Annual Dental Tradeshow Weathers Economic Storm
Attendance down 9% from 2008 meeting but 82% of exhibitors report generating new business at show
"I think we all went into this meeting holding our breath a little," Dr.
Nearly one-quarter of the conference's 240-plus courses were sold out, and the vast majority of courses were near capacity.
The exhibit floor, which showcased 570 companies, was completely sold out months in advance. The Midwinter Meeting was recently chosen as offering the best cost-to-value benefit of any dental tradeshow in the U.S., according to 66 percent of exhibitors responding to a post-show survey.
According to the survey of exhibitors:
- 82 percent said they generated new business at show
- 32 percent said the Midwinter Meeting was as good as other meetings they had attended in the last 12 months; 45 percent said it was better
- 90 percent said they plan to exhibit at the 2010 meeting; 10 percent were not yet sure
- 73 percent said that they will continue with the same booth size; 10 percent said they would enlarge their booth space in 2010
While attendance in general declined by 9 percent, a review of the attendance figures shows that the number of dentists attending decreased only by 7% and dental hygienists by 8%.
Below are the attendance numbers for select categories. 2008 figures are listed in parentheses for comparison.
- Dentists 7,246 (7,772)
- Dental hygienists 3,883 (4,216)
- Dental assistants 3,161 (3,699)
- Dental office personnel 2,248 (2,642)
- Dental technicians 369 (464)
- Dental students 675 (820)
- Dental hygiene or dental assistant students 1,603 (1,398)
- Dental trade 871 (1,262)
- Exhibitor attendees 9,061 (9,991)
The category showing the steepest decline was dental trade, which includes dental product manufacturers and distributors. This 30% drop was not unexpected, however, as attendance among this group usually falls during years in which the biennial International Dental Show in
International attendance was 1,457. Although this represented a 26% drop from 2008, it was keeping with a decade-long trend in which international attendance waxes and wanes based on when the IDS is held.
The top five countries most represented at the meeting were:
Canada411 United Kingdom241 Mexico143 Germany66 Japan60
In comparison, the top five states most represented at the meeting were:
Illinois12,047 Wisconsin1,987 Indiana1,749 Michigan1,691 Ohio561
(The full geographic distribution is available at www.cds.org/media/press/2009/2009distribution.html.)
In 2010, the Chicago Dental Society will be moving to the west building at McCormick Place and shortening its meeting to three days. Exhibits and courses will open on Thursday morning and close on Saturday evening. With the new facility in the west building, CDS will also be able to house all courses and exhibits in one building.
"These changes will make the meeting even more cost-effective and convenient for our attendees and exhibitors,"
The society's new plans have already earned kudos from the Dental Trade Alliance, which called CDS "one of the most forward-thinking [show organizers]."
The 2010 Midwinter Meeting will be held in
Established in 1864, the Chicago Dental Society counts more than 4,000 members in the
SOURCE Chicago Dental Society