Your CEDIA Plan of Attack

Here are some tips for having a productive and successful EXPO

Last month, we talked about getting ready for CEDIA EXPO. Now that many of you are here at the show, let’s talk about strategies.

Certainly, you want to take some courses. But the bigger part is seeing new products and meeting with existing or potentially new suppliers.

Have a plan. As we discussed last month, you need a plan for working the show—who to see and when. CEDIA EXPO is an extremely efficient way to see suppliers and conduct business in the course of a few days; where else can you get all of your business partners together to meet at one location? If you need to see a particular individual, get an appointment. Take advantage of this opportunity.

Have an agenda. Once you have the plan of who to see, you should also have an agenda of what you want to cover with each vendor. Do not wing it—you will forget items and not make the best use of the time you have during your meeting. Remember last month’s article on all the information you should have for your meeting? You’d better have it in order to be productive.

Be prepared. What message do you want to give your supplier? For example, if you’re meeting with a video display provider and your business is growing, are you also giving them a greater share of your sales in this category? If so, make sure you let them know. Market share for a supplier is important; good preparation includes great documentation of this information that you can leave with your vendor. Don’t just give a computer run of numbers—format the information into charts so the information is easily accessible during the meeting.

If you’re negotiating for additional advertising funds or marketing support, show the vendor what you’ve done with its brand previously and what you can do with these additional funds. For example, if you’re negotiating for co-op funds to put the vendor’s name on your vans, have an artist create a visual presentation that shows the vendor’s logo on your vans. A picture can be worth a thousand words. Be professional and specific with the details; it can do wonders in getting funds.

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