Most anyone who has worked on a detailed, long-range project knows what it feels like to eventually have the effort, worry, hard work and preparation come to an end—hopefully with pride about a job well done. Either way, there’s often a void when that task is complete.
Joachim Schäfer, managing director of Messe Düsseldorf, the organizers of the annual Medica and Compamed medical technology trade shows (and similar events in other industries), knows a little bit about that feeling. In fact, given the position he’s in (more than 37 trade fairs were conducted by Messe Düsseldorf in 2012, for example), it’s a feeling he’s used to, but says it never gets old.
“It’s a lot of planning and we’ve done it for so long, but this industry [medical technology] is so dynamic that we try to keep pace. It’s never boring,” he told Medical Product Outsourcing on Friday, Nov. 22, the second-to-last day of Medica and the final day of Compamed (both began on Wednesday, Nov. 20).
As the week drew to a close, Schäfer characterized this year’s installment of the sprawling dual shows “another excellent” event.
“I think we’ve had, at least in the first two days, a significant increase in attendance, and especially an increase in the mix of international visitors,” he said. “Last year, 57 percent of our attendees were non-German. I would expect, given what I’ve seen so far, that number would be up a point or two.”
For 2013, there were 66 nations represented on the show floor in individual booths and in a number of international pavilions that showcased various countries’ medtech talents.
“Reports from exhibitors are that there’s been a noticeable increase of people,” he added.
Schäfer credits the mix of new attractions and themes with much of the event’s recent success.
“We continue to grow. For example, this year the wearable and mobile health technology forums are an active attraction,” he said. “This is obviously increasingly of interest and it has been well received. We’ve been pleased with the interactive forums on the show floor, and that is something we will continue going forward—health IT, mhealth, record keeping, imaging, and how it all ties together.”
Schäfer also noted that the educational conference components have helped to draw German and, increasingly, European physicians to the show. Through the educational program, doctors are able to gain continuing medical education (CME) credits. A first this year, some tracks were able to award CME credits for a wider European audience.