Drive DeVilbiss bows out of Medtrade Spring

Company says it’s rethinking its marketing strategy
Friday, January 20, 2017

LAS VEGAS – Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare has had one of the busiest and liveliest booths at Medtrade Springs past, but not this year.

The manufacturer has bowed out of the HME industry’s second largest trade show and educational conference, slated for Feb. 28 to March 1 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, HME News learned last week.

“The industry continues to change,” said Ed Link, chief marketing officer, in an email response. “It requires everyone to rethink their marketing strategy to develop the recipe for success. Our prime concern is to support our channel partners in the most beneficial way, which is changing from years past.”

It won’t be the first time a big manufacturer skips one or both of the Medtrade events. Invacare did not attend either Medtrade or Medtrade Spring in 2008, saying the two events “easily” cost them more than $1 million to attend. It has attended Medtrade since then, but with an admittedly smaller booth.

Permobil also stopped attending the two shows in 2008 and never returned.

At press time on Friday, the Medtrade Spring website listed 167 exhibitors for the upcoming event, including big names like Pride Mobility, Golden Technologies, ResMed and Philips Respironics.

“Fortunately, we have many major manufacturers signed up for Medtrade Spring, and they are enthusiastic about seeing HME providers in what we hope will be a year in which the entire industry, slowly but surely, starts to rebound,” said Kevin Gaffney, group show director for Medtrade.

Gaffney credited Drive as a “longtime exhibitor” and pointed out that the company has signed up for Medtrade in the fall in Atlanta.

The news about Medtrade Spring follows a flurry of changes at Drive, most recently a new private equity owner, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice. The company has also been busy making a number of acquisitions, most notably DeVilbiss Healthcare in 2015.


With all the that is going on in the industry, who in the world can afford several days in Vegas.   Providers like myself, stay home and keep in touch with the manufacturer sales reps.  Most Medtrade pricing is honored anyway.