Medtrade Spring: Providers in search of answers

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Friday, April 19, 2019

LAS VEGAS – Competitive bidding was top of mind for many attendees at Medtrade Spring, where a workshop on the upcoming changes in Round 2021 drew a standing room only crowd, say show organizers.

Attendance, overall, was up 11% compared to last year, they say.

“When (changes to the bid program) happen, we get a lot of interest in the conference as it relates to bidding,” said Kevin Gaffney, vice president and group show director. “We’ve spent the last couple of years focusing the education on addressing the most important issues.”

This year’s show was held April 16-18 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

In addition to the workshop, there were several additional sessions on competitive bidding, along with sessions on everything from business operations to retail.

“Providers have still got to figure out a way forward,” said Gaffney. “I hope everybody walks away with an idea or two to enhance their businesses, or adds a product or two to their portfolios.”

On the show floor, attendees had less ground to cover, but there were plenty of new exhibitors, including Great Life Healthcare.

“It’s been phenomenal,” said industry veteran Tom Bannon. “We couldn’t ask for a better launch. They are trying to figure out new business and looking at the cash market.”

Bannon, who has attended the show since 1986, says exhibiting at Medtrade is a must, especially for a new company.

“If people don’t know you, you are not going to be successful just calling them up on the phone,” he said.

Sarah Tollie of Prochant agreed, saying Medrade may make the bigger splash but having a presence at both the fall and spring shows is vital. She said Prochant was in the right place at the right time, with attendees hunting for ways to streamline their businesses.

“More and more we are seeing cuts, and there’s less time for providers to do everything,” said Tollie, senior marketing manager.

Although next year’s Medrade Spring is already booked for March 3-5, nothing has been decided beyond that. With overall attendee and exhibitor numbers slowly dwindling over the past several years, there have been concerns that the industry can no longer support two shows.

“That’s to be determined,” said Gaffney. “There’s a lot of moving parts.”