Some of the feedback I heard was that the show was quiet and that numbers were disappointing. That said I also heard that on Thursday people came to buy and a lot of sales were made. No doubt the BDIA wil analyse the figures and come to their own conclusions. One suggestion I heard was that Showcase should be reduced to 2 days, Friday and Saturday. Of course The Dentistry Show which also provides loads of free CPD provides a great attraction for dental dealers although the feeling there this year was that there weren’t many people there either who wanted to buy.
- As usual on Saturday there were families, I watched one harassed mother feeding her fractious infant sweets in an attempt to keep him quiet. Sometimes you despair.
- As usual on Saturday there were some hangovers on display, it’s a social event too .
- As usual on Saturday there were a lot of very tired legs and feet by 3.30pm – it’s a test of stamina.
Over the years I have watched trends come and go. Computer systems, membership schemes, tooth whitening methods, loupes, have all settled down with the survivors still doing good business.
- We’re still seeing lots of “STO” systems but there weren’t any new kids on the block this year.
- The locum agencies are doing good business reflecting the highly mobile nature of today’s marketplace which sometimes is like a game of musical chairs with unhappy associates and hygienists constantly searching for the greener grass.
- Finally the sales of practices continues unabated – as the baby boomers try to *cash in / *reap the rewards of their years of hard work. (*Opinion varies with age, of course. I have seen several mature dentists revise their opinions of corporates when the cheque book appears).
The big firms put on a good show:
- Henry Schein were taking things very seriously with their stand on 2 levels.
- Dental Directory occupied what looked like a very large corner of the arena. At one point I counted 40 pink shirted sales people. So many that there seemed little room for visitors – nice to see that they have maintained their cafe.
- The “Big 2” computer companies SoE and Exact each had a significant presence.
- I was taken with the elegance of the Kavo stand and noticed that Dentsply and Schottlander were both very busy.
For every large firm there are always several smaller businesses manufacturing, selling or servicing materials, equipment and services. It’s them who are the life blood of the BDIA, every Henry Schein and Wright Cottrell starts with one person with a vision and a desire to make something happen and it is this diversity and choice that makes the dental industry fascinating.
Next year Showcase will be at Excel in East London on October 6th – 8th and I’m looking forward to it already – long may it prosper and thank you BDIA for everything you do for Dentistry – Dentists and their teams couldn’t do it without you.