Be Prepared for Your CEDIA Vendor Visits
How much real preparation do you do for CEDIA?
It’s a great show and a great time, but the key to getting the most out of your experience is to adequately prepare before you go.
Of course you want to tour the show, see all the neat products, possibly take some courses. But you also want to meet many of your vendors, especially the ones you’ve developed relationships with over the years.
For most dealers, vendor meetings should be of primary importance. These meetings should be professional and informative. To accomplish this, you need to be well prepared.
In my many years as a vendor, I found many dealers weren’t prepared for these meetings and therefore didn’t maximize the valuable time they spent at my booth. And if there’s one thing you don’t have enough of at CEDIA, it’s time.
So prepare early for these meetings. Develop a formal plan with an agenda. To decide what’s incorporated in this plan, start with the following tasks weeks before the show.
Get Employee Input
Make a list of your current vendors. Circulate it among your employees—all of them, or as many as possible, in all relevant departments—and ask them to comment on the following aspects of each vendor’s performance:
• Importance of the vendor’s brand or products to their success in accomplishing tasks. For example, a particular connector or device might be making installs faster and more reliable. And here’s why you ask all of your employees: The sales personnel may not be aware of this connector, but the installation team certainly will be.
• Quality of the vendor’s products.
• Does the vendor meet delivery times?
• Quality of the vendor’s training, both on product benefits and technical attributes.
• Its cooperation in handling DOAs, warranty issues, parts and service.