Ready, Set ...Travel!

Which Shows Will You Attend in 2008?
Here’s How to Tell Them Apart

Feb. 20-22
National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) Conference
Phoenix, Ariz.
(813) 264-2697
Who attends: Mobility dealers who sell, install and build adaptive automotive systems and accessible vehicles; clinicians specializing in driver rehabilitation and adaptive automotive assessments. Combines OEM automaker presentations with educational sessions and dedicated exhibit hall time.

March 4-6
AAHomecare Legislative Conference
Washington, D.C.
(703) 836-6263
Who attends: HME suppliers in all markets, including respiratory, diabetic supplies, etc.; mostly company owners and executives. Held in the heart of Washington, D.C. (headquarters is the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel, across the street from the Smithsonian), so Reagan International is the closest airport. Washington Dulles often offers lower airfares, but it’s also a pricy ($50-60) cab ride one way to the hotel.

March 5-8
International Seating Symposium
Vancouver, B.C., Canada
(877) 328-7744
Who attends: RTS’s and clinicians from around the world who specialize in seating & mobility. This premier rehab educational conference with dedicated exhibit hall is at the gorgeous Westin Bayshore hotel in downtown Vancouver this year. The hotel isn’t cheap, but the views are priceless, and an array of shops and restaurants is within walking distance to cut down on taxi costs. But American visitors aren’t likely to get any extra bang for their buck, if the American dollar continues at its current rate.

April 8-9
Permobil Rehab Conference
Nashville, Tenn.
(800) 736-0925
Who attends: Permobil is understandably working out the details for its first-ever rehab event, but RTS’s are sure to make up the bulk of attendees. Permobil has promised plenty of educational opportunities and product/technology demos… along with the chance to enjoy Nashville culture.

April 23-25
Continuing Education & Legislative Advocacy (CELA) Conference
Washington, D.C.
(800) 976-7787
Who attends: Rehab professionals, who lobby on Capitol Hill for issues specifically affecting complex assistive technology. Bonus: Continuing education units are available. CELA seeks to be sensitive to attendee pocketbooks: The conference headquarters will be at the Holiday Inn Washington Dulles International Airport, and conference registration fees include transportation to/from Capitol Hill.

May 6-8
Medtrade Spring & Continuum of Care
Long Beach, Calif.
(800) 933-8735
Who attends: HME suppliers from all markets, plus clinicians and other professionals allied to the field. The Continuum of Care is the morning of May 6, with the exhibit hall open May 7-8. The Long Beach venue has stirred its share of controversy, but there are pluses: The general layout of the venue is more intimate, and restaurants and hotels are literally within walking distance of the convention center.

June 9-12
VGM Heartland Conference
Waterloo, Iowa
(800) 642-6065
Who attends: VGM members from all HME markets. Heartland offers plenty of classes in various clinical and business management niches, such as rehab, reimbursement and executive — plus an exhibit hall. The hospitality is superb, and even if you can’t fly in to the Waterloo airport (the one closest to the event), the Cedar Rapids Airport is a straight, scenic shot and an easy drive.

June 26-30
Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) Conference Arlington, VA
(703) 524-6686
Who attends: RTS’s and clinicians specializing in high-end seating & mobility. RESNA is all about assistive technology, so not all of the classes and exhibitors pertain to seating & mobility — there tends to be a lot of material on augmentative communications and robotics, for example. But the exhibits are fascinating, and it’s always fun to chat with the “future of the industry” OT and PT students who attend.

August 1-5
Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists (ADED) Conference
Kansas City, Mo.(800) 290-2344
Who attends: Clinicians specializing in adaptive automotive assessment, plus mobility dealers, especially those on the high, customization end of automotive access. The emphasis is on education, as well as on encouraging and maximizing a team approach when evaluating, recommending and building adaptive automotive vehicles.

Oct. 27-30
Medtrade & Continuum of Care
Atlanta, Ga.(800) 933-8735
Who attends: HME suppliers from all markets, plus clinicians and other professionals allied to the field. The Continuum of Care is Oct. 27, with the exhibit hall open Oct. 28-30. This year, Medtrade returns to Atlanta, which anecdotally seems to be a more popular venue among attendees than Orlando.

This article originally appeared in the January 2008 issue of Mobility Management.

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