MEDICA 2020: High rate of repeat bookings confirms acceptance of new hall structure
Global, innovative and focussed – matchmaking along the entire value chain is a central success factor
In Düsseldorf, the planning stage for the world’s leading medical trade fair, MEDICA 2020 (16 to 19 November), is well underway. Based on exhibitor registrations, a participation of once again more than 5,500 exhibitors from around 70 nations is to be expected. The booked floor space corresponds to the high level achieved in the previous year, with approx. 114,000 square metres. Registrations for the parallel trade fair for suppliers in the medical technology industry, COMPAMED 2020 (16 to 19 November), have been just as positive, with around 800 exhibitors expected to participate in Halls 8a and 8b at the exhibition centre.
“The high rate of repeat bookings emphasises that exhibitors are satisfied with the events and, with regard to MEDICA, also accept the new, thematic hall structure we implemented last year,” explains Wolfram Diener, Operative Managing Director of Messe Düsseldorf. In the course of this concept, the large national and international joint exhibition areas were given more space in Halls 15 to 17. The manufacturers of surgical instruments were moved from Hall 13 to Halls 10 and 11 so that they could be closer to the suppliers of complete OR solutions and imaging processes, given the common ground they share thematically. And for the first time, the MEDICA health IT segment was presented with its exhibitors and highly frequented specialist forums in Hall 13 (previously in Hall 15), linking it directly with the halls dedicated to medical technology and electro-medicine. In keeping with the prevalent digitalisation in care, many innovations are software-driven (increasingly with the use of artificial intelligence) and equipped with the necessary interfaces for secure integration into network structures.
The revised thematic allocation in the halls, which is aligned with market developments, also does justice to the increasingly important role MEDICA has in supplier matchmaking, as Wolfram Diener emphasises. “Medical suppliers have always been a key target group, and that has not changed. However, MEDICA, in combination with COMPAMED, has become increasingly important in the past years when it comes to business relations between manufacturers and service providers, as the fair is globally aligned and covers the entire value chain including suppliers.”
Finding partners for future-oriented projects
Many participating countries at MEDICA rely on just this effect at their joint stands, as Marie Catherine Lundstand of Innovation Norway confirms. “Norwegian companies have always been good at research and development. Now we support them in gaining a foothold in the health sector and ease their entry into the international market.” Innovation Norway joined MEDICA for the first time in 2019 (in Hall 15). Based on exhibitor satisfaction, Messe Düsseldorf plans to expand its stand space this year.
Especially young companies can benefit tremendously from participating in MEDICA, as Jörg Dräger, Head of Sales at Werth Systems, an IT company founded in 2016, highlights. “As the world’s largest trade fair in the healthcare sector, MEDICA is the ideal starting point to strengthen relations to our international customers in particular and to connect with industrial partners for future projects and partnerships.”
In 2019, long-standing company Beurer, a specialist for electrical devices for domestic use, teamed up with start-up 8sense and proved that the combination of established providers and creative start-ups can achieve ideal results. Together, they presented a smart clip and coaching app to fight back pain at MEDICA. The clip can be attached to the user’s shirt or t-shirt and is connected to the smart phone app via Bluetooth. It is then used to execute a precise scan of the wearer’s posture and movement. If users remain in one position for too long, the sensor emits gentle vibrations to encourage them to move more and change their sitting position.
“MEDICA offers the best opportunities to present our innovative products in the medical field to a broad audience and to strengthen our markets. Platforms such as this one are particularly inspiring when it comes to exchanging information with customers, suppliers and experts, and are great places to identify fresh impulses for new developments and market trends,” says Georg Walkenbach, CEO of Beurer GmbH, summarising good reasons to participate.
Mobile health between the poles of creative solutions and sophisticated approval procedures
In future, we can expect cooperations between start-ups and renowned market players to gain importance. This is especially true for mobile digital health solutions, which are currently trending. “They are successively capturing the first health market. However, we will not be seeing prescriptions for apps until their benefits have been proven in complex procedures, and product approvals and certifications have been completed; a fact that discourages a lot of small companies,” explains Dr. Claudio Bucchi, Senior Project Manager and Trend Scout within the MEDICA team at Messe Düsseldorf. “However, if a creative product idea is combined with the approval know-how and marketing power of a large supplier, we have a win-win situation for both sides. This is one reason why the MEDICA START-UP PARK and pitching formats within our forums are widely accepted. They allow us to bring business partners together, who then go on to launch joint projects,” says Dr. Bucchi.
Trade fair, forums and conferences
The forums are integrated into the trade fair’s thematic segments and this year once again include the MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM (which includes the MEDICA App COMPETITION), the MEDICA HEALTH IT FORUM, the MEDICA TECH FORUM, the MEDICA LABMED FORUM as well as the MEDICA ECON FORUM, initiated by Messe Düsseldorf in cooperation with German health insurance company Techniker Krankenkasse (TK).
Focuses of the MEDICA trade fair include: Medical technology and electromedicine (2019: 2,600 exhibitors), commodities and consumables (1,150 exhibitors), laboratory technology and diagnostics (922), physiotherapy and orthopaedic technology (468) and Health IT/information and communication technology (385).
MEDICA’s conference programme is aligned with the interests of key target groups and also ensures a content-related connection to the trending topics on the market and at the trade fair. An example of this includes the 43rd German Hospital Day, a leading event for the directors and management of German hospitals that, in addition to current political topics, sheds light on best practices (e.g. digitalisation projects in clinics) as well as aspects of human resource management and financing.
Other examples are the two English-language conferences that address an international audience: DiMiMED, the Conference on Disaster and Military Medicine, and the MEDICA MEDICINE + SPORTS CONFERENCE for the who’s who of sports medicine and science.
Providers as key pace setters in the process chain
For professionals looking to stay up-to-date on the developments that drive medical technology in particular and, above all, on how suppliers can provide vital momentum for medical progress as players in upstream stages of development and manufacturing, a visit to COMPAMED 2020 is also well worthwhile. Around 800 exhibitors use the internationally leading market platform in this sector to present their technology and service solutions. Components, microsystem technology, material processing and coating, additive manufacturing/3D printing, manufacturing engineering and machines as well as packaging and services are focal points that are reflected in the programmes of the two integrated forums. Miniaturised components and procedures in the context of digitalisation are currently trends particularly worth mentioning, as they are the key to ultra-precise manufacturing and the foundation for light-weight, portable and interconnected devices.
This globally unique combination means that both MEDICA and COMPAMED will reflect the entire medical technology value and process chains and present a comprehensive range of medical products, devices and instruments. The two trade fairs fill the entire exhibition centre in Düsseldorf (19 halls) and in 2019 drew a total of 121,369 visitors that travelled to the trade fair from around 170 nations.