ATLANTA – Members of the Medtrade educational advisory board (EAB) met last month to discuss the upcoming Medtrade show, scheduled for Oct 26-29, 2015, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. Wayne van Halem, president of the van Halem group, Atlanta, Ga, is one of three new members to join the EAB.
As a familiar Medtrade presenter throughout the years, van Halem brings expertise as a consultant to the EAB, as well as his connection to the VGM Group via an acquisition that occurred last year. “We merged with VGM in 2014,” explained van Halem. “Now we are a separate division of VGM.”
“We view Wayne’s connection to VGM as a plus for Medtrade,” said Kevin Gaffney, group show director, Medtrade. “VGM is a long-time exhibitor and supporter of Medtrade Spring and Medtrade, and we value the VGM perspective. Wayne’s input on the board is shaped by his experience as a consultant and Medtrade speaker, as well as his relationship with VGM, and we want to hear his opinions.”
Medtrade sat down with the 40-year-old van Halem to find out how he ended up on the EAB, and why he believes the nation’s premiere HME trade show is a must-attend event for HME providers.
Q: How did you come to be on the Medtrade Ed Ad Board?
van Halem: I’ve been a presenter at Medtrade spring and Medtrade since 2008, so have interacted with a lot of the members of the board, both in Medtrade-related activities and work-related activities. Just based on that interaction, they came and asked if I would be interested in being on the board when they were making some changes.
Q: Why did you say yes?
van Halem: It’s a great opportunity to be a part of Medtrade, which is one of the biggest events for our industry. Our clients are attendees of Medtrade, so we see working with them on a daily basis what kind of education is helpful. Training and education is a component of almost everything we do with our work, so I just saw it as a good fit to be able to have input on the needs of providers in the industry.
Q: In 2015, what is the value of making the effort of going to a location to meet face to face?
van Halem: You get so much more out of in-person training and education than you do from listening on the web. Don’t get me wrong…I think web-based training is great. It’s cost effective. But when you get in a room with people going through the same issues as you, and you get to ask questions yourself, I think that is invaluable.
Q: What do you say to people who are hesitant to spend the time and money to attend Medtrade?
van Halem: The reality is the people who do spend the money to send folks to a location to get training are committed. I noticed that at the last Medtrade. The crowd may have been smaller, but the people who were there were absolutely committed, very engaged, and involved. The interaction and networking helps them to learn best practices, learn things to avoid, and that’s what this conference is all about. The quality of people who attend these conferences is very impressive. When I go there as a presenter, the questions and interactions we’ve had demonstrate that the people there are strong and committed, and want to do things correctly, and that’s why they come to get education at Medtrade.