Tradeshows for Medical OEMs are back


It’s hard to believe, but we’re about to go on year three of pandemic/post-pandemic life. In that time, so many things have been in flux: from increases in pricing (nearly across the board), to supply chain issues, to nearly anything else you can think of. That said, tradeshows have come back. That’s a big switch from last year, when things were just beginning to rebound after lockdowns. 

Here’s what we said in our post about it last year:

Historically, our first regular conference was Medical Design & Manufacturing, and more recently, we have attended HIMSS, which stands for Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society. We especially loved going to MD&M because people attend that show looking for design partners and component suppliers. At HIMSS we stay informed on industry trends, continuing education, and emerging technologies, and connect with our customers. We’ve made an effort to keep up attendance at these shows, even when the pandemic has made travel that much harder. 

Why? We love (still!) going to these shows and seeing the same folks every year and building those relationships. It’s one of the things that energize us every year to keep doing great things. One of our core values is respect, and trade shows are a great way to find a match in that regard. It makes sense. Once you see a company a few times at a trade show, you understand that they’re vetted and are an active member of the community. It’s a great way to find folks that you can trust and want to work with.

What are tradeshows for medical OEMs like after the pandemic?

We attended our first tradeshow post-pandemic last year, and we’re happy to report that a lot of what we loved about tradeshows before has stayed true after the pandemic. Yes, there’s less travel, in general, and perhaps attendance isn’t quite what it used to be, but there are still A LOT of people hungry for in-person tradeshows. Why?

There’s no substitute for in-person demonstrations. Showing a fully functioning robot is a lot trickier live than it is in a video. You can’t fake it. And even though we don’t build robots or heavy machinery, we do like seeing how these components can and should be used. It’s an amazing way to survey tons of different ideas instantly. 

Interaction with our clients is key at tradeshows for medical OEMs

Even though we do tons of virtual meetings and check-ins with our clients, the best check-in will always be in person. It’s a great way to get an idea of what’s important to them. What are they excited about? What are they showing off? That can help us understand their goals for the future better and help us come up with ideas and products that may be useful to THEM. This isn’t just a one way street, we also like showing our sourcing partners and clients what WE have been up to and what we’re working on. 

The best part? Tradeshows are an ideas marketplace

Though we alluded to it above, it’s worth stating explicitly: When a tradeshow or expo does it right, it’s more than just a place to source parts. It’s a way to source ideas. When we bring our flex arms to trade shows, we can literally see the ideas start to spark as soon as a product designer or engineer gets one in their hands. When they can see how supple and strong those arms are, they often have a better handle on their uses and the rigorous applications they can be used for. 

We, too are exposed to all kinds of ideas. Sometimes customers need different wiring or protection, but aren’t always able to easily express those ideas in an email (another reason why our check-ins with your team are important when we work together), but can easily SHOW you what they’re talking about in person. 

Tradeshows are here to stay. We wouldn’t have it any other way

Yes, the pandemic was rough for tradeshows, and attendance is still rebounding, but we still feel as strongly as we did pre-pandemic that tradeshows are one of THE best ways to take the temperature of the room. You’ll see people you’ve worked with in person, build relationships, build trust, and ultimately build a better product. Isn’t that what it’s all about? 

If you can’t wait for a tradeshow, but still want to talk with us about your potential flex arm idea, reach out. We can set up virtual meetings, arrange to have physical prototypes rapidly sent to you, and even mock up some ideas after our first brainstorming session. We can’t wait to hear what you’ve come up with.