At Medtrade Spring, attendees in search of opportunity

Friday, March 4, 2016

LAS VEGAS – Foot traffic was down slightly and there were fewer exhibitors at Medtrade Spring last week, but the mood was upbeat, say show organizers.

“There was considerable energy on days one and two with a positive vibe,” said Show Director Kevin Gaffney. “The overall buzz of the show floor on Tuesday was tremendous.”

The show, held Feb. 29–March 2 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, drew 215 exhibitors.

This was the second year in which educational sessions were frontloaded onto the first two days of the show, leaving day three dedicated to the show floor.

“It’s a constant pull and push on this issue, and it’s impossible to please everyone, but reaction has been positive,” said Gaffney. “Wednesday was the busiest final day I’ve seen in the last five years.”

Despite the national rollout of competitive bid pricing hanging over everyone’s heads, show attendees were resolved to keep moving forward.

“The show is an opportunity to figure out who we can partner with for growth opportunities,” said Wayne Slavitt, founder and CEO of Mobül.“I also like to see products from new vendors and new products from old vendors.”

That’s music to the ears of first-time exhibitor John Stocker.

“People are looking for the new and unusual, they are not looking for another wheelchair,” said Stocker, owner of E-Z Step, which makes a stair-climbing cane. “I’ve been pleasantly surprised. People are in a positive mood.”

On the education front, AAHomecare on Tuesday hosted its Washington Update, which drew its usual healthy crowd, despite the 8 a.m. start time.

I’ve wanted to get more involved with the legislative stuff and hear what was new,” said Clark McInroy, owner of COPD Respiratory Services in Cheyenne, Wyo. “Now they are trying to stop the next round of cuts. I want to know what we can do in Wyoming to help with that.”

Show organizers are already looking forward, toward Medtrade, Oct. 31-Nov. 3 in Atlanta. The elephant in the room, says Gaffney, is the national rollout and how it will impact the industry.

“Medtrade Spring and Medtrade ultimately reflect the industry,” he said. “By the time Medtrade rolls around, we’ll have an even better understanding of where the industry stands.”

Pride Mobility tops retail awards

LAS VEGAS – A power wheelchair that allows for 10 inches of seat elevation and speeds of 3.5 mph took the top prize at the Innovative HME Retail Product Awards at Medtrade Spring last week.

The Jazzy Air Powerchair from Pride Mobility Products, which had its debut at the show this year, beat out eight other finalists for the award.

Taking second and third places, respectively, were the Free2go Rollator from Roscoe Healthcare/Compass Health Brands and a Pain Relief Cream from Topricin.

The awards, which take place at both Medtrade Spring and Medtrade, honor HME products that are particularly suited for retail sale.

The other finalist were: Flip a Grip from Drive Medical, Grip Lap Board from Grip Solutions, Nano Tek High Performance Fabric from Golden Technologies, Home Aware Home Alerting System from Sonic Alert, Swede-O Heel Pain Center from Swede-O and Vionic Pain Free Shoes from Vionic.

The panelists/judges for the awards were Mike Sperduti, CEO of the Mike Sperduti Companies; Cindi Ciardo, CEO of Knueppel Healthcare Services; and Rob Baumhover, director of retail for VGM Retail Services.

Attendees vote for best products, booths

LAS VEGAS – Medtrade Spring attendees tapped the DreamStation Positive Airway Pressure from Philips Respironics as the Providers’ Choice Gold Award last week at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. The Providers’ Choice Silver Award went to LifeWalker Upright by ProtoStar; and the Providers’ Choice Bronze Award to EZ Fold-N-Go Walker by Stander. The Best Booth Award went to Stars N Stripes for the company’s “dramatic runway look,” said Sarah Varner, marketing director for Medtrade.

HME, aging events to co-locate in 2017

LAS VEGAS – Medtrade Spring will co-locate with the Environments for Aging Expo & Conference next year, show organizers have announced. The events, both produced by Emerald Expositions, will take place side by side at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center from Feb. 27 to March 1. “There is a great deal of crossover appeal for attendees,” said Kevin Gaffney, group show director of Medtrade. “It will bring value to exhibitors and attendees of both shows.” The Environments for Aging Expo & Conference is a three-day event where attendees can network with peers and learn about the latest innovations in senior-friendly design for long-term and residential care settings.