Medtrade 2000, held October 3-5 in the Orange County/Orlando Convention Center, provides an opportunity for those in the home health care business to view and purchase various products on the market, learn about business trends in the industry and network with other professionals in the field.
Where the Healthcare World Does Business is the theme for Medtrade 2000 and that is exactly what Medtrade provides, a place for products, education and networking.
The three-day conference is centered on several educational seminars and a product exposition designed to update health care professionals about the home health industry.
"We're anticipating a 10 percent increase in attendance over last year, which we attribute to the emphasis on an international attendance," said Alissa Derryberry, marketing manager, Medtrade Shows, VNU Expositions, Sterling, Va.
Medtrade 2000 provides ample opportunity for manufacturers to introduce new and existing products they have available.
"Our products are really a "hands on trial" so its important for (attendees) to be able to see and feel the product," said Karen Kowal, owner, Mother Earth Pillows, an Arnold, Missouri-based manufacturer of complementary alternative medicine products.
Many companies choose to wait until Medtrade to introduce new products because of the large attendance rate every year.
"It gives us a chance to show our products and programs to new and prospective clients," said Rhonda Machin, director of marketing, F.L.A. Orthopedics Inc., Miramar, Fla.
Attendees may gain more from the show by setting up appointments with or visiting with exhibitors on the first day and then walking the show the second day to see if there are other companies they might be interested in.
"The e-booths add another service to exhibitors and benefit attendees by allowing them to pre-plan their trip to Medtrade," said Derryberry.
"Map out the show before you get there since its such a big show. It's a good idea to know what booths you are interested in," said Machin.
Interacting with home medical equipment (HME) dealers and providers is a good way manufacturers can expand on existing business.
One important aspect of Medtrade is that it is a buying show and many providers and dealers attend the show with the intent to purchase various products to add to their existing sales lines.
"It's a good experience for sales and getting new leads," said Machin.
It's another opportunity to get people connected to our Web site," said Kowal.
Some of the products that can be seen while at Medtrade include aids to daily living, mobility products, respiratory systems and treatment products, e-commerce solutions and advancements in wound care technology.
"It is important for us to see what's going on in the market place and if our program is on track with what we hear from home care dealers," said Machin.
The conference will be host to several educational seminars based on various informational tracks related to the home health industry.
"We are always interested in what's going on with retail trends in home health market," said Machin.
Many sessions will offer information on Internet strategies for developing a new virtual store front.
There are also several free seminars being offered over the three days at Medtrade on various subjects such as the Mastectomy Bra Seminar, After Breast Surgery Certification, Doing Business In Europe and The Future of Rehab Technology Companies, which will feature a panel of industry experts.
"Sometimes bringing a list of questions can show (attendees) what they need to learn more about or what topics are most important," said Louis Feuer, educational director for Medtrade shows, produced by VNU Expositions.
While many professionals will attend the educational seminars offered at Medtrade, exhibitors also look forward to educating attendees about products.
"We do a lot of education about our various products since complimentary alternative medicine is just now being recognized as a viable treatment," said Kowal.
This year, Medtrade is again participating in the U.S. Department of Commerce International Buying Program developed to assist U.S. manufacturers meet the needs of international buyers.
There will be a wide range of attendees including home medical and durable medical equipment (DME)dealers, manufacturers, rehabilitation professionals, sales and marketing staff, case managers, home health care consultants and many others providing ample opportunities for networking.
"Networking with other professionals in the industry will only enhance the entire Medtrade experience," said Feuer.
We always like to take advantage of the networking opportunities. We get a lot of feedback after the show from people who stopped by the booth," said Dolores Freidenrich, marketing director, Bio Compression Systems Inc., Moonachie, N.J.
"Networking gives us a chance to meet with some of our bigger customers that our corporate people don't have a chance to meet throughout the year," said Machin.
The second annual Kick-Off Reception is being held Tuesday, October 3, 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. in the Valencia Ballroom in the Orange County Convention Center. Light hors d'oeuvres, an open bar, and live entertainment provide the perfect back drop for socializing with other professionals in the industry.
"This is a wonderful opportunity to network with colleagues and see friends and associates who attend Medtrade from all over the world," said Feuer.
Making the Most of Medtrade
Since Medtrade is scheduled for three days in the middle of the week, attendees will have many opportunities for entertainment.
"By shortening the conference, we create amore intense show over three days and it allows attendees and exhibitors to attend for a long weekend without cutting into their selling time."
"We always try to find an exciting venue so attendees and exhibitors alike can enjoy their time away from home," said Derryberry.
Medtrade will give those in the home health care industry the opportunity to learn about industry trends and technological changes.
is assistant editor for Home Health Products
This article originally appeared in the October 2000 issue of HME Business.