Being new to the dental industry, I'm curious to find out other manufacturer reps' feelings & opinions regarding tradeshows, meetings, exhibitions within our industry. In my previous life I became accustomed to large regional or national shows with hundreds of exhibitors and tens of thousands of attendees. How do you feel about the number of dental meetings around the country, the number of attendees, etc. Is anyone familiar with the DTA Position Paper on Dental Meetings and Exhibitions? If so, what are your thoughts?
I think most of the manufacturers and dealers agree with the DTA paper on dental meetings. Too many meetings and not enough attendees at the meetings. It used to be that a meeting special was something you could only get at a meeting, but now these are offered as qtrly specials. Not sure why the manufacturers did this, but it definitely hurts traffic at the meetings.
From a retailer rep's viewpoint, I agree. Going to the Chicago meeting, for example, can cost upwards of $1200-1500. Since we are not reimbursed for our expenses, it makes it difficult to justify our attendance, especially when the "specials" aren't very special. The main reason I go is to be able to demo equipment to my doctors that are looking. It's a great place to check it out all at once.
That being said, I have cut my attendance down to two days (one overnight) in order to cut expenses.
As a former Dentsply rep, I always enjoyed doing the shows, mostly because it was a change of pace from the everyday grind. Plus, it was a chance to see the retail reps who don't co-travel (an ever-increasing number).
I would agree with the concept of consolidating some of the meetings (for instance, WHY is there both a Michigan Meeting AND a Detroit Meeting?!?!?!)