Medtrade Spring enters new era

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Friday, March 30, 2018

LAS VEGAS – Las Vegas may be known as Disneyland for grownups, but at last week’s Medtrade Spring, the mood was all business.

With competitive bidding’s devastating effect on the HME industry, the number of attendees and exhibitors at the show has thinned, but those who were there had their sleeves rolled up, says Show Director Kevin Gaffney.

“They had some good conversations,” he said. “Everybody would like to see more people on the floor, but the companies that are coming here are solid companies.”

This year’s show, which took place March 27-29 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, featured 200 exhibitors and educational programming across 10 tracks.

The track that drew the most attention: retail.

“Providers not only want to see new products, they want to learn to create a retail environment,” Gaffney said.

Fortunately, for those providers interested in retail, many manufacturers have upped their game, opting for sleeker designs that fit better into today’s lifestyles.

“Everything we do from design to packaging comes from the consumer lens,” said Jim Daniels, CEO of Convexity Scientific, which debuted the FLYP, a pocket-sized nebulizer, which won gold in the New Product Pavilion’s Providers’ Choice Awards.

Long-time exhibitor Pride Mobility Products has revamped its design team and was showing several revamped products at the show, including the latest models in its popular Jazzy line.

“When they’re calling a power wheelchair sexy, you know you’ve done something right,” said Micah Swick, director of sales.

Swick had no complaints about the show.

“We’ve had a good show,” he said. “I know the show is smaller, but we’re entering a new era.”

Indeed, provider Todd Usher hadn’t planned on coming to Medtrade Spring this year, but he was glad he did.

“I was invited by several (of my vendors),” said Usher, co-founder of Home Oxygen Company in Modesto, Calif. “It’s important to network with them. The show is still valuable for that, and education.”