Attendees key on education, networking

Friday, August 31, 2007

Orlando, Fla. -- HME suppliers attend Medtrade for three main reasons: education, networking and products. No surprise there. What is surprising is the insistence that Medtrade is no longer a buying show by those who attend for other reasons.
"The days of Medtrade being a buying show have come to pass," said Josh Anderson, vice president of marketing at TiLite in Kennewick, Wash. "It's important for us to spend time with the clinicians and providers, educating them firsthand."
Likewise, the point of view of a supplier from Concord, N.C.: "It is not a time to buy and particularly in this volatile time period," said Danny Waller, president of Carolina Med-Plus. "Medtrade is a time to network and discover new products and the latest information."
Networking is key for vendors, but education is king for suppliers, who're anxious to get up to speed on legislative, regulatory and other legal changes. Getting a firsthand appreciation of new products is nice, but less than necessary, say suppliers.
"I certainly attend Medtrade for the purchasing opportunities and to see new products, but the networking and educational opportunities are what make it worthwhile," saidDavid Beshoar, president of MedServ Equipment in Palatine, Ill.
Not everyone dismisses the show as a shopping opportunity.
Ronald Reed, president of Benchmark Mobility in Indianapolis, said Medtrade gives him a chance to review products he doesn't have time to see during the typical work week.
"I always seem to do a lot of buying at the show because of deep discounts and renewed relationships," he said. "I always enjoy the opportunity to catch up with the reps and forge new relationships."
Others laud the show as the perfect place to find information.
"Where else can you find that much knowledge in one place?" said Michael Floyd, a wheelchair specialist at Mercy Home Care in Sioux City, Iowa.