NewsMedical spoke to Christian Grosser, director of the MEDICA and COMPAMED trade fairs taking place in Düsseldorf in November. In this interview, we discuss the importance of trade shows in the healthcare industry and what MEDICA has to offer attendees.
Can you introduce yourself and tell us about your role at MEDICA / MEDICAlliance?
My name is Christian Grosser and as director I am responsible for the MEDICA and COMPAMED trade fairs at the Düsseldorf site. In this function, I also coordinate the global activities of the Messe Düsseldorf medical fair, which we market uniformly under the MEDICAlliance umbrella brand.
MEDICA is part of MEDICAlliance, which brings medical fairs to a global audience by offering conferences and resources around the world. What are the ambitions of MEDICAlliance and MEDICA that led to such a global approach?
In addition to the world’s leading trade fairs MEDICA and COMPAMED, which annually bring together visitors from 150 nations and exhibitors from around 70 countries at the Düsseldorf site, our approach is to also offer companies from the medical technology and healthcare sector suitable platforms for bargains in other booming continental and regional markets. Here, for the benefit of our exhibitors, we bring all our expertise and decades of experience in the marketing and organization of health events, furthermore relying on a worldwide network of representatives and subsidiaries abroad. .
Image credit: Messe Düsseldorf/ctillmann
MEDICA was established in 1969 and since then has brought together global experts to accelerate healthcare. Since your first show, how has the health sector evolved?
As in other sectors, the healthcare sector has become much more international and market structures have also changed. Companies in the medical technology sector are active in many more countries than in previous years. It also means that they enter into cross-border cooperation when it comes to manufacturing and distributing devices and products.
At the same time, the intensity of competition has increased. Indeed, the healthcare market has for many years been a competitive growth market, based on an aging society combined with growing prosperity in industrialized countries and most emerging countries. This results in pressure on prices on the one hand, but also in an increased orientation towards innovation on the other hand, in order to be able to escape (at least partially) from too strong price competition thanks to the performance products, equipment and above all customer-oriented service. .
On the demand side, there has been a concentration in many countries. In Germany, for example, the number of clinics is decreasing. At the same time, public hospitals are mostly organized into large purchasing groups, and private hospital groups have also become important market players. A comparable situation can be observed in the laboratory sector. Much of the service is provided by a manageable number of large laboratories. All this is also reflected in the development of medical fairs.
The strong growth in the number of visitors has given way to an increased orientation towards decision-makers. The professional audience that comes to our events combines more decision-making authority and arrives with a much more concrete interest in certain topics than was the case in previous years. The so-called “mainstream walk-in” is therefore becoming less and less common; instead, targeted business is requested with the right partners and suppliers.
How does MEDICA, the World Forum for Medicine held in Düsseldorf in November, foster research and innovation by promoting the latest technologies and companies?
MEDICA is not just a product show. A varied program of accompanying lectures and specialized forums integrated into the fair ensures that current trends and news from research, science, politics and business are examined more closely and discussed in an expert exchange . An example is the MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM, which includes two exciting pitch competitions for the start-up scene: the MEDICA START-UP COMPETITION and the “Healthcare Innovation World Cup”.
Image credit: Messe Düsseldorf/ctillmann
In addition, with our new digital format MEDICA DEEP DIVE, we have already focused on particularly relevant trending topics in moderated online discussion cycles in the run-up to the show. These included, for example, diagnostics of infectious diseases, current innovations and developments in the field of point-of-care diagnostics or “Artificial Intelligence/Big Data in Medical Applications”.
In 2021 you had over 3,000 exhibitors from over 70 countries. What categories of medical products or services does MEDICA promote through its exhibitors and conferences?
MEDICA and the parallel supplier fair COMPAMED, in their globally unique combination, offer the trade a comprehensive overview of the latest medical products and services for modern treatment in medical practices and clinics, including all relevant process steps from development and product manufacturing. The main segments of MEDICA are laboratory technology and diagnostics, medical technology and electromedicine (imaging and diagnostics/medical equipment and devices), consumer goods and consumables, physiotherapy and orthopedic technology as well as IT systems and IT solutions.
Who do you think would benefit from participating in MEDICA?
Exhibiting companies as well as the visiting professional public also benefit from taking part in MEDICA. After all, it is precisely now, in these turbulent times, that the medical technology industry needs solid platforms for important exchanges, cooperation and business. Companies currently have an increased need to coordinate supply and manufacturing partnerships to ensure their own ability to deliver in times of steep price increases and component shortages. The professional audience also gets an overview of current trends, innovations and reliable supply options.
Registration and tickets for MEDICA 2022
MEDICA 2022 is being held in Germany, a country with a growing medtech economy. Although Europe is crucial for the acceleration of the medical sector, a positive investment infrastructure is necessary to continue its growth. What more should governments and policy makers do to continue Europe’s success in medtech?
In addition to important cross-sectoral frameworks (e.g. ensuring affordable energy supply), the increasingly complex product approval procedure in the EU is seen by industry associations as a growth risk. It increasingly prevents small and medium enterprises from entering the market or expanding existing activities in the market.
In addition to your international trade shows, you also offer a wide variety of resources on your website, including a magazine, weekly newsletter, and monthly hot topics. Why did you choose to offer your customers such a variety of resources on your site for free?
The objectives are multiple. First and foremost, of course, is “community building”. The greater the reach of our sector portals for MEDICA and COMPAMED in the relevant target groups, the more our exhibitors will benefit. When they attend our shows, they book more than square meters. They can present themselves in the database of this community with their exhibitor profile, which offers various functionalities.
The matchmaking tool should also be mentioned. Here, our exhibitors are brought together with appropriate people from the community in terms of interest in seeking products and services. And beyond that, the community forms the core of the commercial audience, which is literally present at runtime. The suitability of the digital content and services with the fair offers is what ultimately determines the relevance and acceptance of the event from the point of view of the target groups concerned. In this sense, free content is paid.
Image credit: Messe Düsseldorf/ctillmann
Why do you think trade shows and in-person conferences are so important to the medical field?
We have all experienced through the Corona pandemic the importance of personal encounters and the “real” live experience. People feel with all their senses. New products can be tested directly at a trade show, and a direct face-to-face conversation creates a completely different basis of trust than encounters in the digital space. Additionally, chance encounters broaden horizons and can be invaluable.
What future for MEDICA?
After the event is before the event. The course of the fair is followed by an accurate evaluation of all results and, based on this, we are constantly working on program updates according to current trends and changes in visitor interest. Incidentally, with the conclusion of MEDICA 2022, the registration phase for next year’s MEDICA starts again. But for now, the MEDICA team is looking forward to exciting trade fair days with many interesting encounters at MEDICA 2022.
Where can readers find more information?
https://www.medica-tradefair.com/ https://twitter.com/MEDICATradeFair / https://www.linkedin.com/showcase/medica-international-trade-fair/
About Christian Grosser
Christian Grosser holds a degree in economics, is well connected in the medical technology industry and has extensive international professional experience. Grosser started his professional career at Messe Düsseldorf in 2008 as an intern. He then held various commercial management positions in Germany and first project management positions abroad with the subsidiaries Messe Düsseldorf China (Shanghai) and Messe Düsseldorf India. In 2016 he returned to Germany and took on management responsibility as Deputy Director Health & Medical Technologies alongside Horst Giesen. When Horst Giesen retired, Christian Grosser became Director of Health & Medical Technologies and has since led the MEDICA and COMPAMED team as well as the MEDICAlliance umbrella brand.
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