Carriers looking to meet exciting new shippers at the The ECA: A Delivery Industry Alliance MarketPlace can increase their odds for success at this premier “speed dating” event for shippers, carriers, and their vendors. In the spirit of “What’s Going On”, as the famous 70’s Motown tune by Marvyn Gaye sang, here’s a roadmap for what’s going on at ECA MarketPlace and how to maxmize your ROI at this delivery industry event!
For those of you new to this experience, at ECA MarketPlace carriers are matched to shippers according to ECA’s proprietary software, taking into account extensive member profiles and how each party rates the other in terms of desirability for a meeting. Carriers then meet with shippers in 1-1 meetings for fifteen minutes each to forge and strengthen their business relationships. Vendors who provide valuable services to the delivery industry are present on the exhibit floor and also available for meetings to discuss their unique services for carriers and shippers. At ECA MarketPlace 2019, over 500 attendees participated in more than 5,000 meetings over the 48 hour event!
As a result of ECA connections, carriers forge working relationships with shippers and become recognized as the first point of contact when their transportation needs evolve. Through the relationships forged at ECA MarketPlace, shippers spend less time searching for qualified carriers. The process of finalizing contracts and growing business opportunities becomes more streamlined. ECA, A Delivery Industry Alliance and the ECA MarketPlace event establishes the foundation for the carrier-to-shipper relationships, facilitating well-matched transportation solutions in the delivery industry.
In today’s market, we continue to experience the evolution of e-commerce, omnichannel solutions, tight capacity, supply chain challenges, and a driver shortage. Shippers need logistics solutions. Carriers provide them. Carriers, if you’re looking to grow, now is the time to establish yourself amongst the shipper community, and ECA MarketPlace is the premier place to do so.
Carriers, why should you attend the ECA MarketPlace this April? After all, you may have just attended ECA’s rescheduled September MarketPlace. That’s a fair question, and we have a good answer for you.
A spring ECA MarketPlace is the hallmark of the ECA MarketPlace Cycle. An April MarketPlace sets the pace for securing new business and gearing up capacity before inventory starts shipping in late summer for fall peak season. In today’s market, shippers need capacity, and back-up capacity planning is more crucial than ever. The ECA MarketPlace’s traditional spring meeting in April is the best timing for peak capacity planning.
Shippers (both long-time attendees and new members) are attending ECA MarketPlace this April to strengthen their relationships with carriers and secure their capacity solutions.
“If you build it, he will come,” said the whispering voice in Field of Dreams. A successful MarketPlace is being built. Shippers and vendors have secured their spots and are eager to strengthen their bonds to the carrier community. Carriers, you’re in demand, and registering to attend the ECA MarketPlace is a premier opportunity to engage with shippers and grow your business.
Our recent blog post, Shippers and Carriers Find “The One” During Speed Dating at the ECA MarketPlace, explains more of the background on this annual ECA extravaganza. There’s a lot to know before, during, and after the event, especially if you want to maximize your return-on-investment. Here’s a how-to guide on best practices for carriers to have a successful 48 hours at ECA MarketPlace and maximize event ROI. In this blog post, we will go into detail on each of the following tips.
Steps to Maximize Event ROI at ECA MarketPlace
- Register for ECA MarketPlace by March 11
- Submit your updated profile
- Rate the shippers
- Rate the vendors
- Develop your elevator pitch
- Prepare for a packed 48 hours
- Attend ALL meetings on your schedule
- Follow up after MarketPlace
Register for ECA MarketPlace
Registration for the ECA MarketPlace is underway. The registration deadline is March 11. Now is the time to reserve your place!
Submit your updated profile
Once you’ve registered, it‘s essential to write and submit your profile. Even if you’re a long-term carrier member of the ECA, it’s critical to review your profile, check for accuracy, and make any updates. Describing what type of freight you carry, what services you perform, where you are located, and what type of vehicle solutions you provide is the key. Historically, the more information you include, the better your ratings will be. Please click on the red Member Central Login button at the top right of the ECA homepage. Log in to your company profile and update all fields. If you do not update every field, your information will not be saved. If you do not have an input for the required field, you may enter N/A, None or anything to indicate that the information is not available. You can always go back and change information after all fields are updated. As soon as your carrier profile is complete and accurate, the ECA’s computer matching algorithm kicks in.
