A Successful Show

The city that never sleeps set the background for the 2000 Medtrade West Conference and Expo held in May at Bally's Hotel and Resort. Las Vegas provided an entertaining arena for the home health care industry to come together to share new products, ideas, and information.

Many attendees arrived in time to attend the conferences and seminars that covered relevant information to the industry. Issues such as reimbursement and issues surrounding Medicare were addressed as well as a focus on how home medical equipment (HME) providers can increase sales and productivity.

Steve Lutzker of The Lutzker Group presented a seminar titled "New Products and Niche Markets for More Money" where he used industry trade publications to show providers good places to search for new products in order to increase sales and profits.

The American Association of Healthcare (AAH) conducted its annual business meeting and Washington Update. The panel discussed present policies and the effects on HME providers. The AAH, which recently formed from the merger of the National Association of Medical Equipment Suppliers (NAMES), the Health Industry Distributor's Association's Home Care Division (HIDA) and the Home Health Services and staffing Association (HHSSA) hopes a unified front will give the home health care industry a stronger voice in Washington.

The exposition opened its doors to more than 200 exhibitors and gave attendees the opportunity to view new products and meet potential clients.

"This is typically not a buying show . . . at least traditionally it hasn't been. Its more of a networking opportunity," said Chas Kaufman, infant specialist, Respironics, Pittsburgh.

The size of the show provided a good opportunity for newcomers entering the industry because it was not as overwhelming as the larger Medtrade show in the fall, and it allowed for more time to talk with attendees and other exhibitors.

This year's exhibitors ranged from large manufacturers like Respironics, a manufacturer of respiratory products to smaller, new companies trying to find a niche in the market like Mother Earth Pillows, which designs orthopedic heating pillows and accessories.

Medipages introduced its new online database program at the show this year.

"It's been busy but the smaller venue allows more time to explain the product. It's nice to have the time to visit with people," said Pat Demeester, general manager, Medipages.

Other products featured included lifts, scooters, standers and a large variety of orthopedic and rehabilitation products. The new product showcase included products from various companies like Mallinckrodt Inc., Fisher & Paykel and Battle Creek Equipment Co.

Attendance for this year's show was expected to reach 4,300 by close of the show, according to Alyssa Derryberry, marketing manager, home health care division, VNU Expositions, who acquired the show last year. "That is a huge increase over last year's total attendance of 1800."

Jim Papac, general manager, Levo USA Inc., said he felt the show was well organized and well executed.

"It's been about 12 years since I attended this show, I think the new name and its association with Medtrade helped to give it an identity," he said.

With the increase in attendance at this year's show, there is hope the show will continue to grow as a mid-year venue and not simply as a West Coast show.

"A lot of people lose selling opportunities by waiting a whole year for Medtrade," Derryberry said.

The bright lights and big city of Las Vegas certainly can draw a crowd and provides a little bit of everything for attendees to pass the time after the conference. Whether it was the light show at the Bellagio or the rollercoaster at New York, New York, attendees were sure to find a reason for returning next year!

With the entertainment Las Vegas has to offer and the increase in attendance numbers, Medtrade West now has the anchor it needs to become the biggest mid-year opportunity for introducing new products and networking.

Whitfield is assistant editor for Home Health Products.

For Medtrade West products, click here

For information on the upcoming Medtrade conference in Orlando, Fla., October 3-6, click here

This article originally appeared in the June 2000 issue of HME Business.

About the Authors

David Drab serves as a principal of information and content security services for Xerox Global Services, where he develops security technologies for a wide range of customers.

Dr. Patrick J. Sullivan, a soil chemist and partner in Forensic Management Associates Inc., a company in San Mateo, Calif. that provides litigation support and expert witness services related to environmental disputes.

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