What should I expect at the convention?
The primary purpose of the Marketing & Distribution Convention is to bring together manufacturers with marketing executives who can get their equipment on retail dealer lots. It’s held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Equipment Marketing & Distribution Association, which makes it the single largest gathering of its kind. The meeting also includes a series of informational sessions on developments in the industry.
What are the opportunities for manufacturers to meet marketers (wholesalers/independent reps)?
The meeting offers a combination of social time and more structured get-acquainted time. Social time includes an evening reception with members of EMDA and two breakfast gatherings. The more structured meeting opportunities begin Wednesday morning with a contact session and Marketplace. This is intended to be a series of quick introductions for manufacturers, wholesalers and independent reps to get a sense of what products they distribute and where. The convention and the hotel are organized to offer meeting spaces for company-to-company conversations as partnerships emerge.
How will my business benefit from attending the convention?
The Marketing & Distribution Convention gathers together hundreds of executives/representatives of companies in the specialized farm equipment industry. Aside from potential sales or additional distribution channels, you will make vital contacts within this group. Members have shared with us that a call or email to someone they talked with at a convention helped solve a production issue or other problem. In addition, many of our long-time attendees count each other as friends, not just business colleagues.
What can I do to maximize my time during the convention?
If there are specific people you’d like to meet with, your best bet is to set up a meeting time as soon as possible. Don’t wait until you get to the convention to make your first contact. Use our registration list to reach out to potential business partners before their convention calendars fill up.
What’s the difference between the spring meeting and the fall meeting?
The spring meeting is designed to connect manufacturers to suppliers. The fall focus is on marketing farm equipment.
What does the registration price cover?
Registration gives you access to all the Association-hosted information sessions, the breakfasts, the welcome reception, a joint industry reception with EMDA, the contact session, Marketplace, and showcase. Your room rate is separate but is discounted with your registration. If you have a spouse or guest participating in the Association-organized Forest Park/Missouri History Museum tour or docent-led zoo tour, those costs are additional. Please make sure to register your guest when you register.
Is the registration rate going to increase?
Yes. Before August 15, the fee is $398 for member executives. After August 15, it increases to $499. The full registration rate of $599 applies after September 11.
How do I pay for/reserve my room?
When you register for the convention, we reserve your room. The hotel will charge you when you arrive. You will receive confirmation on your room reservation in a separate communication from the hotel.
I didn’t get my confirmation number. Can you help?
It may take as long as two weeks for the hotel to send a confirmation. You should receive it by email. Contact the office at (314) 878-2304 if you need help with your confirmation.
Can I change/cancel my registration or hotel dates?
Yes. Call us. We can accommodate changes to your registration until the convention begins. We will manage changes in hotel reservations until November 1. After that date, we will ask you to deal directly with the hotel on the room. Cancellations after Sept. 11 and before Oct. 11 are assessed a 30 percent handling fee. Unfortunately, after Oct. 11, we are not able to refund your registration because we’ve already committed funds to the hotel.
What if I stay at a different hotel?
Attendees who do not stay at the convention hotel pay $100 more for registration. The Association keeps registration costs low by negotiating contracts that save money on meeting space related to room occupancies. Attendees who stay elsewhere are asked to pay more as their contribution to covering meeting costs. If the convention room block sells out, or if you live within driving distance and do not book a room, you are not assessed the higher registration fee.
Can I reserve a suite?
We have sold out of suites. If you’d like, we can put your name on a waiting list.
What should I wear?
The attire is business casual. You will see some folks in jackets and ties, especially at the receptions. You’re just as likely to see someone in khakis.
How can I find out who else will be there?
Take a look at the registration page on the FarmEquip.org. The registration list, which is updated continually, includes names of who’s coming and what company they represent.
Who displays in the EMDA showcase?
Overseas manufacturers looking for North American distribution and Suppliers make up the bulk of exhibitors. Registered executives are welcome to enter and explore.
Can I bring a spouse/guest to the convention?
Yes. There’s plenty to do in St. Louis, and the hotel is centrally located to much of it. The Association has organized a couple of outings for spouses and guests, and they’re welcome to take part in convention events as well. There’s a cap on how many folks can participate in those tours, but as of now, we have space for more.
Rather than registering for the convention, can I attend a single session?
The convention is structured so all the pieces fit together as a whole. For that reason, registration is for the entire event. We do not offer a single-session rate.
Where do I go to get my name badge and other meeting information?
The Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association convention registration desk will be on the 4th floor of the Hyatt Regency at the Arch. From the lobby, take the escalator up to the top and then follow the signs. Association staff will be at the desk to give you your name badge and answer any questions you might have throughout the convention. A convention booklet will be mailed to you prior to the event.