Shippers will then rate you in terms of importance and desirability to meet with you. A shipper’s rating of you is typically based on their type of freight, service, and capacity needs, the geographic footprint they require, and how those characteristics intersect with your service and transportation solutions.
Doing this is an important step to ensure you have a powerhouse meeting agenda by allowing shippers to rate you fairly and accurately. (Pro tip: When filling out your profile, enter the correct email address where you’d like to receive the shipper profiles to rate. And remember – historically, the more information you include, the better your rating will be.)
Rate the Shippers
The rating process is a critical part of preparing for ECA MarketPlace. After registration, you will be emailed a list of shipper profiles. Read through the profiles and do more research on shippers who may match your delivery needs. ECA is excited to offer carriers a new matching report during the online rating process to assist you with this essential step! The matching report will provide you with an assessment of Shippers who “match” up to your profile components. The Matching Report can be exported to Excel and sorted by the critical elements you would like to focus on or the total “matches” that may exist with Shippers.You will rate each shipper on a 1-to-5 scale. Think of the rating process similar to rating a hotel or restaurant, the more stars the better. A 5-star rating indicates you enthusiastically want to meet with a shipper. A 1-star rating indicates you do not think your needs will much intersect with the needs of the shipper.
Remember, the shippers are rating you in return. If you rate a shipper as a 1, they may still rate you as a 5. It’s likely you may have a few meetings with shippers who you rate low. However, if you accurately and thoroughly complete your carrier profile and complete your shipper ratings, your meeting agenda will be optimized for the most productive outcomes. By updating your profile and rating shippers in an educated manner, you are well on your way to a successful ECA MarketPlace!
Rate the Vendors
Next, check out the profiles of all of the great vendors who are exhibiting at ECA MarketPlace! Vendors who offer services, such as logistics platforms, screening services, driver onboarding tools, contractor management, fleet management, insurance and risk management, banking platforms, and warehousing services are registered to attend the event this April. Indicating the vendors that you want to have on your schedule assures you of a dedicated time slot to learn about their services and discover how they can support your company.
Develop your Elevator Pitch
In advance of ECA MarketPlace, polish (or develop) your short “elevator pitch” describing what services you are looking to provide for shippers and where you can offer them. Your pitch may include key aspects from your profile, such as:
- Types of freight you handle
- Service area, including areas where you have physical presence, such as a cross dock or warehouse
- Types of services you provide
- Vehicles you operate for freight transportation
- Value proposition
- Start up timeline
Prepare for a Packed 48 Hours
The ECA MarketPlace is a powerhouse event with opportunity after opportunity to develop your business. We want you to arrive prepared for this busy and energetic event!
- Bring plenty of business cards and other marketing materials you find essential.
- Wear comfortable shoes!
- Drink plenty of water and ensure you are refueling throughout the day.
Attend ALL Meetings on Your Schedule
You will receive a meeting schedule on the first day of MarketPlace when you check-in at the registration desk. Every meeting on your schedule should be treated with the same amount of importance. If you are scheduled to meet with a shipper that you already do business with, use your 15-minute meeting to strengthen that bond and continue to develop the relationship you have formed. (If you find you do not have meetings scheduled with all the shippers you want to connect with, then take advantage of the MarketPlace networking opportunities and exhibit floor!) It’s crucial for the integrity of ECA MarketPlace that you attend all meetings on your schedule. Whether a meeting is the first one on the first day, or the last one on the last day, a successful ECA MarketPlace requires that every meeting is attended. After all, you never know when that “special someone” speed dating moment will occur! It’s always possible you’ll discover unexpected benefits from meetings with shippers you may have initially rated low.
Follow Up After MarketPlace
Make a commitment after MarketPlace to schedule and conduct follow up meetings. The 15-minute meetings during the event are about establishing possibilities to conduct meaningful business. The post-MarketPlace follow ups are when the possibilities become significant realities. Do the follow ups!
The ECA, A Delivery Industry Alliance looks forward to a great MarketPlace with you this April 11 – 13 at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort in Tucson, AZ! Taking these simple but important steps assures a fully maximized, successful ECA MarketPlace 2022 and an event ROI you can easily prove!