DALLAS – Regular Medtrade attendees may feel a bit odd with late October rolling around and no Medtrade on the calendar. Well before I started writing/editing Medtrade Monday in 2010, I had been to several editions of Medtrade.
In 2000 and 2001, it was still the edge of the “glory days” with the Medicare Modernization Act (and its competitive bidding provision) still a few years away. During the intervening years, I have made it a habit of asking several attendees and exhibitors about their reactions to the show.
The old timers feel compelled to tell me; “You know, this show used to be a lot bigger…” I smile and nod. I remind them that more than a third of providers have gone out of business over the last decade or so—largely due to competitive bidding. Medtrade is a reflection of the industry, after all.
Fast forward to Medtrade 2023 in Dallas with its new attitude, new location, and new vibe. I asked a lot of questions back in March and got a whole lot of positivity. I may be hopelessly biased, but it seems like Medtrade is coming back. The newcomers don’t remember the good ol’ days and the veterans (me included) are content to look forward and drop the nostalgia.
Competitive bidding remains a thorn in the side, but for many it’s a thorn that has been grudgingly accommodated. Here’s one of the many positive comments I collected when Medtrade convened about seven months ago in the Lone Star State.
“I came to Medtrade with high optimism and I have not been disappointed,” said Faisal Poonawala, general manager, Spring Branch Medical Supply, Houston. “It’s great to see people and get the hugs and handshakes. Foot traffic is heavy out there. I could not get near the Golden Technologies booth on the first day of Expo, but I have gotten to see all my friends. By the way, the Medtrade Meet feature helped to keep my day organized.”
When I chat with people at the show, I write down the positive and the negative. The negative was hard to come by last March, and I think March 26-28, 2024 will be another positive step forward—for Medtrade and the industry.
Burgeoning demand from the Baby Boom Generation is not a myth. The industry is coming back strong and so is Medtrade. I look forward to making the trip when spring rolls around next year.
Greg Thompson has written/edited Medtrade Monday since 2010.