Some 11,500 exhibitors, suppliers, clinicians and educational presenters attended Medtrade 2009 in Atlanta, and Group Show Director Kevin Gaffney called the event’s atmosphere “upbeat and invigorating.”
Of the total number of participants, Gaffney said 6,000 were qualified attendees, described as DME suppliers or clinicians. The Georgia World Congress Center had 550 exhibitors, and 1,900 people attended the educational conferences held before and during the official show dates of Oct. 13-15.
“We thought it was a good show,” Gaffney added. “The bottom line is that what is important is our attendees’ and exhibitors’ reactions to Medtrade 2009. We received many positive comments from each group.”
While attendee numbers are important to an event’s success, Gaffney said, “the most relevant outcome of an event such as Medtrade is whether those who attended went home with results. From what we heard at the show and since, that occurred with both attendees and exhibitors.”
This was the inaugural year for both the Rehab Pavilion and the Consumer Outreach Day. For the latter, Medtrade invited dozens of consumer, advocacy and health-care organizations, ranging from AARP to the ITEM Coalition, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Shepherd Center and the United Spinal Association. Gaffney said about 30 consumers attended.
“The event was well received, and the future focus will be to expand it to include a larger number of participants and to build on the format used this year,” he said. “It is important to emphasize that this is an educational initiative. Medtrade will not become a buying show for consumers, but we hope to use the forum to create awareness.”
Gaffney called the Rehab Pavilion “a definite success,” noting, “Participating exhibitors had plenty of traffic. The support of NRRTS was a critical component of this venture.”
Although rehab exhibitor and provider attendance at Medtrade has sharply fallen off the last few years, Gaffney called such attendees “an integral part of Medtrade,” and said event organizers are committed to “offering continuing education that is relevant to their field of work and backing it up with access to the latest technology.”
Added Gaffney, “We are sincere in continuing this approach and will move forward with offering similar events in the future. To increase its effectiveness, it is important to recruit additional manufacturers of rehab, mobility and assistive technology products to participate.”
The next Medtrade event is Medtrade Spring, May 12-13 at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas.