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2021 Dealers Guide to the CONDEX Show Floor

Before the name "Summit" was coined, the annual gathering was called CONDEX, but sometime in the past few decades, CONDEX became known as only the expo/trade show component of Summit

References to CONDEX in the AED archives date back to the 1940s. In the early days, when it encompassed the entire event, it stood for CONference, Display and EXposition. Today, as the trade show element, it stands for CONstruction Dealer EXpo.

"CONDEX has changed over the years as the marketplace has changed," says Jon Cruthers, AED's vice president of sales. "Years ago, when manufacturers were growing and expanding their distribution networks, and as dealers were consolidating, one would find the show floor filled with major manufacturers still looking for new distribution partners. Today, as most major manufacturers have well-established dealer networks, the exhibitors on the show floor have shifted to include emerging manufacturers, some with niche products, and a wide variety of service providers that have risen out of the needs of the consolidated dealers and the growing emergence of rental in the equipment distribution world."

The CONDEX show floor is an ideal place for dealers to find everything they need to support and grow their business. Exhibitors include a wide variety of technology companies, insurance and finance companies, and emerging manufacturers, often new to the North American market, looking for equipment distribution partners.

"Unlike many other industry shows, CONDEX is designed specifically with the equipment distributor in mind as the attendee," Cruthers says. "CONDEX is the distributor's show to shop, find new partners, and identify new products and services to invest in for the coming year."

Over two days, CONDEX provides a unique opportunity for equipment and attachment manufacturers to interact face-to-face with dealership owners and management, as well as finance, insurance and technology companies, to discuss business.

Some of the exhibitors weigh in with their impressions of CONDEX:

Mark Rinehart, director of sales and marketing for Cemen Tech, an industry leader with more than 50 years of manufacturing and engineering experience in the volumetric mixing industry

How long have you been participating in CONDEX?

We've exhibited at CONDEX for the past three years.

Why is it important for dealers to participate in the trade show?

CONDEX is an opportunity for dealers to see equipment and create relationships that can help grow their business. The biggest and best dealers that we work with are those who are diversified. Attending a show like CONDEX allows them to be looking for new, innovative technology that can disrupt and change existing processes to help their business grow.

What is the importance of having essential conversations with the manufacturers and service providers?

Manufacturers like Cemen Tech usually bring new models and hold dealer review meetings. It's a great time to ask questions and get answers right away. Dealers can see multiple manufacturers and service providers all in the same area, maximize their time, and dive deep with manufacturers and service providers.

Not all equipment is right for everyone or every project. If the manufacturer you're working with isn't willing to say that and be honest about if/when/where they are a good fit for you, your alarm bells should be going off.

How does it benefit your business? What do you gain the most?

As a manufacturer, we leave understanding dealers even better. We're able to attend sessions and talk with dealers to learn about their struggles and find ways to offer solutions for them.

We're also able to show our technology to new dealers who may not have thought of us but looking for new, unique technologies that can help them be more competitive, sell more existing products, and reach new customers.

Sometimes we can form long-lasting partnerships with dealers; other times, we identify other vendors that we can partner with to bring even more cutting-edge technology to our customers.

Jackson McAdam, managing director, Rubble Master Americas Corp., a leading manufacturer of high-performance mobile crushing and screening equipment for recycling, demolition, quarrying, mining and contracting applications. Rubble Master is best known as the global market leader for mobile compact crushers.

How long have you been participating in CONDEX?

Since 2014, the AED Summit in Houston, Texas, was our first show.

Why is it important for dealers to participate in the trade show?

It is the best networking event to get to know your peers and learn about your business's latest developments and new revenue streams. Manufacturers will educate you about the industry, its market size, opportunity, and best business models to secure it. The event gives you a chance to talk to other non-competing dealers about the manufacturer or the industry you are interested in. Best of all, this all happens in a relaxing atmosphere at one of the numerous evening events and gatherings, where you catch up with old friends and develop new ones.

What is the importance of having essential conversations with the manufacturers and service providers?

Everybody is busy closing deals throughout the year. CONDEX gives us a fixed point in our calendars to have serious conversations or to get to know each other. Every manufacturer participating at AED is looking for representation in North America. If there is no dealer in your area right now, there will be one eventually. CONDEX allows you to explore what's new in your market, what's up-and-coming, and how existing manufacturers are developing their offerings. The industry is not static, and change is the only constant in our lives. Maybe a manufacturer who was not appealing to you five years ago might be now. Ultimately, it is all about staying on top of market developments and reacting in time and driving your business forward.

How does it benefit your business? What do you gain the most?

You gain knowledge. Period. Whether it be through conversations or the numerous training sessions. How much will it cost you if you don't participate?

Greg Hickman, sales and marketing manager for HydrauliCircuit Technology, manufacturer of auxiliary hydraulic kits for excavators and backhoes, and front window guards for excavators

How long have you been participating in CONDEX?

Since 2,000.

Why is it important for dealers to participate in the trade show?

Dealer participation helps suppliers and manufacturers like us to meet, greet and update them, provide information to dealers about existing product lines and new products in the works. It allows manufacturers like us to get feedback on products, service and support. Manufacturers and dealers alike get a chance to mingle and socialize to build relationships.

How does it benefit your business? What do you gain the most?

Information updates and relationship building. To build a relationship and understand the dealer business better. To see if our communication has provided them with enough information to understand our business and products.

We also learn if legacy accounts are changing their buying habits. What is our role and what are they trying to achieve for the next 12 months or three years? Businesses are dynamically evolving and AED provides a forum to get updated: people changing positions within the company, leaving one company and going to another, new key decision-makers starting with a company… 

Additionally, to seek any upcoming annual forecasting that may be available to the manufacturer/vendor. To understand whether we (the manufacturer/vendor) are doing everything we can to retain the relationship and grow with them.

John Creswell, sales manager for TAG Manufacturing, which produces construction attachments

How long have you been participating in CONDEX?

We have been participating in CONDEX for 13 years.

Why is it important for dealers to participate in the trade show?

CONDEX provides a great platform to discuss new products, new programs and the coming year's business climate. Hopefully, the conversations will allow the manufacturers/service providers to understand better how we can support the dealers.

We are most benefited by the opportunity to meet and have conversations with dealer principals that we may otherwise not have. It is sometimes hard to see these people during normal day-to-day business.

There's an app for that

Just as CONDEX has changed over the years, it will continue to adapt and evolve. One such evolution is the Summit app, which has become the primary source for all Summit-related information. In addition to meeting agendas, breakout schedules and presentations, it also includes a list of all the companies participating in CONDEX and Hospitality Suites.

A recent upgrade to the app identifies manufacturers in CONDEX that are looking for dealer members, along with other details in the profiles that enable attendees to get information about the participating companies before they meet with them.

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