Poll respondents back shorter Medtrade

‘In these decreased reimbursement days, we try to save money any way we can,’ says one respondent
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Friday, June 16, 2017

ATLANTA – The decision by show organizers to shorten Medtrade from four to three days is spot on, say the large majority of respondents to a recent HME Newspoll.

Citing Medtrade’s shrinking exhibit hall, 85% of respondents said they think it makes sense to shave off a day from the show.

“Twenty years ago, it used to take four days to visit all the exhibitors at Medtrade,” wrote David Beshoar of MedServe Equipment in Palatine and Urbana, Ill. “Now you can likely visit all of them in two days. It’s very reflective of how our industry has changed.”

Show organizers announced in May that this year’s Medtrade, Oct. 23-25 at the Georgia World Congress Center, would end on Wednesday night, instead of Thursday afternoon. They also announced an additional hour of exhibit time on Tuesday and Wednesday, extending show floor hours to 5 p.m.

Organizers appear to have hit the sweet spot with a three-day show. The largest majority of respondents (41%) said that’s how long they have attended Medtrade in past years. Thirty percent and 26% of respondents said they have attended the show for four days and two days, respectively.

A shorter Medtrade also helps attendees reduce travel costs and minimize time out of the office, respondents say.

“I usually attend the pre-show education on Monday, then head over to the show floor on Tuesday for some quick looks at specific items, then hopefully I’m on a plane on Tuesday night and back to work on Wednesday,” wrote one respondent. “In these decreased reimbursement days, we try to save money any way we can.”

Although this year’s show will be shorter, respondents said there’s still a lot to get done. They want to get updates on the latest legislative and regulatory issues; they want to learn about new business processes; they want to see new and updated products; and they want to rub elbows with their peers.

“I go for the education and to see what other companies are doing,” wrote James Long of Littleton Respiratory Homecare in Wilmington, Ohio. “If I learn one thing, it can make a huge difference to my business. It really is one of the few chances I have all year to work on the business, instead of working in it.”

One challenge that remains for attendees, respondents say: balancing time in the educational sessions and in the exhibit hall, which often overlap.

“We want to learn more about cash/retail opportunities and see retail products,” wrote Randy Ford of TMD in Phoenix, Ariz. “The challenge is going to seminars and covering the exhibit hall at the same time.”

A number of respondents said they’re open to additional changes to the show’s format, such as condensing the educational sessions in the mornings, leaving the afternoons and early evenings for the exhibit hall.

“We used to go more to the classes, but in recent years, it has been more about looking for new products, meeting with major suppliers for Medtrade deals and learning from the exhibitors about changes, offerings and new information,” said Charles Satterfield of Archer’s Total Home Healthcare in Sweetwater, Tenn. “I would prefer larger meetings in the mornings from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m., with multiple subjects and speakers and float in and out of those rooms. Networking and sharing ideas, problems and issues is always important.”