Top Trade Show News Network Stories and Trends of 2013

This past year was a busy one for the trade show industry, especially after making it through one of the worst recessions in U.S., and global, history.

Trade Show News Network was proud to be the industry’s leading online news source, and we worked hard to keep trade show professionals informed through our TSNN Weekly newsletter and Web site, as well as the TSNN Association Show newsletter, TSNN MedShow Monthly, TSNN Asia Exhibition News, TSNN ExpoFiles and not to mention our social media channels with 5,000-plus Twitter and another 6,000-plus LinkedIn followers.

We didn’t stop there, also offering monthly complimentary webinarsthat ranged in topics from “Ten Tips to Create an Exhibitor Retention Strategy ” to “Thinking of Taking Your Show Overseas? Learn from the Experts!” to “How to Pick the Right Technology for Your Show”.

TSNN also launched a news section completely devoted to event technology called TSNN Tech Corner on which there are stories on just about every aspect of the newest bells and whistles available to the trade show industry.

This year kicked off with the 11th straight quarter of consecutive growth for the U.S. trade show history, as tracked by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research. Though there was an increase in the first quarter of 2013 and the three subsequent quarters of the year, the growth slowed considerably year-over-year and lagged behind GDP.

In other words, we made it through the recession just fine, but that doesn’t mean we’re completely in the clear.

At the annual CEIR Predict conference, held in September in New York City, Bain & Company’s Austin Kim opened the one-day event with a session that took a look at the overall global economic outlook.

“The global economy is still in a wrenching readjustment that has been building for three decades,” Kim said.

Some major shifts he pointed out that started in 1980 included the doubling of the labor force worldwide (driven by China), as well as Baby Boomers in the U.S. hitting their consumption peak in 2010, meaning they will be spending less.
He added that “developing markets in general are facing the pop of a multi-year bubble with China at the middle.”

The Eurozone, though, seemed to be in for the bumpiest ride since, according to Kim, the worst problems there won’t even materialize until the end of this decade.

Even with the caution flags being thrown, this year marked several shows not only scoring impressive attendance increases, but also a lot of them actually broke records, including PMMI’s Pack Expo Las Vegas, Global Pet Expo, CEA’s International CES and SFA’s Summer Fancy Food Show, to name a few.

Shows in specific niche sectors also did well, such as Hart Energy’s DUG East Show for the shale industry, which saw a 30-percent attendance jump at its show in Pittsburgh.

So, even if the overall trade show industry is experiencing slowing growth, there still are plenty of shows bringing in record crowds.

Another interesting development this year was a new show-ownership model emerging here in the U.S., with convention and visitors bureaus, including Houston’s and Boston’s, taking stakes in shows.

The Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau and Messe Duesseldorf North America will partner to launch Medical World Americas April 28-30 at Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center.

Germany-based Messe Duesseldorf organizes MEDICA, the world’s largest annual medical trade fair, with more than 4,500 exhibitors and 130,000 attendees, which Medical World Americas will be modeled after, according to show management.

Greg Ortale, GHCVB president and CEO, said that Medical World Americas, as well as Total Energy USA, another show they are invested in, are part of an overall strategy the bureau is committed to focusing on going forward.

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Medica Organizers Have High Hopes for Medical World Americas in the U.S.

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.

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Houston Prepares for 2014 Inaugural Medical World Americas Event with CVB Trip to Germany

Last month, The Greater Houston CVB (GHCVB) led a group of officials to Dusseldorf, Germany, for MEDICA, the world’s largest medical trade show, in preparation for the first Medical World Americas Conference and Expo to be held in Houston next year. GHCVB CEO Greg Ortale said it was the ideal place “to work with our partners at MEDICA to promote and sell” Houston as a healthcare destination.

