EDexpo 2016 Hits Big in Las Vegas
(Silver Spring, MD) — The Education Market Association hosted EDexpo 2016 for dealers and suppliers in the educational products marketplace, March 9-11 at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. The event formally kicked off the year-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of the association and the many past and present members who have contributed to its success. On display were innovative products from 187 companies, an increase of 10 percent over the prior year. Exhibiting companies occupied 242 booths and 34 tabletops.
This year’s event was re-engineered by the member leadership as a stand-alone event focused on the dealer/supplier community and featured an all under-one-roof location and all-inclusive pricing for dealers that included three nights’ hotel, meals and registration. The popular connectED program returned with 169 dealers each matched to 30+ exhibitors for meetings that further increased interaction on the show floor. Dealers were entered into 14 prize drawings ranging from $100 bills to a grand prize of $1,500 and a trip to next year’s EDexpo, won by John MacGregor of the Education Station.
EDexpo was officially launched with the Top Products Luncheon, where Morgan Womick from Education Express, shared her expertise as a 1st grade teacher on what products would be hot for the coming school year. All dealers were treated to a “swag bag” of products donated by exhibitors. A new education offering was the EDtalks session, moderated by Laura Gurley of the Teachers’ Lounge, and featuring 12 EDmarket member dealers sharing their best ideas for improving sales and operations. Another new feature was the Show ‘N Tell Dinner where 20 vendors showcased interactive games, crafts and DIY projects with dealers in a relaxed evening of fun and learning.
All EDexpo participants were treated to an evening of dancing, cocktails, food, photo booths, and entertainment by Elvis Presley and Rat Pack impersonators as part of the EDmarket 100th anniversary celebration. Members raised their glass as Chair Laurie Uherek, president of the Educate & Celebrate, offered a toast to mark the occasion: “An organization that can stand the test of time for 100 years is truly one built on the hard work and dedication of the best and brightest of our industry. From its founding at a meeting during the AASA convention in 1916, through times of war and peace, recession and prosperity, the Education Market Association has been providing the events, opportunities, resources, and leadership that improve student outcomes by advancing the educational products marketplace.”
The next day Laurie Uherek presided over the annual meeting where members were recognized for years of membership and leadership service. Past Chair Tom Green presented Jeffrey “Drew” Henize with the John L. Spalding Memorial Scholarship. Drew was nominated by Teacher Created Resources. Doug Jehle, C.E.O. of Teacher Direct, was awarded the Education Market Association’s highest honor, the David McCurrach Distinguished Service Award for his past leadership and contributions to the association.
The EDmarket Retail Store Council selected the following companies for Exhibit Awards:
Best Overall: Creative Teaching Press
Best New Exhibitor: PictureFirst Learning
Most Engaging/Interactive Booth: Dowling Magnets
Best Show Special: Flipside Products
Over 100 new items were on display in the New Product Showcase, sponsored by Educational Dealer magazine. The winners of the 5th Annual Eddy Awards for the best items in the New Product Showcase went to Bouncy Bands’ Bouncy Bands for Desk and Chairs. (1st place); Primary Concepts’ Hour glass Classroom Timer (2nd place) and Incredibly Interconnected Toys’ ZAZ (3rd place). The winner of the dealer drawing for $100 was Melissa Shultis of Avron.
Next year’s event will return to Las Vegas, March 15-17, 2017 at the Westgate Resort & Casino.
EDexpo is the premier showcase for the latest innovations in every facet of learning, from instructional materials, teaching aids, and technology products to educational games, toys, and supplies. EDexpo is produced by the Education Market Association (EDmarket) which provides events, opportunities, resources and leadership that improve student outcomes by advancing the educational products marketplace.