One of the benefits of attending the Electronic Distribution Show for 20+ years is that you get to have the unique experiences that can only happen at EDS. Our marketing communications firm has enjoyed both the agony and the ecstasy of representing our electronic component clients at this show through booms and busts and the inevitable economic cycles that drive our industry. The following stories are true (The names have been changed to protect the innocent):
• Typically, I take my exhibitor badge off as soon as I leave the show floor of a “regular” tradeshow, (it just announces to the world that you’re a tourist, but in Las Vegas, everyone is a tourist, so it doesn’t matter.) I always leave it on whenever I am anywhere in the hotel for this conference, because what they say really is true — you never know who you are going to meet at EDS. One time several years ago, I was riding the Bally’s elevator up to my room in the middle of the day to retrieve more press kits, and a guy in the elevator noticed that my nametag read “BtB Marketing Communications,” and said, “Hey, I’ve been looking for someone to help my company do a website… Do you guys do that?” Of course, I replied that we did, and we exchanged cards with the promise to follow up after the show. There’s probably not another show in the electronics industry where a chance encounter in the elevator could lead to that kind of opportunity. (Epilogue: As it turns out, the gentlemen had already contacted one of those high-quality outfits in the former Soviet Union who offer to build a website for $299, and was looking for a better offer. Needless to say, we didn’t wind up adding his firm as a client, but nevertheless, the potential was there. I think they may still actually be in business, so I’ll have to look him up at this year’s show.
• If you were to sit at “Le Circle Bar” near the entrance to the Paris hotel (or, for those of us who are old enough to remember when it was held at the Las Vegas Hilton, the Casino Bar) for the entire three days of the EDS conference, you would see every single person in the electronics industry. One caution, at today’s inflated drink prices, I wouldn’t advise sitting at the bar for that length of time, unless you are REALLY good at blackjack and can afford it.
• At one EDS many years ago, our agency had arranged to represent a new client at the show – the end result of several months of pitching and wooing. This particular client was known for being “thrifty” with their marketing communications dollars, so we had taken great pains to assure them that we would spend their money as if it our own. Upon arriving on the Saturday prior to the show, we proceeded to the check-in desk. Only one clerk was manning the several dozen stations at the “regular” check-in, and she was busy, so the girl at the “Diamond Platinum Level” check-in (aka, the “high-roller” window) motioned us to come over and she would check us in to help her co-worker out. Of course, our new client picked that exact moment to walk through the front entrance of the Hilton, only to see us checking in at the aforementioned “high-roller” window. His comment: “I can already see we’re paying you guys too much money!” But he was joking… I guess. As it turned out, we worked with that client for many years until his retirement, and had many a good laugh over the incident.
Have a story that could only happen at EDS? Share it with us!