ATLANTA (November 16, 2016)—Despite a year that saw two major reimbursement reductions courtesy of competitive bidding’s rural expansion, Medtrade attendees and exhibitors remained positive.

“Medtrade is a reflection of the industry, and we certainly felt the rural expansion this year,” said Kevin Gaffney, group show director, Medtrade. “Adjusting to the cuts takes time, and it certainly affects trade show attendance. With that said, we got a lot of great feedback from exhibitors and attendees, and demand for HME will only rise in the future.

Exhibitor Feedback
“The show has been great. We have had significant interest in our products with a lot of activity at the booth. There is a lot of opportunity stemming from that. We were actually pleasantly surprised, because the word on the street was that it was going to be slow due to the tough year for the industry, but that has not been the case. Medtrade has had a big impact.”
—Pat McGlone, general manager, handicare, St. Louis, Missouri

“The show has been good for us. We are showing a new product [Platinum Mobile Oxygen Concentrator], and there was a lot of excitement. We have been talking to people who are looking for solutions. We also spoke with established and new customers to talk about their business.”
—Niraj Patel, director of Respiratory Products, Invacare Corp, Elyria, Ohio

“For us, this show has been about retention and gaining new customers. The HME segment is important to us, and Medicare business is important. I can’t get to everyone out in the field, so here at Medtrade the field comes to me.”
—Scott Williams, vice president of Key Accounts, Drew Shoe Corp, Lancaster, Ohio

 “The response at Medtrade has been nothing short of amazing. We’ve gotten a lot of exposure. The people in attendance know their business, so there is not a lot of wasted time. And the barbecue place was great.”
—Gina Garcia, CEO, Trikaroo, Orlando, Florida

“Medtrade has been incredible. We have seen about 250 people with serious interest, and the show has served as the major kickoff for the company. Really, the show has exceeded our wildest expectations when it comes to booth traffic and signing up distributors.”
—Gary Kabot, chairman and CFO, URise, Charlotte, North Carolina

I got people interested in my product at Medtrade, and my product [modular tables] is for long-term care homes—a unique niche.”
—Jean-Paul Legare, promotional director, MPT

“It’s been a good time at Medtrade. We’ve talked to people we’ve never met, and we’ve spoken face to face with existing customers, which was good for customer retention.”
—James Layman, marketing manager, Advanced Orthopaedics, Harleysville, Pa

“Medtrade has been great. Our day one had quite a bit of traffic, and overall we’ve had more good leads than any other show.”
—Nyika Wright, COO, CMB Solutions, Indianapolis, Indiana

“We had a lot of good traffic, good contacts, and good conversations. We had some strong and interested prospects, which really made the show. It’s what you do to prepare to do business at Medtrade. At Medtrade, people from all over the country can see you at one time. It’s just more efficient.”
— Erin Tyler and Bruce Gehrig, The Allegiance Group, Overland Park, Kansas

“It’s been an excellent show for us, and it has exceeded our expectations. We have far exceeded our goals.”
—Matt Evans, national sales manager-dealer, Stander Inc, Nibley Utah

“The show has been good with steady traffic. People are interested in retail options and the breadth of products that we offer. We are here every year, and we will be in Las Vegas for Medtrade Spring 2017.”
— Kristine O’Dette, senior manager for HME, McKesson Medical Surgical, Richmond, Virginia

Attendee Feedback
“This has been the best Medtrade I’ve ever been to. I have found new and innovative home accessibility products that I had never seen before. I will definitely be in Las Vegas for Medtrade Spring. I enjoy putting the names to faces, and we are really enjoying it and trying to milk our time here at the show. A longer last day would be nice.”
—Scott Lanswick, director of Home Accessibility, All Home Medical Supply, San Diego, California

“I am a first-time Medtrade attendee. I love the classes and the ideas they gave me on how to run the business better, and how to get the team excited. The show floor is also very informative. We are trying to expand our showroom, and it gave us great ideas.”
—Crystal Rivera, customer service representative supervisor, Naples Oxygen, Naples, Florida

“The times that the floor is open is good, because you can have that quality time. With the educational sessions, it’s nice to get refresher information that eventually sinks in. The speakers kept me attentive. I was interested in home modification and all the different aspects from low to high, and all the products you need. The time allotted for the show floor is more than enough. 
—Terry Johnson, sales manager, Sanford Healthcare Accessories, Fargo, ND

“The show has been good. We got face to face with our vendors, as well as a couple of new ones. I went to two educational sessions, and they were right on. I went to a retail session that showed us how to greet potential customers, and how to find out their problems and offer solutions.”
—Ryan Rickert, Medical Necessities & Services, Columbia, Tennessee

“I come every year to Medtrade and it’s very informative. I love keeping up with the product innovations.”
—Donald McNeal, owner/installer, D&J Mobility, Warner Robbins, Ga

“The Monday BOC workshop was very informative, and the information was invaluable. I plan to go into retail right away, so I wanted to lay this educational foundation. I took the CDME exam on day three of Medtrade.”
—Lesley Franklin, owner of BOH Medical Inc, Statesboro, Ga.

“I really like seeing the new products, and the educational sessions were good and informative. I actually think there needs to be more retail/caretail sessions next time.”
—Donna Dale, Medical Xpress, Euless, Texas

“I think the show was fantastic. The exhibitors were great. Anyone who wants to know what’s going on in the industry should be here.”
—Danya Morozowich, HME provider

Feeling the Impact of CB Rural Expansion
After seeing year over year attendance growth in 2015, Medtrade, like the entire HME industry, was affected by the negative impacts of the rural rollout of NCB.

“Difficult changes, combined with mergers and company closings, affected final attendance tallies with the show registering an 18 percent drop from last year,” said Gaffney. “We understand the reasons behind the drop, and it motivates us even more in our mission to help providers find products and solutions. The next opportunity for providers will be at Medtrade Spring, scheduled for February 28—March 1, 2017, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.”

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—Greg Thompson