Heading to MEDICA? Here’s How to Get the Most from the World’s Largest Medical Event
“There’s no trade fair more valuable to the medical sector than MEDICA in Dusseldorf 18-21 November. Due to the massive size of the event, it’s very easy to become overwhelmed and miss the people, companies, and exhibits you came to see. Here are Caremed’s ‘insider tips’ for maximising your MEDICA experience.”
– David Jones, Managing Director, Caremed B2B
Twenty years ago, I attended my first MEDICA World Forum for Medicine. I remember stepping off a crowded bus the morning of opening day and being engulfed by a mad herd of people swarming into the main exhibit hall. The next several days were a blur of hustling from hall-to-hall, from one appointment to the next, stale sandwiches and cold coffee, and standing in long queues for the bus ride back to the hotel in the evening.
It was, and remains, the best trade event I’ve ever attended. And more importantly, MEDICA is the one event where I’ve made the most valuable connections on behalf of Caremed.
To help you get the most out of MEDICA, we have put together the following list of 12 insider tips. Have a look!
Tip 1: Know the MEDICA layout before you get there. MEDICA is spread over 17 halls. The good news is that the 5,100-plus exhibitors are located in halls that correspond with their product or service, allowing you to target specific halls. The not so good news is that 120,000 visitors are, just like you, trying to get to those specific halls. Thus it’s important to get the lay of the land before you arrive. The smart planners of MEDICA have included a downloadable site map/hall map on their website. All halls are clearly identified and entrances marked. Our advice: download it and start planning your visit now.
Tip 2: Identify your must-visit company stands, people, and locations before you go.If you’re like us, we know many of the companies and people we want to connect with at MEDICA. However, the purpose of going to the event is to make new connections. One of the helpful tools offered by MEDICA is a “Matchmaker” app that helps identify those to meet before the show. All you have to do is register online and define your criteria. The app then searches for matches. You evaluate the matches and based on your feedback, the app will suggest for matches. From here, it’s up to you to set up meetings with potential business partners. Find information on MEDICA’s Matchmaking app here. You can get it at Google Play and the App Store.
Tip 3: Make appointments well before the show.You aren’t the only one who wants to see the hot new medical device or digital solution. The only way to get face time with people is to schedule appointments weeks prior to the show. If you haven’t started scheduling meetings, start now! Make sure to allow plenty of time for each meeting, including the time it takes to walk to each meeting. Travelling from one hall to the next can easily take 30 minutes, particularly during busy times during the day. Confirm all scheduled meetings, including date, time and place, a week before MEDICA to avoid missed opportunities.
Tip 4: Time getting tight? Meet before or after the daily event.MEDICA starts each morning promptly at 10.00 and closes at 18.00, leaving plenty of time before and after to meet. Consider inviting potential business partners for breakfast or a coffee early in the day or for a meal or drinks after the show closes.
Choose locations convenient to both parties without too many distractions. Here’s an online Gastro Guide we’ve used in the past to find restaurants, cafes and pubs. There are literally hundreds of restaurants and bars in Dusseldorf, serving every type of food and drink imaginable. With so many people attending MEDICA, it’s smart to make reservations in advance.
“Planning is everything, try and you give yourself enough time to get to your meeting locations”
Tip 5: Streamline your schedule with MEDICA’s myOrganizer planner.When we first started attending MEDICA, we’d carry day planners and catalogues to stay on top of our schedules. With smart phones and MEDICA’s myOrganizer app, you can track your appointments in your phone and get information and news on companies as well as search for companies and products. While we still like the event’s paper catalogue, this app is very convenient. Register here.
Tip 6: Forget paper tickets – register for e-tickets instead.I’ll never forget the time I arrived in Dusseldorf only to realize I’d forgotten my MEDICA ticket at my office. What a headache that was getting it sorted out! We highly recommend registering for the show online and using etickets. They’re cheaper, they allow you to use public transportation (local buses, trams and trains) free of charge, and there are no delays at turnstiles. Purchase your e-ticket – and download a MEDICA catalog – here.
Tip 7: Resist the temptation to pass out or pick up paper literature and bulky giveaways.With 5,100-plus exhibitors, there will be a mountain of material passed out over the four days of MEDICA. Do you know where most of it ends up? The hotel rubbish bin. The reason is no one wants to carry bags of stuff home. Here’s what you do want to share: business cards, pocket-sized postcards, presentations on a digital tablet or other smart device, and jump drives with product literature. Keeping everything digital allows you to travel light, share as needed and conduct business in a green manner. Bravo!
Tip 8: Don’t be afraid of public transportation.Dusseldorf hosts major trade fairs through the year and are pros at makingpublic transportation easy to use. When you arrive at the airport, there is a free bus located by the taxis on the ground floor that takes you directly to the Messe. It takes about 20 minutes.
“Fortunately there are a wealth of travel options to get to Medica”
Getting to MEDICA is easy as well. Shuttle busses are free and most hotels are happy to assist you on which to use. To get around the show grounds, there is a free hop-on/hop-off bus that continuously drives around the inner show area, stopping at the halls.
Tip 9: Make sure you avoid long queues for meals or snacks.With over 120,000 visitors plus exhibitors, the queuesat MEDICA’s restaurants and cafés can be very long. There are several ways to get around this. Identify a café in advance and plan to eat earlier or later to beat the crowds. Alternatively, within the central part of the show-grounds there is a brilliant bratwurst and drinks area. You may be required to queue up at different points for your drinks and food, so it’s helpful to split the overall task with a friend. Some stands stock refreshments and even host small cafés of their own. We always keep our eyes open for those! Lastly, carry small snacks like crisps or chocolate with you. It may not be ideal, but you won’t go hungry.
“Currywurst – One of the popular food choices at Medica, great on a cold November day”
Tip 10: Dress comfortably. Plan your wardrobe as if you’re going on adventure. In other words, wear comfortable walking shoes (no high heels!), dress in layers so you can add or subtract based on temperature, and carry a small bag or backpack. And, don’t forget your smart phone!
Tip 11: Don’t forget your money!German merchants, restaurateurs, and barkeeps welcome your money in all forms. Bring your credit/debit card, cash or contactless payment method; all are accepted.
Tip 12: For the latest information on Caremed’s pressure care products, design and manufacturing capabilities, plan to meet with us at MEDICA.We are attending all four days of MEDICA and have lots of news and product information to share. To schedule a meeting, contact us here or DM David on LinkedIn .We look forward to seeing you in Dusseldorf!