ATLANTA (April 4, 2022)—Medtrade will consolidate into a single annual show beginning in 2023, ending a long-standing tradition of two events a year, officials announced Monday.
“We’re very, very excited. We think less is going to be more in ’23,” said Show Director York Schwab. “And we’re excited because we think some people who have been on the sidelines may come back with one event.”
The date and location for the single 2023 show, which will be called just “Medtrade,” have not yet been determined, but Schwab said to expect it to be “a centrally located show, hopefully in a transportation hub,” and that they are “looking in the middle of the country.”
He added that it would not be in Atlanta—home to Medtrade’s larger fall show at least since 2002—and also indicated Chicago would be unlikely. “Timing will depend on the availability of different cities,” he said.
The announcement came just as Medtrade West 2022 opened in Phoenix; Medtrade East 2022 will still proceed in Atlanta from October 24 to 26.
“Moving to a single show makes Medtrade stronger,” Tom Ryan, president of the American Association of Home Care, which sponsors the event, said in a news release. “I am confident this move will bolster attendee and exhibitor participation and will also lead to even stronger educational and networking opportunities at a single event on the calendar.”
Schwab said that the No. 1 request on surveys for years has been to combine into a single show.
“I’ve been thinking about (making this move) as long as I’ve been on the show, because the feedback has always been so consistent,” he said. “Within the last year we really started looking at it seriously.”
He said new corporate leadership was willing to entertain the idea in a way that hadn’t happened before.
“I want to thank our executive team, who, when we presented this to them accepted it with an open mind and decided to do what’s best for the show and the industry,” Schwab said. “In the past there was no appetite for this kind of conversation.”
In 2021, Medtrade moved its spring show from Las Vegas to Phoenix and shifted format, reducing the time overlap between the educational sessions and the expo. When those changes were announced in 2020, organizers said they considered eliminating the spring show altogether but home medical equipment providers, vendors and others from the West Coast wanted a close-to-home option.
The new consolidated show will be either three or four days long, officials said in a news release. Schwab also said a decision hadn’t been made on whether to keep the show in a single location each year or move around.
“My gut tells me we’re going to try a new locale for a few years and see,” he said. “We’re not afraid to try new stuff and if something doesn’t work, we’re not afraid to pivot.”
In a conference call, Schwab said that the current show was up 15% for exhibit space over 2021 numbers, and conference attendance was up 26%.
And while those figures would be expected to be higher than the 2021 show—which was in 100-plus-degree Phoenix in July due to pandemic postponements—he said it’s higher than other shows run by Emerald, the event company that owns Medtrade.
“We’re really excited to have some positive momentum going into (Medtrade West),” Schwab said.