Scheduled for the George R. Brown Convention Center on April 28-30, 2014, Medical World Americas will be a groundbreaking gathering of hospital administration, physicians, nurses, scientists, pharmacists and more to introduce new healthcare knowledge, products and innovation in an expo format. The multi-track conference program will cover cardiology, oncology and hospital concerns such as hospital acquired infections, occupational health and safety, and disaster readiness.

Conference host hotels are the Hilton Americas-HoustonEmbassy Suites Houston DowntownFour Seasons Hotel Houston, and Hyatt Regency Houston.

The renowned Texas Medical Center—the largest in the world—will draw from its 52 member institutions including University of Texas MD Anderson, the Texas Heart Institute and Baylor College. TMC CEO Dr. Robert Robbins—who headed the Germany trip with Ortale—is chair of the executive advisory committee and describes the conference as “a powerful opportunity, a platform, to tell the story about the Texas Medical Center and our community.”

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Tumor Paint: Changing the way surgeons fight cancer

(CNN) — The audience at Pop! Tech’s annual conference rose to its feet as Dr. Jim Olson wrapped up his talk on Tumor Paint.

“In this world where stadiums are named after rich corporations, where buildings are named after wealthy donors, I wanted to name the most exciting science that I’ve ever participated in after her,” he said, referring to Violet, a patient of his who donated her brain to science shortly before dying.

It’s unclear if the audience’s standing ovation last month was aimed more at Olson’s innovations or his passion. Perhaps it was for the children he has treated — the ones whose faces flashed across the screen as he spoke about losing the fight against cancer. Or maybe their applause was for those kids’ parents, who have raised $9 million to fund Olson’s research.

They believe in him. It’s hard not to after listening to the unassuming way he plans to change medicine.

A pediatric neuro-oncologist, Olson says he has spent too many years explaining why a surgeon may not remove all of a patient’s cancer or, instead, accidentally take part of a child’s healthy brain.

That’s why he and his team created Tumor Paint, a product designed to illuminate cancer cells in the body, helping surgeons distinguish them from healthy tissue.

To read the full article, click here.

Medical World Americas 2014 Visitor Registration Open

Visitor registration for the Medical World Americas 2014 conference and exposition is now open. Those interested in attending the three-day event at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas, next spring may visit to sign up. The Expo is free but conference participation ranges from $175 to $695, according to organizers.

Modeled after the Medica Trade Fair and Congress (held each November in Düsseldorf, Germany) and drawing on the education strengths of Texas Medical Center, the Medical World Americas conference and exposition leverages the expertise of both to deliver an event that meets the needs of healthcare practitioners and specialists at all levels. President Philip F. Jacobus predicts the event quickly will become a top convention among medical professionals. “If a health care provider is only able to attend one show a year, this might be the show,” he said.

Organizers have already received registrations from suppliers in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Japan, Italy, Belgium and Germany; expected participants include Emergo Group, Detecto,Medical Illumination International, Separation Technology Products and Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.

The conference program will explore the latest issues in oncology, cardiology, hospital-acquired infections, hospital occupational health and safety, and hospital disaster preparedness.

Early speaking commitments have been received from more than 30 thought-leaders across the country, including:

— Herbert L. DuPont, M.D., clinical professor of medicine and vice chair of the Department of Medicine and chief of medicine at St. Luke’s Texas Medical Center;
— Ernest Hawk, M.D., M.P.H., vice president and division head, Division of Cancer Prevention & Population Sciences, and Boone Pickens Distinguished Chair for Early Prevention of Cancer at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center;
— Joseph C. Wu, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute and professor in Stanford University’s Medicine & Radiology Department;
— Stuart H. Cohen, M.D., director of Hospital Epidemiology and Infection Control, and professor at the University of California-Davis;
— Christopher B. Colwell, M.D., director of service for Denver Health Medical Center’s Emergency Department; and
— Bela Patel, M.D., assistant dean of Healthcare Quality and director of Critical Care Medicine, UT Health, and assistant CMO at Memorial Hermann.

To read the full article, click here.