Five years ago, The Greater New York Dental Meeting made it a goal to increase attendance and make the meeting more productive for all parties involved. With strategic plans in place, Dr. Robert Edwab, the meeting’s executive director, and the organization committee made major changes that made a significant difference. The goal was to eliminate a registration fee and see if the world of dentistry and their buyers would follow … and it worked. Attendance has increased every year since the plan was instituted, from the November 2003 meeting when attendance was 28,801, to the November 2007 meeting when total registrants were 55,687 – a 93% increase. Placing lecture halls, continuing education registry, Internet cafés, and health screening on the exhibit hall floor also resulted in increased business. In 2003, the total number of dentists from all 50 states and 113 countries was 7,655; in 2007, this number increased to 16,602, a 116% increase.
As the largest dental meeting/convention/exposition in the United States, the Greater New York Dental Meeting feels it has an obligation to its exhibiting partner companies to obtain as many sales opportunities for them as possible.
“We will continue to bring more dentists, potential product buyers, distributors, and manufacturers to our meeting every year so our exhibitors will recognize our continued support and financial investments made to benefit their companies throughout the year,” Dr. Edwab said.
In 2006, 2007, and 2008 the Greater New York Dental Meeting rotated exhibit booth space at international dental meetings in Sao Paulo, Brazil; Dubai, UAE; Cologne, Germany; Singapore; Moscow, Russia; Beijing, China; Nicaragua; Nice, France; Quito, Ecuador; Paris, France; Milan, Italy; and Mexico City, Mexico. In the United States, they had exhibit booths in Chicago, Las Vegas, San Antonio, Anaheim, Atlanta, San Francisco, and Connecticut. Working with the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Greater New York Dental Meeting participated in their International Buyer program over the past decade. Visiting international dental meetings and renting booth space to attract attendees, advertising internationally, assisting international attendees in obtaining visas and hotel registrations, and never charging a registration fee have all made a huge impact on international recognition.
One country at a time: Strategic plan is right on track
The Greater New York Dental Meeting took searching for sales opportunities to a new level by sponsoring U.S. dental trade missions in Dubai in March 2008 and Beijing in June 2008. Partnering with the U.S. Department of Commerce and Commercial Officers in both countries, 69 companies participated and expanded their presence in these regions. The Dubai International Dental Meeting (AEEDC) is the largest dental meeting in the Middle East, representing a region with more than 90,000 dentists, and the Beijing Sino Dental Meeting is the largest in China with approximately 80,000 dentists. Meetings were coordinated with Dubai and China government officials, including breakfast programs to facilitate introductions with local distributors and other potential sales contacts.
In January 2008, the Greater New York Dental Meeting inaugurated its newest opportunity to increase U.S. Dental Trade with the opening of its (b-to-b) link on its Web site exhibitor page. This site, in partnership with INFODENT, a major international dental trade magazine in Rome, contains a current listing of potential international sales opportunities for U.S. companies, together with sales leads forwarded to the Greater New York Dental Meeting from USDOC Commercial Offices abroad. In addition, there is a regularly updated review of countries with their potential for dental sales.
Dr. Edwab insists that a real partnership exist between the U.S. Dental Trade and the Greater New York Dental Meeting so that both can continue assisting each other with yearly growth. “I believe that new and innovative programs to attract attendees and potential buyers must be developed continuously so everyone benefits,” Dr. Edwab said.