Electronic Design

EDS: New Venue Spells New Opportunity

The biggest news about this year’s Electronics Distribution Show (EDS) is the change of venue. Held for years at the Paris and Bally’s hotels, EDS moves to its new home at the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas this year, and show planners are excited about the change. Aside from anticipating some initial logistical confusion as attendees get their bearings in the new locale, planners say the chicly appointed Cosmopolitan should score high marks for comfort and convenience.

 
“I think one of the things on everyone’s mind is that the market has softened, so what does it look like for the second quarter?” says Robin Gray, president of the Electronic Components Industry Association. “The last two years have been really pretty terrific, but things have definitely slowed down [since] the end of the year.”

Scheduled for May 7-10, EDS 2012 will bring together electronic component manufacturers, distributors, and independent sales reps for three days of one-on-one business meetings, industry updates, and networking opportunities. The event draws about 3000 attendees each year, and this year’s meeting was shaping up to be just as big as of early April, according to Robin Gray, president of the Electronic Components Industry Association, which coordinates and hosts the event in conjunction with the Electronics Representatives Association International (ERA). Gray says distributor and sales rep registration numbers were running ahead of last year’s pace as of early April and that he expects a considerable increase in those two membership groups at EDS 2012.

Along with the change in venue, Gray expects some key industry issues to garner much of the buzz at EDS this year. Softening business conditions, changing government regulations, global manufacturing migration, and the increasing cost of travel are on the top of the list.

“I think one of the things on everyone’s mind is that the market has softened, so what does it look like for the second quarter?” Gray says. “The last two years have been really pretty terrific, but things have definitely slowed down [since] the end of the year.”

Government issues to watch include pending U.S. rules surrounding the sourcing of conflict-free minerals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (see “Distributors Eye Conflict Minerals Rule”) as well as new regulations surrounding counterfeit electronics (see “Lawmakers Step Up Anti-Counterfeit Efforts”). The U.S. Department of Defense is expected to release new regulations surrounding the detection and avoidance of counterfeit electronic parts later this year—regulations that are expected to put more pressure on government contractors and component suppliers alike.

Regarding manufacturing migration, Gray points to rising labor wages in China as a catalyst for companies to seek low-cost production elsewhere in the world. Although manufacturing activity is expected to remain high in China due to the country’s market size, many companies are exploring cost-saving opportunities elsewhere, which could lead to supply chain disruptions.

Gray adds that supply chain companies can help alleviate the other growing concern, the rising cost of travel, by meeting more of their business partners in one location: EDS 2012.

“[Companies are asking] how do you get the most bang for your buck?” Gray explains. “EDS is one of those places where you can do that.”

In line with that, Gray notes that many industry companies are answering the call to host more productive meetings during the event. Rather than hosting one-size-fits-all industry updates, participants have been asked to provide more meaningful, productive meetings with trading partners to maximize everyone’s investment in the trip, Gray says.

“One of the things the EDS board has been stressing and encouraging manufacturers to do [is] have more meaningful, productive [one-on-one] meetings,” Gray explains. “[The meetings] really ought to focus on each distributor… on relationships and what [trading partners] expect of each other.”


EDS 2012 At A Glance

All events take place at the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas.

Monday, May 7

Manufacturer and rep pre-scheduled meetings and receptions

Conference Center setup

Hotel suite meetings as scheduled

PULSE: All-industry reception
4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Third floor, Gracia Ballroom

Tuesday, May 8

ECA/NEDA Breakfast
Sponsored by ECIA
6:45 to 7:45 a.m.
Third floor, Gracia Ballroom

Manufacturer/distributor/rep pre-scheduled meetings in suites and Conference Center
Second, third, and fourth floors, hotel tower suites

Display Area in the Conference Center open
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Fourth floor, Chelsea Ballroom

Wednesday, May 9

ERA Breakfast
6:45 to 8:00 a.m.
Third floor, Castellana Ballroom
How to Manage Smart Salespeople with Nikki Weiss and Joanne McLeon

Manufacturer/distributor/rep pre-scheduled meetings in suites and Conference Center
Second, third, and fourth floors, hotel tower suites

Display Area in the Conference Center open
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Fourth floor, Chelsea Ballroom

Thursday, May 10

EDS Debriefing Meeting

Manufacturers, distributors, and reps are invited to meet with EDS management to share their comments regarding EDS 2012 and offer suggestions on improving future EDS events
7:30 to 8:30 a.m.
Third floor, Brera Ballroom

Manufacturer/distributor/rep pre-scheduled meetings in suites and Conference Center
Second, third, and fourth floors, hotel tower suites

Display Area in the Conference Center open
9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Fourth floor, Chelsea Ballroom

For more information on EDS 2012, go to http://www.edsconnects.com/index.asp

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