New leader steers Medtrade

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Medtrade has injected fresh blood into show management with the June hiring of Kevin Gaffney as show director, a 15-year veteran of trade show and association management.

Gaffney has worked with such diverse groups as the Research Chefs Association, the Exhibit Designers & Producers Association and the International Gas Turbine Association. HME News recently asked Gaffney for his take on his new position and the industry he now calls home.

HME News: What’s your assessment of the HME industry’s strengths and challenges?
Kevin Gaffney: Like any other, the HME industry has its share of challenges and opportunities. Providers have learned through technology how to become more efficient and operationally sound. They’re partnering with manufacturers to enhance patient care. Most importantly, they’re increasingly becoming active in lobbying efforts and working together to have their voices heard by Congress.

HME: What changes should exhibitors and attendees expect to see at this year’s Medtrade?

Gaffney: This year, our “State of the Industry” keynote session will be open to all attendees, where our panel will share their wisdom and insight. We’ll also kick off the first day of the show with a complimentary welcome reception called “Medtrade Oktoberfest” on the show floor.

HME: How are you addressing the exit of some major exhibitors?

Gaffney: The support of top companies in an industry is important for any show. We respect the decision of some of the manufacturers to sit out of the show, and we are confident that our attendees will find the products and services they are seeking from other exhibitors.

HME: How are registrations going so far?

Gaffney: Registration is currently tracking at about 5% over this time last year. While national competitive bidding is a major concern in the industry, registration has not been significantly affected by it.