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HME industry is open to business travel in 2021

HME industry is open to business travel in 2021 The later in the year, however, the better 

HME NewspollYARMOUTH, Maine – The majority of respondents to a recent HME Newspoll (62%) say they plan to attend at least one in-person industry event this year, because “it’s time for us to get back to business as usual.” 

Helping to make their decision easier, say several respondents: vaccines. 

“I’ve missed seeing friends and colleagues,” said Victoria Peterson of Respiratory & Medical Homecare in Texas. “With an increase in vaccination rates, we can feel more at ease with travel.” 

Thirty-two percent say they don’t plan to attend an in-person event and 6% say they are undecided. 

Some of the biggest drivers for respondents who plan to attend an in-person event this year are the need for continuing education units and the need to add new products to their portfolios. 

“We have just expanded our retail showroom floor so we can offer more choices and additional products,” wrote Ted Oury of Diamond Medical in Arkansas. “We need ideas.” 

Another big driver: networking opportunities, something that virtual events found it hard to replicate in 2020. 

“I will be attending at least one in-person event this year, primarily because of the networking opportunities it will bring,” wrote one respondent. “I attended a few virtual events last year and found some of them as being impactful and others not as much.” 

The largest percentage of respondents say they plan to attend Medtrade East in October (44%), followed by a state/regional association event (40%), the Heartland Conference in September (35%) and Medtrade West in July (25%) – a sign of a possible preference for events that fall later in the year. 

“Our company won’t allow travel until Sept. 1 or later,” wrote one respondent. 

Several respondents who don’t plan to attend an in-person event say their budgets don’t allow for travel this year. 

“No budget for travel,” wrote one respondent. “Pandemic expenses plus manufacturer price increases leave even less room for ‘overhead’ travel.” 

Other respondents who don’t plan to attend an in-person event say they’ll hold off until events can be held safely without precautions. 

“I’d rather hold off on attending a trade event until we can do so without masks or social distancing,” wrote one respondent. 


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