Trending Topics

5 reasons to walk the show floor at EMS World

From viewing the hottest new products to making new friends, here’s why you shouldn’t miss the many trade show exhibits


EMS World 2013.

Image Art Hsieh

The argument against walking the expo floor is that you miss out on education sessions. But on the flip side, you get to learn about the hottest new technologies hitting the market and how they can help your department – plus whole lot more.

Besides all the pens and challenge coins you’ll walk away with, here are our Top 5 reasons to explore the trade show floor.

1. It’s big.
With hundreds of vendors vendors attending this year’s show, it’s the largest EMS exhibit hall in North America. The sheer quantity pretty much guarantees that there will be something for everyone. From stretchers to software scheduling and everything in between, this is as close as you’re going to get to one-stop shopping for the latest products and resources.

We know it’s fun, and almost required, to do an initial sweep and wander aimlessly from booth to booth checking out what’s there. But if you have specific goals to accomplish on the floor at EMS World Expo, we recommend having a game plan.

Go through the list of exhibitors, highlight the ones you want to visit and make sure you know where to find them. Use the shows interactive floor plan as a great resource for tracking down the companies you’re interested in.

2. You make friends.
The EMS industry is a small one. Someone once said if you asked 10 people to name the Top 10 most influential EMS leaders, everyone would come back with more or less the same list.

On that note, it’s hard to walk through the show floor aisles without bumping into colleagues and friends. Some of you may plan your attendance around this; others may cherish a few minutes of catching up and moving on. Either way, the fact that this show is so big and the industry is so small means networking opportunities are ripe.

After running into someone you know, ask them to introduce you to someone you don’t know. Take the time to learn about what they do, whey they’re there, any particular products they’re interested in and which sessions they’ve attended or are planning to attend. Conversations like this can open up so many doors, and all it takes is a friendly hello.

3. Technology suddenly makes sense.
If you don’t understand all the nuances of data analysis, you’re not alone. But here’s the deal: Someone on that floor knows precisely how to explain this stuff to you in a way you can understand.

Those people behind the booth of whatever new gadget you’re looking at can usually boil complicated information down to layman terms. They may have precisely the right analogy for you about software-as-a-service, or can tell a story that paints a mental picture about the importance of social media monitoring.

When it comes to researching what’s on the market, all too often we’re limited by what comes up on the screen in front of us: the company’s website, a Google search, or another department’s testimony. Having access to this information is amazing, but it’s no replacement for good old fashioned face-to-face communication. Now is your chance to ask those questions. Why is this the best product for your agency? What other options are out there? What are they doing that the competition isn’t?

4. You get to tell companies what you think.
Calling up the company to speak with a representative is one thing; talking directly to someone representing the company at a trade show is quite another.

This is not the time to complain; rather, this is a great opportunity to voice your opinion on products, with constructive feedback in mind. Suggest some improvements the company might want to consider in the future. If you didn’t like a particular product, make sure the vendor has a solid understanding of the problem you faced so that they can pass it on to the decision-makers ─ assuming, of course, you’re not already talking to one.

By the same token, don’t hold back if you happened to love their service. It’s something others on the floor will be interested to hear, and a job well done deserves to be recognized.

5. There’s a lot of cool new stuff.
Okay, so this is probably the most obvious reason to walk to the trade show floor. Many companies will be unveiling their latest products to hit the market, and you’ll get the first look at all the great new innovations.

This is also the point where all the other reasons for walking the trade show floor converge. At such a large show, we’re talking updates from big-name companies that are shaping the future of EMS. From cutting-edge simulation, to new units, to radios and dispatch equipment upgrades, to well, who knows?

The beauty is that you don’t know what you don’t know, and the only way to make sure your department doesn’t become obsolete is to see what’s out there.

So explore the floor. It’s fun.