When hospitals who need to buy things and companies who wish to sell them meet, the result is Medica, a yearly trade show held at the Dusseldorf fairgrounds. I’d never attended before, there’s no scientific program and physicians generally don’t attend, so it really wasn’t my audience. This year, though, I was shopping for service providers and exit partners, design ideas and competitive pricing.
And everyone was asking if we could meet at Medica.
The show is absolutely vast: 17 gigantic buildings, each holding all of the companies serving a particular specialty. Genomics, for example, were in Building 1; electromedical in 9-11; plastics in 5, physiotherapy in 4. It can take an hour to survey one building, methodically walking each aisle and scanning every booth. Fortunately, it runs for four days, 8 1/2 hours per day.
The exhibits range from fascinating to bizarre: in a venue that big, companies reach to get noticed. Usually it’s a matter of putting souvenir pens and young greeters out front, cookies and coffee farther back into the booth where the salesmen lurk. Other times it’s a matter of mounting models in the scanners or sweating on the treadmills. The biggest crowds seemed to gather where samples of handcreams were being distributed.
Sometimes the promotions work, sometimes not.
It was a good show, though – despite being refused entry to the US Chamber of Commerce pavilion (for lack of an appointment!?), I met a lot of people and did a lot of business in a very short time.