Fall Convention – Business Program

((Information about the Industry Showcase is located on a separate page))

Mark your calendars: November 7-10, 2017  at the Hyatt Regency Houston hotel in Houston, Texas

Information about the 2017 schedule will be posted in mid- to late-July – in the meantime, this information from last year will give you an idea of what to expect this fall in Houston.

Potential Fraud Alert! If you receive any phone calls from companies about hotel reservations for the EMDA convention, it’s a fraud. While we haven’t learned of any specific calls yet this year, Just remember – if you are planning to attend the EMDA Convention, EMDA’s Industry Showcase or the FEMA Convention – only make reservations through the association offices.  Another annoyance – spam emails that offer attendee lists. If you are looking for attendee information for EMDA meetings, contact the Association directly.

Hyatt Regency Houston

Beginning with the Contact Session on Tuesday afternoon and ending with the Member Roundtables on Thursday morning, EMDA reps and distributors will fill their convention times with member-to-member contact; manufacturer and supplier interviews and informative and entertaining convention programs. Meeting and networking opportunities are the main reason attendees and exhibitors participate in the Fall Convention and EMDA strives to provide the most effective structured means to enable such interaction.

2017 Attendees:

  • The online Communication Center will be available in mid- to late-July
    • EMDA Convention Attendees-Distributors&Reps
    • EMDA Convention Attendees-Associates
  • EMDA IndustryShowcase_Exhibitors
  • FEMA members

Work is almost complete on the 2017 Fall Convention schedule. Below is the 2016 Convention schedule which will give you a pretty good idea of what will occur this fall in Houston. The 2017 schedule will go back to the usual timing though – Tuesday through Friday.

Monday, October 31, 2016 – Arrival day for most attendees. For members making early appointments with their suppliers, the EMDA registration desk will open at 7:00a.

With the Convention being held in San Diego, it’s time to bring back the EMDA’s 2016 Golf Outing which will be held at Torrey Pines South Course. Join your fellow distributors, reps and manufacturers for an 8:00a Shotgun Start at Torrey Pines South Course. No special tournament format is planned – just a golf outing where everyone plays their own ball. Often referred to as a “golfer’s paradise,” the Championship North and South courses provide views of the Pacific Ocean to the west. Situated atop cliffs towering above the Pacific Ocean in San Diego, California, golfers marvel at the views of the coastline, deep ravines, and classic championship golf holes. Separate registration required.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016 – The EMDA and FEMA Joint Opening Session is designed to bring the members together to “kick-off” their conventions with a dynamic presentation that will set the tone for a intensive week of appointments and meetings. The Joint Opening Session, beginning at 8:00a with a breakfast, features Orion Samuelson presenting “You Can’t Dream Big Enough.” For 60 years, after leaving the Wisconsin dairy farm, Orion has traveled to every state and 44 countries to cover the story of agriculture and share it with his audience on radio and TV, 52 of those years at WGN Radio in Chicago where he still reports business and agribusiness news 16 times a day. Orion will share the lessons learned, as well as some lessons forgotten, about his career, our growing industry, the great opportunities ahead; and shows that as citizens, neighbors, farmers, and an industry, we really can’t dream big enough.

Immediately following Tuesday’s Joint Opening Session is EMDA’s Corporate Annual Meeting which includes the Association’s annual report to the membership and Board of Directs elections. We are also pleased to welcome Alfons Weersink, Professor of Ag Economics at the University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada, who will share his insights on why the ‘Average’ Farmer is Getting Hard to Find. There is a hollowing out of the middle in the farm sector. While the total number of farmers continues to decline, there is relative growth in the share of small and very large farmers. The reasons for the changing face of the farm sector will be discussed along with its implications for the input suppliers and policy makers.

Then EMDA’s Contact Session completes the morning’s agenda from 10:30a to 12:00p. The Contact Session is designed to provide manufacturers an opportunity for a quick introductory interview with individual member reps and distributors. This session will help bring together manufacturers who are looking for distribution partners and the EMDA members looking for those new products. The Contact Session can be used to determine mutual interest in setting up an appointment during the convention week.

Tuesday afternoon is free for appointments.

Tuesday concludes with a fun tradition, the EMDA Partners Party bringing reps and distributors together with the manufacturers that they do business with. The party is a “Thank You” to the manufacturers who understand the value that the EMDA network of distributors and reps provides in bringing their products to the marketplace. The reception begins at 6:00p and ends at 7:00p.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016 – In an ongoing review of the convention structures, both Associations continue to provide attendees as much meeting opportunity as possible, and are, once again, co-sponsoring a breakfast area that will be available from 7:00a until 9:00a. When you don’t need to schedule a full-blown private appointment, but still need to make contact with certain suppliers – why not meet for breakfast at the Joint Breakfast Buffet.

Wednesday morning is free for appointments.

A special roundtable session “How to Market to North America”  is sscheduled from 8:30a to 9:30a and is geared toward manufacturers looking to sell product into North America. A panel of EMDA members will be on hand to help offshore manufacturers learn the keys to creating successful partnerships with distributors and reps. EMDA distributors and reps are welcome to participate in this roundtable.


EMDA’s Industry Showcase

EMDA’s annual Industry Showcase is a highlight of the Fall Convention, bringing suppliers, distributors, reps and vendors together in more than 100 booths which feature products and services of interest to all. Doors open at 12:30p and the Showcase runs until 3:30p. EMDA’s Industry Showcase is the gathering place for the industry at convention time and is primarily a “table-top” show to inform potential customers about products and services.

Wednesday concludes with the traditional Joint Industry Reception. Meet your friends for hors d’oeuvres and cocktails at this party sponsored by the two associations party – a celebration of great meeting completed. This Joint Industry Reception is the perfect time to get in some last minute face-to face with attendees from both FEMA and EMDA.

Thursday, November 3, 2016 — After two full days of meetings and networking, this morning is devoted to member-to-member interaction with a Member Breakfast/Roundtable Session. Join your fellow distributors and reps for breakfast and choose a table with a topic that interests you. Topics will include things like: Finding/Exploring New Markets; Finding New Customers; Mergers/Acquisitions; Marketing/Selling to Rental Stores; As industry changes, what’s our place in industry as distributors & reps?; Strategies to prepare for the inevitable ups and downs in the equipment market. Breakfast begins at 8:00a and the session will conclude by 10:00a.

Thursday afternoon, join your fellow members for a unique experience with a special, docent-led private tour of the U.S.S. Midway. Separate registration required.

Imagine experiencing life at sea aboard one of America’s longest-serving aircraft carriers. Visitors to the U.S.S. Midway Museum enter a floating city at sea and walk in the footsteps of 225,000 Midway sailors who served our country and upheld the American ideals of strength, freedom and peace. Guests are free to tour the remainder of the Midway once done with the docent-led tour. Additionally, you can take advantage of the self-guided audio tour narrated by Midway sailors.

Friday, November 4, 2016 – Main departure day to head home from San Diego. Or take advantage of group rate at hotel and extend your stay for the weekend. Explore San Diego, California’s second largest city, where blue skies keep watch over 70 miles of majestic coastline and a gentle Mediterranean climate and friendly locals create a welcoming vibe all its own.


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