By York Schwab

ATLANTA (March 9, 2020)—When Medtrade Spring (now Medtrade West) started on March 2, 2020, we greeted friends and colleagues with handshakes and hugs. By March 3, I noticed a few people who were still shaking my hand, but they immediately disinfected with a lotion or some kind of wipe. I was taken aback, but as the day progressed I took no offense.

By the final day (March 4), handshakes and hugs were replaced by fist bumps and elbow nudges. It’s possible that if Medtrade Spring had been scheduled for the following week, it may well have been canceled. We canceled Medtrade 2020 in Atlanta, and as most everyone knows by now, we have postponed Medtrade West in Phoenix to July 12-14, 2021.

We believe the mid July date will be enough time for widespread vaccination, and we are willing to brave the Arizona summer to boost that peace of mind. There may be pent-up demand, but there may also be reticence to get on a plane or take a drive to a trade show.

We are in the trade show business, so it’s true we’re inherently biased. With that said, the road to the Grand Canyon State is looking fairly smooth at this point. We have some surprises planned, and Medtrade Monday readers will be kept informed. Registration is also coming up in April, and as usual those SmartSaver rates will provide a fantastic price for educational sessions and access to the trade show floor.

One change we can now reveal is that there will be absolutely no conflict between educational sessions and time on the trade show floor—none. We listened to attendees and exhibitors and it was clear; time should be reserved for one or the other, but not both at the same time.

I know the pandemic has been long and difficult, and it’s not over yet. However, I’m hopeful, and I look forward to seeing you in Phoenix.

York Schwab is associate show director for Medtrade West and Medtrade East. Medtrade West is scheduled for July 12-14, 2021 at the Phoenix Convention Center and Medtrade East is scheduled for Oct 18-20, 2021 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. This article originally appeared in Medtrade Monday.