Since 1950, EMDA has held its annual Fall Convention concurrently with the fall meeting of the Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association (FEMA).
Whether you are a farm equipment wholesaler/distributor, an independent rep, or a shortline manufacturer – the two sponsoring associations that have spent numerous hours arranging these conventions want to welcome you. One thing will be apparent soon after your convention attendance begins – while both associations do combine in some joint activities, these really are two separate conventions. Each is devoted to that specific segment of the ag equipment industry in which the main membership specializes; i.e. manufacturing or wholesale distribution and repping.
So You’re New?
Everyone attends their first Fall Convention at some time. One thing that you’ll readily see, attendees aren’t shy! If you have a question, ask someone. And if they don’t know the answer, ask any of the association staffs at their respective convention registration desks. They’ll be glad to help. The individual that stands around waiting for something to happen is usually the person “left in the dark.”
No matter which convention you’re attending, after checking in to your sleeping room in the hotel, stop by the EMDA and FEMA Convention registration desks located in International Foyer at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista hotel. Check to be sure you have all name badges, tickets and programs that you should.
The Communication Center:
EMDA and FEMA jointly sponsor a “Communication Center” where profile cards for each convention registrant are posted on display boards. Some attendees fill in their room numbers or provide cell phone information on the cards so you can use the Communications Center to find other convention attendees.
Where to Hold Appointments:
Meetings between manufacturers and distributors and/or independent reps are usually scheduled in a mutually agreeable location, sometimes it’s in someone’s sleeping room or suite. The Communication Center can also be used for meetings. The Convention App by Whova is a great tool to keep track of appointments. EMDA also provides Appointment Book to their registered attendees to help them keep track of the convention program events as well as appointments with manufacturers and/or marketers.
Attendee Registration Lists:
As soon as registrations are received, advance registration lists are posted on the association web sites. Don’t wait until a company you’re interested in meeting appears on the registration list, however, before making initial contacts. Assume that most CEOs or sales executives from both of the associations will be attending. If they are not, they will either tell you who will be attending or if they, in fact, will not be there. Waiting until convention time to try and schedule appointments will usually result in the party you are trying to reach already being “booked up” with previously scheduled appointments.
- EMDA 2022 Industry Showcase Exhibitors
- FEMA Convention registrants
EMDA hosts a “Contact Session” at which you can introduce yourself and your product or service to EMDA member distributors and reps. This is an excellent session where you can contact individuals with which you have not been able to make previous appointments.
EMDA’s Industry Showcase:
EMDA also hosts a booth show where you can display your product or service to distributors, reps and manufacturers. The Showcase has proven to be a great opportunity for manufacturers to display their products to the members of EMDA and FEMA.
Convention programs are great. They’re educational, often entertaining, and provide a key networking source for you to meet others in this business called “shortline farm equipment.” But in reality, the number one reason most companies attend is to meet with either those who will market your product or with those who manufacture the product. EMDA strives to provide the most effective structured means to enable such interaction.
Don’t just take our word for it though –
“Because of the overwhelming response from EMDA members requesting a one-hour meeting, I had a total of 19 meetings in 3 days. The initial assessment would be, we should have done this a long time ago. Thanks to all the people that made this opportunity available for us, it’s just what we needed to move our distribution network to the next level.”
“One of the better convention venues for getting to meet many people that I have ever been involved with – and I’ve been around a long time.”