Editor's Note

If Today Is Monday...

Complex Rehab Industry shows

Overcast skies provided perfect lighting even I couldn’t mess up. Say, “Phoenix!”

Back in the day, I used to work a full week, leave for a tradeshow on Thursday or Friday at dawn and fly all day. Worked the weekend at the show, flew home Monday, worked another full week, slept in on Saturday, and was bright eyed on Sunday.

Yeah, it’s a blur from a very young, ridiculously resilient time that I probably wouldn’t remember very well without the help of photos — black-and-white prints and color slides, in those cases.

Still, even knowing today that I’ll be knocked flat as soon as I get home, I feel a thrill when complex rehab show season starts.

Rehab show season, I think, is a reflection of its attendees. That’s you, the ATP, the clinician, the mobility/accessibility provider.

I brag about you all year, how if I want to reach you with an e-mail or newsletter, I’d better have it on your desk by 6 a.m. local time, because after that you’re off to clinic or paying house calls to consumers. If I don’t catch you early, I won’t be able to chat with you till late, after you are back at your work desk or checking your e-mails from home while your kids are taking their baths or doing their homework.

Nobody has a work ethic like this industry’s, I say, so often that my officemates who produce publications on software or enterprise security are mighty sick of hearing it.

Yeah, no one works harder than your readers. Pipe down, we’re trying to html code over here.

So is it any wonder that your show season is the same way? Starting a conference at 10 a.m.? Ha! That’s for industries that take weekends off. By 10 a.m., you’ve put in half a day! So of course your shows start at 7 a.m., even on Saturdays and Sundays. Yee-haw!

This year, the show season got off to a dynamite start, with the Numotion National Education Conference & Expo in Phoenix, followed swiftly by the International Seating Symposium’s 30th rendition, back in beautiful Vancouver, B.C.

We were there, and I have the (I-always-wish-they-were-better) show pics to prove it. Turn to MMBeat, page 8, for the coverage. Then check out Product Revue, page 26, for new technology straight from the show floor.

Every spring, I’m astonished to see what manufacturers have been working on all fall and winter, and excited to hear what presenters in educational sessions have been putting together, too. That innovation keeps happening, that all of you keep driving forward despite all the obstacles against you, is nothing less than inspirational.

You’ll see examples of that innovation in our feature stories, too. Our second feature plays off a four-year-old “titanium vs. aluminum” theme for ultralightweight chairs, but there’s plenty of “new” in that K0005 niche. Our cover feature examines how — in an age when a power chair needs to not only be mobile and provide positioning, but also needs to operate as a communications and respiratory command center for today’s plugged-in consumer — manufacturers are evolving their designs. See that sidebar for some exciting Permobil/University of Pittsburgh innovation as well.

And thank you to everyone who, despite bleary eyes and a desperate need for caffeine, talked to me in booths or smiled at me in aisles or waved to me in the customs line. You bring a little bit of home wherever we go.

This article originally appeared in the May 2014 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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