Here’s the Atlanta Medtrade show in a nutshell:
“The show is dwindling. Fewer exhibitors, and fewer attendees—but overall the attendees that came by our booth were younger, smarter, better educated and more tech savvy than ever before. Years ago people came to this show before competitive bidding and had profit margins of 60-70%. These people have sold their businesses, retired or moved on. The people coming to the show today are young executives, recent college graduates and are very book smart. They know how to earn a living on 5-10% profit margins.”
~ Richard M. Mehan, CEO, Noble HouseHME & Claims Management Software company | Deerfield Beach, FL
The biggest change for 2017 was that Medtrade was a two day show for exhibitors, and most of them welcomed the cut back. “That last half day was always a ghost town anyway,” said Jake Houck, a regional sales manager for Wilmington, NC based DRYPRO, a marketer of waterproof body protection products.
The New Products Pavilion appeared to be much smaller than last year but still provided new gems for the industry. The top three, as voted by Medtrade attendees, won Providers’ Choice Awards that were sponsored by HomeCare Magazine.
Owlet Baby Care took the Providers’ Choice Gold Award for Smart Sock 2. It uses pulse oximetry to track babies’ heart rate and oxygen levels as they sleep and is targeted for parents and caregivers.
The Silver Award went to Stabilized Steps, Naples, FL, for patented stability gliders that attach to the bottom of medical walkers, allowing them to be stable on various terrains such as sand, gravel, grass mud and snow. “Freedom to move forward” is the company’s motto. Stephanie C. Gomez, CEO, said the steps took years to develop and was pleased to report strong interest and sales for the company. Stabilized Steps exhibited for the first time at Medtrade.
The Providers’ Choice Bronze Award went to CAIRE, Inc. for a new tracking app. It allows medical equipment providers to track the location of their assets, trouble shoot alarm codes, monitor oxygen flow rates and avoid costly after-hours visits.
Many booths vied for attention with creative displays. Golden Technologies, of Old Forge, PA, had a stars and stripes patriotic theme for its chairs and mobility products. Aurafix, of Trenton, NJ, used sleek plastic models of athletic men and women to attract interest for its orthopedic products. DryPro used a life-sized paper model of an attractive beach-goer to demonstrate waterproof cast protectors for arms and legs. Ford Motor Company made its first appearance ever at Medtrade showing a line of commercial vehicles that allow for custom-designed interiors to carry specialized products from providers.
The Applied Companies, of Westlake, OH, generated star-power buzz with two booths. Applied’s OxyGo® booth drew widespread interest for displaying both the ultra lightweight OxyGo FIT™ portable oxygen concentrator and the company’s hot-selling OxyGo POC with long-lasting batteries. A few aisles away, the company sponsored a second booth that highlighted its capabilities to fill cylinders for less than a dollar each.
OxyGo sales manager Jon Schultz said attendance was consistent with previous shows and that he saw a lot of “new faces.”
Many attendees commented on two attractions away from the show: (1) A 73,000 pound stainless steel sculpture of a falcon outside the newly opened Mercedes-Benz stadium next door; (2) A “Gone With the Wind” theme at a nearby restaurant called Pittypat’s Porch that featured life size cut outs of movie icons Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh, as Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara.
One lucky attendee, Sandra Chisum of Herritage Home Medical, Wichita Falls, TX, struck it rich at the end of the show when she won a $5,000 cash giveaway in front of the American Association for Homecare booth.
Lisa Wells, from Med-South, Inc., Birmingham, AL summed up the show succinctly: “Overall Medtrade is a great opportunity for the industry to come together as a group and collaborate on how to move the industry forward.”
“The networking opportunities are superb!”
“The educational courses are always top notch, and relevant to the current state of the industry.”
“The Vendor show offers exceptional visibility across the spectrum. It is one of the rare opportunities to visit with the vendors all in one place.”