We recently wrapped another successful healthcare event, attending the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) annual meeting in Minneapolis, Minn. After the event we sat down with our Manager of Business Development, Lindsay LeCain, to hear more about AdvaMed. We’d love to hear your thoughts and if you had a similar experience. Feel free to leave a comment below.
Q: You and Melissa Zipin attended AdvaMed recently, how’d the event go? What were your impressions of the event?
A: The show was great! It was my first AdvaMed, but happened to be the tenth annual meeting with more attendees and exhibitors than ever. The event started Monday afternoon with booth set-up, attendee and exhibitor registration and some casual networking. The real show started Tuesday morning when the exhibit hall opened, the talk tracks started and the partnering meetings began. There were 2,650 attendees this year and 174 exhibitors.
Q: Unlike many events, they have a meeting service that helps set up meetings for attendees. I heard you knocked it out of the park with the number of meetings, any tips?
A: Yes! So glad you asked — AdvaMed offers attendees the opportunity to schedule partnering/introductory meetings with all attendees on the MedTech Connect platform, a dedicated messaging/meeting/schedule portal. After setting up your individual and company profiles, including information about what you are looking to achieve at the conference and what kind of company you are there to represent, you have the opportunity to schedule meetings at dedicated spaces onsite during the conference. This is great for a few reasons — you have the opportunity to directly engage with founders, chief executive officers and senior communications leads. You can see attendee availability before requesting a meeting, and you can narrow down your target list by areas of focus and really advance your purpose for attending the show. I would strongly recommend any company or individual attending the show to use this system to make introductions, build relationships and secure meetings (and meeting locations) at the show. As for securing meetings, be thoughtful and persistent. I think we requested around 20 meetings and managed to secure a total of eight on-site conversations.
Q: From the companies you met with, what were some of the more interesting needs and topics discussed?
A: It was great to see so many international companies including a massive contingent from AusTrade(the Australian Trade and Investment Commission). Australia has a vested interest in recruiting more medical device and drug companies to do clinical trials in the country given the favorable R&D tax offset for eligible expenses (up to 43.5%) and the fact that data produced is accepted by global regulatory agencies (including the FDA and EMA).We also met with some fascinating companies working to reduce Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs), create novel wound treatment therapies, mitigate unintended IV-removals, and more.
Q: From a communications perspective, was there anything that stood out to you? Anything from the event you thought worked particularly well?
A: I thought the show was particularly interesting because of the way the event was organized. This was not a media showcase opportunity; nor the place to announce breaking news– (there were been two or three individuals from registered media outlets in attendance)– this event is organized around individual partnership opportunities and meetings. Very different from events like RSNA, HIMSS or CES.
Q: At the event, AdvaMed issued a new report titled, “A Future at Risk: Economic Performance, Entrepreneurship, and Venture Capital in the U.S, Medical Technology Sector.” The report outlines significant warning signs that, if left unaddressed, could hamper long-term growth and entrepreneurship. What was the takeaway from the report? Any interesting conversations that came out?
A: What I find most concerning from the study is the precipitous decline in the number of new medtech start-ups year-over-year. In 1986, 1,500 medtech start-ups were active in the industry, fast forward three decades and the number drops to around 600. To be successful, medical device companies need to prove their value, efficacy and reliability to many different stakeholders (partners, federal agencies, governing boards, scientific committees, etc.), no easy task; however, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the importance of partnerships in this industry. As I learned during the “Leading the Way to Analytics-Driven Care Management” panel, part of the show’s CEOs Unplugged Series, the only way we will be able to address the new healthcare landscape effectively is by developing large-scale partnerships with like-minded organizations. I wonder if the partnerships are, in turn, mitigating the development of stand-alone start-ups.