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> ERA CEO Walter Tobin – EDS 2017 – Were you there?

Summer 2017
Source: Electronics Representatives Association, The Representor magazine

As we continue to dig out from emails and follow up action items, remember that it is NEVER too late to send a thank you note or follow up from your meeting. We’ve all heard the saying, ‘What gets measured gets done.’


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So … three weeks after EDS (at the time this column was written) and I find myself STILL trying to get caught up on my day-to-day meetings and emails. I am still following up on numerous action items from meetings I attended and discussions with old and new friends at EDS.

But isn’t this what EDS is all about? It’s about holding meetings and developing action items to remain on track, or get back on track, with your manufacturer, rep or distributor partner to ensure that you are aligned to the common goals and business plans. A week’s worth of meetings, dinners and golf tournaments SHOULD result in a treasure-trove of NEW and EXCITING plans. All these existing and NEW relationships will help our organizations grow in the months ahead.

However, for every meeting we attended or new person we met, there should be an appropriate amount of time spent FOLLOWING UP so the time INVESTED at EDS was not wasted.

Yet, some of us come back and get frustrated with all of the new work added to our already-full “IN Basket,” aka email inbox, and how these new partnerships and relationships “get in the way” of doing our jobs. We now look at the time we have to SPEND on following up rather than viewing it as time to be INVESTED.

I found EDS 2017 to be great. There were a lot of folks running between the elevators, the Roasted Bean, the STILL bar, and lunch and dinner meetings. All had the goal of checking in with existing partners or gearing up to meet new ones.

A few of you found yourselves having to go “off property” for meetings and navigating the famous “Las Vegas Block” that may show an off-property meeting to be “next door,” but in reality, it takes 30 minutes just to get there. These off-property meetings only add to already full schedules. If only ALL of the EDS attendees would stay at the Mirage! EDS gets all of us to attend, and we ALL benefit from attending. Yet, EDS does not benefit from “off-property” meetings, which actually hurt attendees’ ability to effectively navigate meetings and manage their schedules. ALL of us need to support EDS as good electronics industry citizens. We all benefit as one ecosystem.

So what did you get out of EDS? All in all, it was a GREAT show for ERA. We signed up many NEW members. We had more than 500 attendees at the ECIA/ERA breakfast. We had a great turnout at the SPARK session which drew more than 50 young and bright attendees from YOUR companies. They came to learn the ropes as they try to get ready to take over this industry. Let’s help prepare them as they are our future!

As we continue to dig out from emails and follow up action items, remember that it is NEVER too late to send a thank you note or follow up from your meeting. We’ve all heard the saying, “What gets measured gets done.” Hold yourself accountable to invest the time to follow up.

ll of the time that you have to SPEND after EDS was as a result of the time that you had to INVEST in attending EDS. Reap the fruits of your efforts! Do not let these valuable meeting action items or new connections wither and die because your competitor may be springing into action and reaping YOUR rewards.

Be sure to put EDS 2018 on your calendar! It promises to be even more hectic and wonderful than this year’s event, and your competitors already have it on their calendar.

See you at the ERA booth next year!

Good selling!

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