Thursday, July 07, 2011

Healthcare exhibit industry on an upswing

I am addicted to trade shows so when an association makes a rare stop in Las Vegas I make an effort to visit and check out the exhibits. For the first time ever the Healthcare Convention & Exhibitors Association held its annual meeting at the Wynn in Las Vegas. The June 25-28 meeting offered a great opportunity to learn about the association and learn about the industry.

There were a few exhibitors who had also exhibit at the annual Exhibitor show held in Las Vegas during the spring so a few companies were able to reuse some of the elements from its booth from that show in March. MG Design and Elements were two companies that had a familiar branding to me since I also visited their booths at Exhibit2011.

One education session gave me some insight into the state of the health care exhibit industry and, according to HCEA’s marketing research and communications manager Frank Skinner, the industry is on a small upswing but many companies are using less space at trade shows and spending less money.

The average square footage for large shows dropped from 200,000 to 130,000 square feet during the past year.

The Wynn was a great location for a show of this size. The exhibit show floor was located just a few hundred yards from the education sessions, but for some reason Las Vegas is not among the top cites for the health care exhibit industry.

“For 14 years Orlando has hosted an new healthcare meeting every five days,” Skinner said, adding that other popular destinations are Washington, D.C., San Diego and New Orleans.
I managed to walk the floor and talk with some exhibitors who demonstrated their products.

Congratulations to two exhibitors for winning best booth awards during the show. Kaon, No. 122, was the best small booth with its under 10-foot-by-10-foot exhibit. The best large booth award went to Crêpes á Latte Catering for its attention-grabbing booth. Not only did their booth look good, but the coffee and mini cupcakes were delicious.

Coffee must be very much accepted in the healthcare industry because I could not help but notice that there were a few exhibitors offering cups of java for attendees. Markey Coffee Communication caught my attention with it special blend of coffee brought from the United Kingdom.

For the first time, the Healthcare Convention & Exhibitors Association (HCEA) will have the attendance at its Annual Meeting professionally audited by an independent, third party auditing organization.

The 2011 HCEA Annual Meeting, to be held June 25-28, 2011, in Las Vegas, will be audited by the not-for-profit organization BPA Worldwide, therefore providing HCEA with complete and accurate attendance and demographic data about its meeting. 

The audit will be a census-based, independent validation of verified meeting attendance. BPA Worldwide will confirm and validate show attendance data for HCEA based on verified registration, demographics and geographic coverage. Thanks to Jennifer Palcher-Silliman for making it possible for me to attend.

Overall a great show with decent attendance. I will have to wait for the audit to be complete before knowing how many healthcare professionals attended but I think the association should be pleased with the results.