Three largest exhibitors

Sunday, October 31, 2004

1: Sunrise

Whenever the term “Olympic-sized” is used to describe a venue, it immediately conjures up the image of something big. As the largest exhibitor at Medtrade, Longmont, Colo.-based Sunrise could modify the phrase to “Paralympic-sized.”

Using the theme “Improving peoples’ lives one person at a time,” Sunrise is showcasing new technologies, offering a “sneak peek” into the future of its product lines. The 100’ x 80’ Sunrise booth will prominently display new models from its Quickie, Jay, DeVilbiss and Guardian nameplates.

With 2004 being an Olympic and Paralympic year, the exhibition area is punctuated with references to the Athens Games. Sunrise sponsors 38 Team Quickie wheelchair athletes from 10 countries in four different sports – hand cycling, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair tennis and wheelchair racing. Among the booth events are celebrations of those athletes’ Paralympic accomplishments. Basketball and tennis paralympians are scheduled to give demonstrations and the company is hoping to get members of the gold medal-winning USA women’s Paralympic basketball team to make an appearance.

“The whole theme is to leverage the Paralympic Games, the athletes and our intense passion and focus to maximize clients’ abilities and capabilities,” said Bob Von Kaenel, vice president of marketing.

As in previous years, the booth will have the Quickie and Jay stage, “which allows our customers a better vantage point when detailing our mobility products,” said Sunrise marketing manager Kristin Mastin.

Traditionally known for its expansive, high-profile booths at Medtrade, Sunrise says all the hoopla comes down to one thing: serving the customer.

“Our strategy is simple – to create an inviting atmosphere in which our customers can preview and demo new and existing products,” Mastin said.
2: Pride Mobility ...

Pride officials want to give Medtrade attendees a glimpse of their corporate headquarters – on the trade show floor.

To simulate the experience, Exeter, Pa.-based Pride has brought its product and support machinery to the booth. While perusing the new technology on display, visitors can also take advantage of Pride’s reimbursement services, provider funding program, marketing support and e-commerce options.

“Not only can you test out the latest innovations, but you can meet with Pride’s entire support team,” said marketing director Mark Miller. “The value proposition will be evident at our booth – innovative products and the support to back them up.”

In fact, “innovation” is the key message at Pride and Quantum’s booth, which has been configured into a square – a little different than the 2003 booth at Atlanta. Still, company officials have made sure that visitors will easily maneuver through the space, each of which has its own theme: Pride represents style, Jazzy represents performance, Quantum represents solutions in rehab and the Go-Go section represents the company’s dedication to the growth of the travel mobility market, Miller said.

The innovation message extends to the entire HME industry, Miller said, because external constraints are requiring that both manufacturers and providers search for creative ways to make their support network stronger.

“Innovation is not limited to technology – it also includes the services we offer to our customers,” Miller said. “Understanding the marketplace from a consumer and provider standpoint is the main ingredient in developing innovation at all levels.”
3: Drive

“Club Drive,” the lounge-on-the-trade show-floor concept launched by Port Washington, N.Y.-based Drive Medical Design & Manufacturing in 2003, was so popular that the company has booked it again this year.

Set up to resemble a nightclub venue, the 30” x 50” area last year featured a bouncer and cocktail bars inside. To entertain club-goers, Drive Medical sponsored the popular Blue Man Group, a blue-faced theater troupe that performs various stunts and rhythmic percussion. This year’s program promises a similar-caliber stage act.

“The idea is to break down the barrier in meeting customers on the trade show floor,” said Ed Link, vice president of marketing. “It’s a chance for customers to enjoy their time at the booth instead of having to deal with being force-fed a commode.”

Approximately 50 people will be staffing this year’s booth, which demonstrates how far the company has come since three representatives worked Drive’s first Medtrade booth four years ago, Link said.

Drive has added substantially to its product line in that time, most recently acquiring Monrovia, Calif.-based DME manufacturer Dr. K. The entire line of Dr. K products will be on display at the booth, including walkers, homecare beds, bathroom safety products, wheelchairs, mobility products, canes and crutches, respiratory equipment and electrotherapy devices.

Among the new mobility products showcased at the booth are the Sunfire LS power chair, the Cirrus line of power and manual chairs and the Stingray and Daytona lines of scooters.

“We’re adding new items to our selection on a daily basis,” Link said. “We should easily have 50 new products on display at the show.”