Exhibitors tout Spring's intimacy

Friday, February 21, 2014

LAS VEGAS – The Medtrade fall show is a crush of hustle and bustle as swarms of attendees crowd around the booths and block the corridors. By contrast, Medtrade Spring, March 10-12 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, is more laid back and has plenty of elbow room.

Some vendors find that very appealing.

“A smaller show, both in attendance and with the smaller number of exhibitors, allows us the opportunity to spend more time with each customer, or potential customer, that walks into our booth,” said Pat O’Brien, director of marketing for Old Forge, Pa.-based Golden Technologies.

Quality time with customers is the same reason cited by Paul Guth, president and CEO of Strongsville, Ohio-based Roscoe Medical.

“The smaller show is an excellent opportunity for us to spend more time with customers and prospects,” he said. “We have found in recent years that attendees tend to be more serious and are very focused on what they want to see and what they need.”

Mark Smith, public relations manager for Exeter, Pa.-based Pride Mobility and Quantum Rehab, likes the intimate atmosphere and adds that the timing of Medtrade Spring is fortuitous for mid-year product updates and introductions.

“It always provides us with a great opportunity to further connect with our providers one-on-one and on a focused basis,” he said. “Additionally, it gives providers the chance to see products that may not have been on the market at the previous Medtrade.”

The heavy retail focus in Medtrade’s seminar lineup is matched by exhibitors, with manufacturers like Golden exerting a similar emphasis on transitioning to cash sales, O’Brien said.

“Retail sales are always our theme,” she said. “We are going to demonstrate to dealers how to maximize minimal square footage in their showrooms to best display retail products and point-of-sale promotional items to grow their cash sales.”

The industry’s shift to retail is starting to steer the age-old price-vs.-quality product debate more toward quality, O’Brien said.

“As providers change their mindset into being retailers, they are understanding and appreciating more than ever quality over price,” she said. “The target age group for our products appreciates high quality and will pay for it, if the value is demonstrated by the quality.”

With competitive bidding weighing heavily on their customers’ minds, Roscoe Medical is very focused on instructing them on ways to diversify their revenue streams and increase their profit per patient, Guth said.

“Certainly we understand that current economic conditions will impact their buying habits and we need to be mindful and supportive of this,” he said. “All dealers, especially those within the bid, are looking for ways to diversify their revenue stream.”