1994 Vendor Show

Skip Sharp, San Diego County Office of Education

The consensus among those vendors and CEDPA members who participated in the 1994 vendor show was that it was a success.

Despite the continuance of an uncertain economic climate, the vendor show presented several excellent opportunities for all involved. For the attendees, there was a wide variety of good product offerings representing possible solutions to a variety of needs. In many instances there was the chance to 'test drive' some very interesting products instead of just reading about them in the 'glossies'. On the other hand, for the vendors, there was the opportunity to meet with many prospective clients in person, to hear firsthand some of the problems and needs in educational and administrative computing, and finally the opportunity to discuss and demonstrate several possible solutions to those needs. Many vendors stated that having the uninterrupted attention of many key decision makers is of particular benefit to them. If there was an unwritten theme to the conference this year, it seemed to be a genuine spirit and commitment toward mutual problem solving.

We received a great deal of support from the vendors in helping to meet conference needs, including sponsoring meals and providing conference amenities. Hewlett-Packard, Panduit, Cisco and Precision Data were particularly helpful in this area. Augmenting the conference were the outstanding hospitality suites conducted by both Scantron and NCS. The culmination of the show was the drawing for an excellent array of door prizes provided by many of the vendors including Digital Networks, Data Blocks and the California Department of Education. The Sheraton hotel, our conference host, donated a free night at the Sheraton as well as brunch. Bennet Kaiser won that prize. Apple Computer and Snap Systems donated some fine connectivity devices and nutrient planning software respectively. General DataComm donated a Quack telephone (won by Russ Brawn) and US Telecomm donated some software to help use with that phone. Both Digitronics and Scanning System donated television sets and Macro contributed a nice set of binoculars. Sandy Ching was fortunate to walk away with one of the champagne gift baskets, courtesy of CTB McGraw-Hill and McGraw-Hill Software. Sehi Computers and Kallen's Computer Products both contributed very nice laser printers, and Bi-Tech donated an equally useful calculator. The duffel bag filled with goodies that Ascom-Timeplex contributed could have also been used to help hold some of the very practical prizes donated by Data Impressions. Undoubtedly the $50 cash prize that Art Vogtlin won from Zuk and Associates will be put to very good use. Finally the CEDPA Board, in appreciation to our vendors, conducted our own drawing for a free nightÕs stay at the Sheraton. Richard Johnson of IBM was the lucky winner.

The CEDPA board is already refocusing on the conference and the vendor show for next year. As always, we welcome all input from our CEDPA members and the vendor community regarding the show. Our purpose as always remains to make the next show better than the last.