Get in the zone: HME Expo adds retail star to its line up

Sunday, August 10, 2008

YARMOUTH, Maine - Access 180 and HME News, co-producers of the HME Exposition & Conference, announced last week that Gladson & Associates, one of the top retail experts in the country, will design the Expo's HME Idea Zone, a fully functioning retail showroom.

"There's all kind of talk about how providers should do more to increase their retail or cash sales," said HME News Executive Editor Mike Moran. "If you have only minimal or no experience with retail sales, that's easier said than done. We think the Idea Zone will remove some of the mystery and give providers interested in retail a launching pad."

The HME Exposition & Conference, which will be held April 21-23, 2009, in Baltimore, has one goal, said HME News Publisher Rick Rector: To help position HME providers for growth and profitability in the changing HME marketplace.

That's why organizers of the HME Expo recently surveyed providers to find out exactly what they want the event's educational conference to focus on, Rector said. Given the drastic cuts in Medicare reimbursement, it's no surprise that 67% of respondents indicated that they want to increase their cash/retail business, he said.

The Idea Zone will feature the latest in HME showroom design, demonstrate retail-sales strategies, show how to best equip a delivery truck and reveal how to operate an efficient warehouse. Products that appear in the Idea Zone will be selected through a lottery that will take place in October.

"Whether its by improving retail sales, marketing, billing, human resources, whatever, providers know that business as usual doesn't work anymore in the evolving HME market place," Rector said. "The survey told us as much. Providers want more pertinent education. They want to brainstorm more with their peers. They want to get excited about their businesses again. That's what the Expo is all about."