CELA Goes to Washington; HME Expo Attendance "Well Below Expectations"

BALTIMORE - With all industry eyes watching, attendance at the first-ever HME Exposition & Conference was described as "well below expectations" by the event's owners.

The HME Expo was the third and last in a week-long series of interconnected events. It followed a Business Summit, and a Capitol Hill lobbying day that was part of the Complex Rehab Education & Legislative Forum (CELA). CELA educational sessions continued on the same days the exhibit hall was open.

Cory Smith, VP of marketing for the HME Expo, said 189 exhibitors participated, with 900 DME suppliers attending. Overall attendance, including exhibitor personnel, presenters and press, was 1,517.

Changes for 2010's Event

Smith says HME Expo management is in the "information-gathering stage," but added, "At first blush, we are planning to move the Business Summit away from the event to shorten the time that we are asking companies to be out of the office."

There were also questions about how successfully the attendees of the educational conference, which took place in the upper level of the Baltimore Convention Center, were directed downstairs to the exhibit hall.

"We felt that we could have done a better job connecting the conference attendees with the exhibit floor," Smith says. "The traffic overall was well below our expectations, and we found that we fell short in bridging the conference program and the exhibits. We are planning to eliminate the overlap between education and show floor hours. We are also planning more events on the show floor to promote more networking."

Smith says the 2010 event will be in Baltimore "in the same general timeframe."

This article originally appeared in the June 2009 issue of Mobility Management.

About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at lwatanabe@1105media.com.

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