PHOENIX – Medtrade West’s Welcome to Phoenix Preview Night is on and Medline Industries Inc. is the latest company to lend its support to the free event, scheduled for Tuesday, July 13 from 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Preview Night is a chance for Medtrade West attendees to get a sneak peek at the Expo floor and chat with exhibitors at the Phoenix Convention Center.
“We are going to have multiple bars set up, and one of those bars will now be sponsored by our friends at Medline,” says York Schwab, associate show director, Medtrade. “In addition to the drinks, there will be pre-packaged snacks. The event is designed to be a fun chance to open the Expo. Medtrade West is filled with practical knowledge and vital products, but fun is also a worthwhile pursuit.”
“We haven’t participated in Medtrade West in a long time,” said Paul Miller, director of Business Development for HME providers, Medline Industries Inc., Northfield Ill. “We’ve also removed ourselves from a lot of trade show action this year because we had no idea where the pandemic would end up. Being that we couldn’t physically be there, we wanted to be present in another form. We felt strongly that sponsoring the bar was something we should be doing for the industry as a whole.”
Medtrade Monday sat down with Miller to gauge his level of optimism for the remainder of the year and get a better idea of what Medline means to the industry.
Medtrade Monday: What’s your opinion of moving Medtrade West from Las Vegas to Phoenix?
Paul Miller, director of Business Development for HME providers, Medline Industries Inc.: I think it was a good move. Vegas can be a little cliché, and changing it up is attractive to a lot of the newer HME owners out there. Not everybody likes to gamble, so I think having it in a destination like Phoenix is a nice alternative for the west coast providers. It will definitely be different this year coming out of the pandemic.
Medtrade Monday: What’s your level of optimism about in-person events and trade shows?
Miller: There are a lot of people ready to get out, shake hands, visit with old friends, and make some new friends. At the same time, there are people who are slower to move, more reserved, and everybody has their reasons. You’re going to have your early adopters coming back to trade shows quickly, and then the bigger pack come along later. I think you’re going to see those early adopters at the upcoming show, and then later this year for Medtrade East you’ll have everybody else; and then next year the rest of the group. Our organization has taken a very low risk approach to returning.
Medtrade Monday: Why did you decide to sponsor a bar at Preview Night?
Miller: Medline is taking a more conservative approach to returning to normal, so having a full blown booth wasn’t feasible for Medtade West. However, we felt it was very important for the HME industry to know that we’re standing beside them and supporting them, especially for the amazing work HME providers did through the pandemic. They’ve helped keep the industry going and really went above and beyond making sure they could keep seeing the most critically ill patients while getting back to home those who weren’t as critical. Being that we couldn’t physically be there, we wanted to be present in another form. We felt strongly that sponsoring the bar was something we should be doing for the industry as a whole.
Medtrade Monday: The Medline web site talks about how the company can help providers to optimize performance. What does that mean?
Miller: We feel that not just the industry, but healthcare, needs somebody they can count on. They need a supply chain that is best in class. We want to make sure that we’re there for our customers and they can count on us. It’s something we invest in regularly. Medline is very good at reinvesting into the business, from ownership on down. They are always looking to take any profits and put it back into that optimization and improving our capabilities—whether that’s technology, real estate space for new DCs, or head counts—we push ourselves to be better for what healthcare needs, because we all rely on healthcare at some point or another. That makes our customers feel comfortable with everything we deliver for them on a regular basis, and they know we’ll be there regardless of what’s going on in the world.
Medtrade Monday: How do you describe the company?
Miller: Medline is the largest family-owned manufacturer and distributer of medical supplies and equipment that supports the entire continuum of healthcare. We are focused on differentiating our value for our customers and the patients they serve. Medline is relentless in our pursuit of reducing business costs, improving quality and outcomes, all while driving revenues to our customers’ bottom line. On behalf of Medline I want to say “thank you” to the HME Industry once again for your frontline service in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The future of HME is bright and Medline is honored to be standing with you as a partner. Enjoy Medtrade West 2021 and we look forward to seeing everyone soon!
Preview Night Passport
Preview night is a chance for attendees to get a glass of beer, wine, or soda and take a preliminary lap around the floor. “The Preview Night is a great time to prioritize, chat with exhibitors, and decide which exhibitors are worth a return trip to learn more and possibly develop a lasting relationship,” says York Schwab, associate show director, Medtrade.
Attendees will have the opportunity to pick up a “passport” during Preview Night and get it stamped at participating booths. All completed passports will be put in a tumbler for prize drawings to finish up the night. “It’s a new feature and it brings a new energy coming out of COVID-19,” says Sarah Varner, senior marketing director. “It’s a chance to kick off the show in a new and fun way.”
Unlike previous years, the Expo Hall and Conference portions of Medtrade West are completely separate with no time conflicts. July 12 and 13 will feature educational sessions and workshops, and July 14 will be entirely devoted to the Expo Floor from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. “On Tuesday, July 13 sessions end at about 4:15 p.m.,” Schwab adds, “so foot traffic will flow naturally into Preview Night.”