As the calendar turns to the month of May, I’m reminded of an event that occurs each year this month. No, not May Day, Cinco de Mayo, Memorial Day, or even my son’s birthday… It’s the Electronics Distribution Show (EDS) in Las Vegas.
This annual electronics show has been an industry standard for more than 70 years — although not always in May or in Las Vegas. Over the years, the show has changed and evolved in attempts to stay relevant during a time when traditional tradeshows have seen better days.
I had the privilege of serving on the EDS board for several years and as president for the 2007 show (talk about evolving, a woman president of an electronics show!?). Being on the inside gave me insight into just how hard everyone tried to continue to produce a show that brought value to its constituents. I’m sure the current board and sponsoring associations are striving to bring value to the 2011 show. Now, if they can only show the value of that $200 pot of coffee and $30 sandwich up in the suites!
Not only has EDS evolved, so have the organizations that sponsor the event. This year will be the first show since the Electronic Components Industry Association (ECIA) was formed. The National Electronic Distributors Association (NEDA) and the Electronic Components Association (ECA) have consolidated forces to form the ECIA, bringing together all of the elements of the electronic components supply chain. The Association connects all facets of the electronic components industry in a way no association has in the past: manufacturers, authorized distributors, and independent field sales representatives working together as a stronger voice for our entire industry. ECIA will continue to provide members the best elements of the former associations.
Networking is one such element and the one for which I personally find EDS to be incredibly effective. I can’t think of another US electronics event that brings together more people in the industry, in a shorter window of time, in sometimes very formal and sometimes very casual (think Vegas club!) environments. I am pleased to once again be attending EDS, albeit not as a manufacturer, as I have for the past several years, but as owner of JJM Search, my recently launched executive search business.
Once again, my days at EDS will be filled with meetings — but instead of meetings with reps/distributors touting the latest circuit protection or interconnect device, my meetings will be with candidates and clients. I'll be working to access human resource needs (clients), connecting them satisfactorily with specified talent (candidates).
EDS has been marketing the 2011 show as “getting back to the fundamental purpose of the event — bringing manufacturers, distributors and reps together to make strong connections.” Hopefully, those “strong connections” hold true for this recruiter as well.