By Tina Manzer
The latest innovations in every facet of learning, from instructional materials, teaching aids, and technology products to educational games, toys, and supplies, is what EDexpo is all about. This year in Las Vegas, products from 187 companies – an increase of 10 percent over the prior year – were displayed at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, March 9 through 11. They occupied 242 booths and 34 tabletops.
The newly designed show featured all-inclusive pricing for dealers that included a three-night hotel stay, meals and show registration. The event formally kicked off a year-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of the association and the many past and present members who have contributed to its success.
The show was officially launched at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, March 9, with the Top Products Luncheon for
dealers. Its speaker, first-grade teacher and retailer Morgan Womick, discussed the hottest trends and her top-product picks for the 2016-2017 school year. “The session was filled with a great deal of knowledge and detail on the “must haves” for teacher stores,” noted EDmarket.
Nearly 170 dealers participated in the connectED program. Each of them was matched to 30-plus exhibitors for individual meetings as a way to increase interaction on the show floor. By taking part in the program, each dealer was entered in 14 different raffle drawings with prizes that ranged from $100 to a grand prize of $1,500 and a trip to next year’s EDexpo. This year’s winner was John MacGregor of the Education Station in northwest Iowa.
A new education offering, EDtalks, featured 12 EDmarket member dealers who shared their best practices for
improving sales and operations. At another new session, the Show ‘N Tell Dinner, 20 vendors showcased interactive games, crafts and DIY projects with dealers in a relaxed evening of fun and learning.
At one of the best EDexpo parties ever, commemorating the association’s 100th anniversary, attendees enjoyed dancing, cocktails, food, and photo booths. Entertainment was provided by Elvis Presley and Rat Pack impersonators.
The next day, at the annual meeting, Past Chair Tom Green presented the John L. Spalding Memorial Scholarship to Jeffrey “Drew” Henize. Drew was nominated by Teacher Created Resources. Doug Jehle, CEO of Teacher Direct, was awarded the Education Market Association’s highest honor, the David McCurrach Distinguished Service Award.
Next year, EDexpo will return to the Westgate Resort and Casino, March 15 through 17.