011

    Andy, social medias are becomes a common forums for industrial thought. Many companies have such networking groups in internet and they are very much making use of such facilities. So any update can reflect to all linked users and one of the easiest way to convey messages.

  2. Taimoor Zubar
    June 7, 2011

    I think social media is playing and will continue to play an important part accross all industries in connecting people and making the communication much easier. In the context of this, social media apps are also highly useful for companies. Businesses can further reap the benefits of social media using these apps. For instance, apps on Facebook can allow companies to create surveys which their target audience can fill, allow users to search for suppliers and components and various other uses.

  3. Tim Votapka
    June 7, 2011

    As we saw in the EBN survey today, social media is a key conduit with Twitter being the big winner in terms of growth between 2010 and 2011. I set up a Linked In group for my business about a year ago and it went from 0 members to 700 in less than 12 months.

  4. Barbara Jorgensen
    June 7, 2011

    I wasn't thinking about this while I was at EDS, but social media is perfect for such forums. It helps expedite meetings (hey–where are you?); exhibits (come check this out) and is great for last minute changes in plans. I'll admit I still don't use social media to its fullest extent, but I am beginning to see its use beyond ” I just ate a sandwich” and cute cat photos.

  5. alawson
    June 10, 2011

    @Jacob — The ability to have one to many connectivity is truly a great benefit of an integrated social network. And this benefit only grows when you have engaged users who continue the conversation with posts of their own. These collaborative environments can generate amazing results when harnessed properly. Thanks for contributing.

  6. alawson
    June 10, 2011

    @Tvotapka — I think the results of the survey were a telling reminder that the Social Media revolution moves whether we embrace it or not. I believe the best thing we can do is share our knowledge and learnings and find what works best for our areas.

  7. alawson
    June 10, 2011

    @TaimoorZ — Agreed. Apps were a key component for the success of Social. Not just by allowing more companies to contribute their expertise, but by allowing users to create customized networks that work FOR them. Thanks for the comment.

  8. alawson
    June 10, 2011

    @Barbara — You hit it on the head. I quoted someone yesterday who said Social has gone from “Look at me, I'm doing this” to “Look at us, we are changing the world”… Great quote.

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