Keeping It Simple

After complicated plans to revive EDexpo failed to produce the desired results last year, EDmarket leadership went back to the drawing board. They scrapped their original ideas for 2016 and came up with new ones that were simpler, smaller, and

streamlined. The result is a new model that’s a better fit for the industry. It has to be – many consider this show “make or break.”

“I think that if we go with a smaller venue or smaller footprint, it could be a launching pad for a bigger event down the road,” said former EDmarket Board Chair Mark Carlson last April. “Just look at the association – it’s been around for 100 years. Not every one of those years was successful, but the association kept going (see page 20). I’d like to help build a new foundation for another 100 years if possible.”

So far, there are signs that the 2016 EDexpo will do just that. “Dealer registration is tracking very closely
to last year,” reported EDmarket’s Adrienne Dayton on January 19. “In 2015, 172 companies exhibited in 263 booths, and we should have at least that many by show time, although in less total booth space. Thirty of the current 158 exhibitors are brand new to the show, and several exhibitors are back, like Evan-Moor and Talicor/Aristoplay.”

Here are some of the factors that are making it work.


There’s one all-inclusive price

Dealers asked for it and got it. The $499 price tag is an $864 value, says EDmarket. It includes:

• a three-night stay at the Westgate,

• access to the exhibit hall,

• all education sessions,

• the Hot Products luncheon (with goody bags) on Wednesday, March 9,

• the Show ’n Tell Dinner that evening,

• breakfast and lunch on Thursday,

• a ticket to EDmarket’s 100th Anniversary Celebration that evening, and

• breakfast on Friday.

Individual day options are also available; dealers pay for their hotel stay separately – only $109 per night.


It’s under one roof

Everything takes place at the Westgate – hotel rooms, exhibits, educational sessions, meetings and special events – so there’s no need for bicycles, rickshaws, cabs or shuttle buses. The show floor, in the Westgate’s Paradise Event Center, is on the same level as the Ballroom & Pavilion, the venue for EDexpo’s meetings, educational sessions and special events.

The Westgate offers its own casino, entertainment center and eight bars and restaurants. It’s also a stop on the Las Vegas Monorail route if you want to visit the rest of the strip.


Dealers get paid to meet with exhibitors

Dealers who participate in the connectED program receive $100 after meeting individually with 30 different exhibitors. “The program allows for a balance of guaranteed meetings and free time, enabling everyone to work the show according to their unique needs,” says EDexpo.

By opting into the program before mid-January, dealers had the opportunity to either select 20 of the 30 exhibitors they would visit (with the balance chosen by EDmarket, based on the dealer’s product profile submitted at registration) or visit 30 exhibitors who had all been chosen by EDmarket. Participating dealers must complete a “report card” on their meetings, which they hand in to receive their cash incentive. At the same time, they are automatically entered in a drawing that awards the following prizes.

• 1 first-prize drawing for free registration for two for EDexpo 2017 and a $1,500 Gift Card

• 1 second-prize drawing for a $1,000 Gift Card

• 1 third-prize drawing for a $500 Gift Card

• 4 fourth-prize drawings for $250 Gift Cards

• 10 fifth-prize drawings for $100 in Cash


Sessions focus on great products and successful ideas

Back by popular demand, first-grade teacher and retailer Morgan Womack will facilitate the Hot
Products general session and luncheon on Wednesday, March 9. She’ll discuss the products she believes will be flying off the shelves of parent/teacher stores, and give you the lowdown on today’s must-haves. Every dealer will leave with a goody bag full of new items.

EDtalks, a Dealer Idea Roundup, will be held Thursday morning, March 10. It begins at 8 with a networking breakfast, followed by a unique education session in which individual dealers from all over the country will share as many tips and good ideas as they can in five minutes. (Don’t worry, there’s time built in at the end for questions and answers.) Presenters include:

• Tom Brennan from School Outfitters in Ohio,

• Scott Gurley from The Teachers’ Lounge in St. Louis,

• Kindle Willis from The Neighborhood Tutor in Tennessee,

• Bobbie Lee, AGC Teacher Supply in Georgia,

• David Pearce from School Works in Florida,

• John MacGregor from The Education Station in Iowa,

• Michelle Johnson from Loudoun Learning in Virginia and

• Jen Zimmermann from Launching Success in Washington.


You can go early for ToyFest West

Your EDexpo dealer badge entitles you to free admission at Toyfest West, scheduled for March 6 through 8 at the nearby South Point Hotel, Casino and Spa. Now in its 56th year, the show is the second oldest and second largest toy trade show in the United States. It is hosted by reps – the nonprofit Western Toy & Hobby Representatives Association.

You still have time to register! For more information, visit

by Tina Manzer

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