Medtrade announced that it would unify its Medtrade Spring and Medtrade Fall events into a single annual event in a central U.S. location, it was responding to a longstanding request from many attendees and exhibitors alike. Hosting two events in two separate seasons on two opposite sides of the country was getting to be too much for an industry that was seeing consolidation.
But it’s also fair to say some folks in the industry might have been a tiny bit nervous to see if everything was going to turn out okay. Well, it turns out any jitters were unwarranted.
As the newly unified Medtrade conference and expo quickly approaches its March 28-30 date at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in downtown Dallas, it looks like the show’s new format and location have hit a bullseye with exhibitors and attendees. Existing exhibitors, as well as companies interested in returning to the show, are demonstrating renewed enthusiasm, according to Show Director York Schwab.
“The industry has responded really well to the location,” Schwab says. “And I think having one show in 2023 has given people a sense of urgency. When a dedicated group of people has been crying out for something for a long time and you’re fortunate enough to deliver that to them, they tend to respond favorably. And I think we’re benefiting from that.”
An Expanding Expo
In fact, as a sign of how well the industry has responded, Schwab noted the expo is already outgrowing its current exhibit hall, Hall D, at the Kay Bailey Hutchison center. The expo runs March 29-30, and at the time of writing this story, the expo hall floor is 20 percent larger, covering approximately 8,000 more square feet than Medtrade East in October.
“We had to take the New Product Pavilion off of the expo hall floor and move it into the lobby because we needed the booth space,” Schwab said, adding it was a happy accident. “I think this turned out to be more ideal than having it on the floor, because I think, as an attendee, you’re going to see it out of the corner of your eye when you’re at registration, and you’re going to be drawn to go see it even before you go into the expo hall. Inside, the expo is so full that our general service contractor, Freeman, is not even going to have its service center directly on the show floor because there is no room left behind the drapes.
“In the expo hall, there are new companies,” he continues. “There are companies on the expo hall floor that you haven’t seen at a trade show in a couple of years. There are companies that you have seen regularly that are going to have bigger and better experiences than in years past.”