Moving the HME Industry Forward

General Healthcare

Retail Training Lab, Next Gen Group new to Heartland Conference

May 8, 2017

WATERLOO, IA – VGM’s annual Heartland Conference is five weeks away and once again, the member service organization has developed innovative learning opportunities for attendees.

Along with nine tracks of education, nearly 80 exhibitors, social events and VGM’s hometown hospitality, this year’s attendees will experience a new Retail Training Lab, and for those under 40, a meet-up for the HME industry’s next generation. Medtrade (Oct 23-26, 2017 in Atlanta) is a Bronze Sponsor at the Heartland Conference, and will also be sponsoring a lunch at the Iowa-based show. VGM will be sponsoring the Ideas in Caretail section at Medtrade, in addition to bringing several speakers and panelists for Medtrade educational sessions at the Georgia World Congress Center.

Retail Training Lab
VGM has leased a storefront for a one-of-a-kind retail training lab during its annual Heartland Conference. Located across the street from the convention center, the 1,100 square foot showroom will feature innovative health care products and display concepts that attendees can examine and potentially apply to their business.        

“We’re proud to enhance Heartland Conference attendees’ experience by offering this innovative, hands-on approach to learning,” said VGM’s director of Retail Programs Rob Baumhover. “The showroom will be designed as an ideal retail store, providing a unique platform to highlight opportunities for our members to strengthen their retail program.”    

The Retail Training Lab will be open exclusively for attendees to visit throughout the four-day conference. VGM’s online marketing agency, Forbin, will also be in the showroom discussing online marketing tactics and trends to help providers reach their target audience.    

Along with the retail lab, Baumhover and the VGM Retail Services team will be presenting a pre-conference strategy-driven session titled Achieving Retail Success. Other retail-specific education includes presentations on an all-cash, health and wellness business model, inventory management and using retail marketing strategies to attract and retain customers.         

“If you’re looking to bolster your business’s retail program, then Heartland Conference is a must-attend event,” stated Baumhover. “All-inclusive pricing covers education, meals, transportation and a number of social events. You don’t want to miss out.”     

Also new to Heartland will be the inaugural meet-up for the HME Young Professionals Group. Formed by VGM, the HME YP will offer the next generation of HME owners and professionals the opportunity to get together, share best practices, network, and learn from peers.

“Heartland Conference is all about connecting our members with tools and resources to help them improve their businesses,” said Sara Laures, VGM’s vice president of special projects and conference chairperson. “Part of that is connecting our community of HME professionals with each other to learn and grow together.”   

The first meet-up will take place on Tuesday, June 13 at SingleSpeed Brewery for refreshments, appetizers, and networking. Housed in a wonderfully renovated former Wonder Bread Bakery building just two blocks from the Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center, site of Heartland Conference, SingleSpeed Brewery is one of the newest downtown Waterloo attractions.

VGM’s Heartland Conference takes place June 12-15 in Waterloo, Iowa. Medtrade takes place Oct 23-26, 2017, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.