ORLANDO, FL – After another successful Medtrade, organizers immediately began to pour over the survey cards to search for ways to improve the nation’s largest HME Expo and Conference.
According to Kevin Gaffney, group show director, lessons learned will be put into effect for Medtrade Spring, scheduled for March 10-12, 2014, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. Medtrade will return to Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress Center in in 2014, scheduled for Oct 20-23.
The images from this month’s Medtrade show vibrant, dedicated, and focused attendees eager to learn about the opportunities ahead.
More than 550 exhibitors and thousands of attendees descended on the Sunshine State for Medtrade. Educational sessions, booth exhibits, and networking events attracted what AAHomecare Chief Tom Ryan (pictured, upper left) described as “fully engaged” providers who were serious about new opportunities.
Attendees packed the AAHomecare Legislative Update at the Orange County Convention Center to kick off day one (Tuesday, Oct 8) of Medtrade in Orlando, Fla. With new leadership and renewed resolve, AAHomecare leaders embraced the challenges ahead.
“In the end, we are going to win,” said Robert Steedley, chairman, American Association for Homecare. “We have the right team to get the work done. We are fighting as hard as ever, and we are making the right contacts and the right moves.”
Jay Witter, vice president of Government Affairs, conceded that the recent 47% Medicare reimbursement hit was “drastic,” and encouraged providers to fight back by documenting patient complaints with renewed vigor. “When CMS says 33 [Medicare beneficiary complaints], we can come back and say, ‘No. People for Quality Care [http://peopleforqualitycare.com/] have documented more than 2,000 patient stories,” said Witter. “We know there are 10 times that many stories, and that is what is going to turn the tide.” Providers and patients are encouraged to send anecdotes to Cbround2problems@aahomecare.org
“Unfortunately, when we rely on entitlement programs, what goes on in Washington, DC, is very important,” added Ryan. “We are trying to move the chains, but we can’t do it alone. We need you. You are key. The only way we can move any agenda is if you go out there and work your Congressional members and tell your stories.”
Judges handed out the following coveted Booth/Product Awards on the final day of the show.
• Innovation Award: iWalk2.0 Hands Free Crutch from iWalk Free
• Providers Choice: Triloc from iLoc Technologies
• Merit Award: FrozenPeaz from Frozen Peaz
• Best Booth Larger than 400 Square Feet: Caire
• Best Booth 100-400 Square Feet: Maxtec
• Creative Concepts Award: Strategic AR
According to Brian Clark, president of American Access, booth visitors at Medtrade wanted to supplement their business with items not subject to competitive bidding. “Medtrade was an excellent opportunity for us to launch our product,” said Clark, who’s company added three new models to its line of modular wheelchair ramps. “Being here at Medtrade clues you into the fabric of what is going on in the industry.”
“Medtrade was more focused than it used to be,” added Randy Clare, senior sales consultant for CareFusion, a Medtrade exhibitor. “In some ways, the theme of the show was retail sales. Ultimately, the message was that if you focus on patients and outcomes, you can’t make mistakes.”
Of the 500-plus exhibitors at Medtrade, more than 85 were showing off their products and services for the first time. These exhibitors are willingly joining the fray at a challenging time, and they are determined to capitalize on opportunities.
“Visitors to our booth were all looking for cash-pay items,” says John Bace, executive vice president and co-owner of LS&S, a first time exhibitor and a manufacturer of ADL products for people with low vision. “Booth traffic was steady and most who came by were serious. They liked the optical and some of the talking products. The people we talked with were good leads.”
“Medtrade attendees appreciated that this is an innovative product,” says Randy Schellenberg, president of ComforTek, makers of the Royal-EZ. “It addresses a very real issue—how to accommodate mobility challenged people—while providing respect and dignity. Medtrade attendees liked the ease of application and price point.”
Jonathan Parr, PT, inventor of the Matrix Gate Trainer from Kinetic Revolutions, said his first-time foray to Medtrade would likely lead to many more appearances at the show. “The show has been great for us,” said Parr. “There have been vendors from all parts of the world, such as Puerto Rico, Japan, Holland, Sweden, China, and Mexico. We have gotten a lot of great feedback and we are ready to schedule for the Medtrade Spring show [March 10-12 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center] in Las Vegas.”
Officials at Calif-based Quinn Medical, makers of non-invasive orthopedic products, reported that their first Medtrade sparked a lot of new business opportunities. “It was a very successful show,” said Patrycia Bogdal, associate product specialist, Quinn Medical. “Tuesday was phenomenal.”
More than 70 new products were on hand at the New Product Pavilion, located on the show floor at Medtrade. An additional space called the Medtrade Retail Design Center gave attendees ideas to help create a space that encourages customers to browse product offerings and learn more about items that can improve their quality of life.
“It was a difficult and even confusing year,” admits Ron Resnick, president of BC Medical Products (Booth #1018). “We’ve all been kicked around, but the opportunity and optimism at Medtrade was great. I’m actually more optimistic than last year.” With more than 100 educational sessions to choose from, Medtrade offered everything from niche topics to categories with broad appeal.
Laurie Bachorek, director of HR, Sales, and Business Development, MetroCare, Grand Prairie, Tex, sees Medtrade as a necessity in today’s environment. “An investment in Medtrade can pay big dividends for your business,” says Bachorek. “MetroCare was in Florida because we are determined to fight for our business.”