VGM’s Heartland Conference: ‘Quality not quantity’

Sunday, June 6, 2004

June 7, 2004

WATERLOO, Iowa - The hundreds of providers who attended VGM’s Heartland Conference last week devoured a 200+ pound pig during Tuesday’s hog roast and then moved on to the event’s main course: a cornucopia of educational seminars and networking opportunities.
In all, 725 people attended the event that ran June 1-4. In addition to 450 providers, attendees included 225 people representing 78 vendors and 50 speakers who delivered 70+ educational seminars.
According to Jim Walsh, president of VGM Management, the show’s mandate is simple: Don’t waste the attendees time.
“We don’t want to fill the show floor with people who sell purses and have speakers on things no one wants to here,” Walsh said.
As in past years, the show’s Midwest hospitality (fireworks, a pig roast, a dinner and dance party), small size (20,000+ people attend Medtrade) and intense focus on education struck a chord with attendees.
“It’s not quantity, it’s quality,” said provider Enrique Toro, president of KTG in San Juan, Puerto Rico. “And it’s a friendly and family-like place.”
Providers and speakers raved about the show’s numerous social events and related networking opportunities.
“Medtrade is immense, more frenetic and you have to fight for attention, but here you can get all the attention you want,” said Gerry Dickerson, director of rehab for Medstar Surgical in Queens, N.Y. “Heartland is more intimate.”