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A walk through Cleveland’s Electro Expo 2012

By Afton Spriggs

I’ve never been to an electrical trade show, so to make the most out of my first experience, I teamed up with Dan Nitowsky, vice president of Mars Electric in Willoughby, Ohio, who was so gracious to walk through the trade show floor with me and show me the ropes.

I wanted to know what products Dan, and other electrical distributors like him, are interested in. What do they look for at trade shows? What do they consider new and exciting? Below is my photo gallery where Dan answers those questions and more:

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Having never been to a show like the annual Electro Expo, I had no idea there would be so many product demonstrations and interactive elements on the floor. One of the big eye-catchers, was the GE booth that featured a Chevy Volt. I sat inside the Volt and a GE rep showed me how the electric vehicle’s in-car computer system works:

I also got to see Philips’ L-Prize Winning LED Lamp in action. Dan and the Philips rep compared the L-Prize lamp to a standard incandescent in this product demonstration:

The Electro Expo was buzzing with energy—no pun intended. As a representative from RAB Lighting told me, an event like this gives manufacturers the opportunity to meet with hundreds of current and potential customers over the course of a couple hours—something that would take much longer to accomplish through one-on-one sales calls.

In addition to the activity on the showroom floor, I was also able to participate in the Innovation Roundtable—brainchild of the folks at Madison Electric. The roundtable was an opportunity for participants from across every aspect of the industry to collaborate and discuss innovation and technology. I’ll have more on the Innovation Roundtable in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

Overall, I had a great experience at Electro Expo and I learned a lot in a short amount of time. I was able to get first-hand insight into the people and products that I write about on a daily basis and that alone was worth the trip. I especially enjoyed seeing distributor-manufacturer relationships in action—seeing how they communicate and work together to get products to customers and end-users. Since I no longer consider myself a trade show rookie, I’m looking forward to attending more of these industry events? Which ones would you suggest I add to my calendar? Which trade shows are must-see events? Post your suggestions in the comment section below, or feel free to email aspriggs@naed.org.

Spriggs is the electronic media content specialist for tedmag.com. You can reach her at aspriggs@naed.org.

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