Event organisers and exhibitors alike celebrated another highly successful Naidex National (Birmingham NEC 5-7 April), with excellent visitor levels and even more to see and do than ever before for members of the public, trade and healthcare professionals. The popularity of this year’s Naidex National was evident in the unprecedented media coverage that the show received, with the BBC News 24 channel transmitting live links from the show throughout the first day, adding to the excitement and atmosphere of the event.
As the whole country struggles under the recession, manufacturers and distributors of disability products are no different and equally feel the strain. The healthcare industry has seen many changes and with benefit cuts affecting the 1 in 10 UK residents registered as disabled everyone is looking for guidance on what products are available to best suit individual needs. The organisers of Naidex National are delighted that this year’s exhibition triumphed despite the tough economic climate and welcomed a total of 11,312 visitors (subject to ABC audit). This figure is 5 per cent up on 2009 and stable with that of 2010, which was the most successful show to date.
Much to see and do
With so much to see and do, the number of visitors attending for more than one day was up by 30 per cent on 2010. Many visitors returned for a second, and some a third day in order to take full advantage of the seminars and activities and to ensure that they had not missed any of the thousands of new products on display.
Graeme Forsyth, a loyal visitor to Naidex National commented: “This year we came for two days, because there’s just so much to see. For disabled people and those involved in working with and caring for them Naidex really is the best place to discover all the latest equipment that’s available.”
Exhibitors were equally impressed with what Naidex National offered them this year with lots of feedback stating extremely high levels of enquiries and orders. When asked if the show had been a success for him and his colleagues Tony Wright-Jones, Product manager of N&C Phlexicare commented: “Naidex National was particularly good this year because of the quality of visitors. The show is just getting better and better, and I’m extremely pleased with the high number of leads that we’ve received. Winning the Style Award for our Free Space Shower Doors was a real highlight for us, and has given the product fantastic publicity”.
As well as the inaugural Naidex Style Award, which set out to prove that independent living solutions can be attractive as well as functional, the prestigious New Product of the Year Award as voted for by visitors was also a highlight for exhibitors.
This year the Millie-Mova from Jenry Ltd was crowned the winner, which thoroughly pleased director Henry Clayton: “We’re so grateful to all the people who voted and to Naidex National for producing a show that puts us in contact with our end users in a great, well-organised atmosphere. We’re absolutely delighted with the award and Naidex National has been a fantastic way to showcase the product in a wider environment and to even more people.”
Launching new products is certainly a trend at Naidex – where better to do so than the UK’s largest disability, rehabilitation and homecare exhibition. The launch of ReWalk at this year’s show gained fantastic publicity for the product, highlighting Naidex National as the perfect platform to showcase new and innovative designs. It is the combination of visitors ranging from disabled individuals and carers to healthcare professionals that makes the exhibition so unique and enables companies to engage with such a wide audience.
Event director Liz Virgo was very pleased with the response to this year’s exhibition: “It has been wonderful to have such positive feedback from Naidex National 2011 and we are extremely pleased with how the show was received by both exhibitors and visitors. There was an incredible atmosphere this year, which I am sure was due to a combination of high quality exhibitors, exciting and innovative products and the right mix of visitors.”
With so many new product launches, seminars, demonstrations and inspirational talks it is easy to see why Naidex National remains so popular and successful. This success promises to continue throughout 2011, as for the first time ever there are not two but three Naidex events this year. Following on from Naidex National will be Naidex Scotland (taking place at Glasgow SECC 14-15 September) and Naidex South (at ExCeL London 19-20 October).
Naidex National has certainly set the standard for the two subsequent events, which are sure to attract high numbers of visitors and receive a similarly positive response.
Features at the two shows will include the Inspiration Theatre, an interactive forum where visitors can listen to inspirational case studies and watch practical product demonstrations, which was a popular and well attended aspect of Naidex National.
There will also be the Communication Village, home to the latest communication aids and assistive technology, and the Car Zone, where many of the UK’s leading vehicle converters will be exhibiting the latest wheelchair assisted vehicle developments.
KideQuip is the must see zone dedicated to children with special needs, where visitors and healthcare professionals will be able to meet and discuss individual requirements and products with exhibitors. The zone is also designed to be a fun and interesting way for children to learn life enhancing skills.
Naidex Scotland will showcase the best in independent living and mobility aids from over 180 exhibitors and promises to be a rich and rewarding experience for members of the public, trade and healthcare professionals alike. The show provides a unique opportunity for people in Scotland and the north of England to test and compare all the latest products and equipment that can make a real difference to everyday living.
Already confirmed as an exhibitor at Naidex Scotland this year is W Munro (Rehab) Ltd, one of the largest suppliers of medical equipment to the Scottish market. Sales director Gordon Munro, who has exhibited at the show on several occasions, commented: “We are very much looking forward to returning to Naidex Scotland this year, as it is always a great way to showcase new products and engage with customers and healthcare professionals. Being able to show people how our products work on stand rather than just showing them a brochure is extremely beneficial to all parties.”
Naidex is particularly excited about the London event this year because when the doors open at Naidex South the Paralympics will be less than 12 months away and this is sure to be a prominent feature of the show.
As the nation’s capital and home to an estimated 1.4 million people living with a disability, London is a hub of information, organisations and charities all designed to aid independent living. However, aside from the internet, there was no single place where healthcare professionals, carers, those with a disability and their families could access all the information they need until the launch of Naidex South in 2010 and it is still the only annual disability event in the south east of England. Launched to rave reviews last year when visitor numbers exceeded all expectations the event is expected to grow in terms of exh,ibitors and visitors in 2011.
As part of the 2011 event the GLA Disability Capital Conference will be co-located alongside Naidex South, taking place in the Platinum Suite at ExCeL 20 October. “We are delighted to be able to announce this partnership with the GLA and believe it will add to the overall visitor experience” commented event director Liz Virgo.
One of the most exciting elements of this association between Naidex South and the GLA is the prospect of so many high level delegates visiting the show. The GLA expect over 900 attendees, including local government and council members, key NHS staff, wheelchair services, OTs, physios and charities. This means that Naidex South exhibitors will have the chance to engage with leading industry figures as well as important organisations and members of the public based in London and the south east of England.
More information about Naidex Scotland and Naidex South will be released over the coming weeks including details on exhibitors, show partners and seminar speakers, and for those wishing to plan ahead the dates for Naidex National 2012 are now confirmed to be 1-3 May.
For more information
For further information on Naidex Scotland and Naidex South please visit www.naidex.co.uk