Invacare opts to skip Medtrade

Monday, December 31, 2007

ELYRIA, Ohio ­– Invacare “easily” spent more than $1 million to attend the Medtrade spring and fall shows last year, but that won’t happen in 2008. Instead, the industry’s largest manufacturer will spend its money on, among other things, regional and state HME events, educating clinicians and “a couple of our own events,” Carl Will, group vice president, HME division, said in mid November.
“We don’t have anything against Medtrade—we’re not looking to damage the show,” Will said. “We think we can get more intimate customer contact through education and training at regional events.”
Invacare is the second high-profile HME manufacturer to announce this fall that it will not attend the Medtrade shows in 2008. On Oct. 1, Permobil announced that it would forgo next year’s Medtrade shows and instead host a rehab summit in the spring on 2008.
The announcements by Invacare and Permobil followed Drive Medical’s decision not to attend this fall’s Medtrade. Drive also plans to skip the spring 2008 show and most likely the fall 2008 show, said President Harvey Diamond.
All three companies have been among the shows’ largest exhibitors.
“We still believe trade shows are important to this industry to show new products, build relationships with customers and as a format to bring people together on different regulatory issues,” Diamond said. “But we think that has to be done in a way that is less expensive for manufacturers to attend.” HME
Over the years, the Medtrade shows “have been very beneficial to Drive, but “it is so expensive right now that we can’t justify it.”