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Q&A with Joachim Schäfer, Managing Director, Messe Dusseldorf

October 31, 2016
Joachim Schäfer
From the October 2016 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
HealthCare Business News interviewed Joachim Schäfer, the managing director of Messe Düsseldorf, to discover what attendees can expect at MEDICA 2016 in Dusseldorf, Germany, Nov. 14-17.

HCB News: Thinking back on last year’s event, what surprised you the most or stands out as particularly memorable?
Last year, both MEDICA and COMPAMED, the supplier trade fair held concurrently with MEDICA, ran for the first time on weekdays, from Monday to Thursday. We were convinced that the market would welcome this concept. And indeed, it worked right from the start. The 19 exhibition halls were all very busy the whole time. The fact that both the MEDICA and COMPAMED events were held on normal working days meant that attendees were able to better plan their visits. Last year, that immediately had a beneficial effect on the well-attended trade fair forums and accompanying conferences. The many program highlights had large participation throughout the trade fairs. To this extent, 2015 marked an additional milestone in the history of the two shows.

HCB News: Aside from the usual opportunities to reconnect with colleagues and network with people in the industry, what will set this year’s MEDICA apart?
MEDICA is, and will remain, the place where all topics relating to the full workflow of patient treatment are put into focus with an incomparable wealth of resources and internationality at a fixed point in time. All medical specialist fields benefit from this, and visitors have the opportunity to broaden their horizons. In this regard, the program of integrated forums and accompanying conferences addresses all the relevant current trends. More succinctly, MEDICA is the blockbuster among the events for the worldwide medical business.

HCB News: What should U.S. health care executives ask themselves when deciding if MEDICA is right for them?
A trip to MEDICA is always worth it. A visit to the trade fairs in Düsseldorf is an absolute must if important investments are being planned for the near future. That is because the events offer a wealth of resources. The range, which is clearly structured according to topics and presented by almost 5,000 exhibitors from about 70 countries, is proof of this. Where else can such a versatile variety of products and internationality be found? The many top decision-makers who are now attending MEDICA are evidence of the event’s importance. Last year, 96 percent of the approximately 130,000 trade visitors attending the event had decision-making authority.

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