MGMA 2012: the best and not-so-best of the tradeshow floor
Last week, several members of the Dodge team, along with more than 325 vendors and about 3,000 attendees went to San Antonio for the 2012 MGMA Annual Conference. Along with the usual hustle and bustle of the tradeshow came some great – and not so great – booths, collateral, swag and even apparel on the tradeshow floor. As our team walked around to visit clients, editors and new acquaintances, we realized there was no shortage of good (and bad) creativity and innovation in the room.
While some exhibits needed the knight in shining armor to come to their rescue, others were right on point. Here’s a glimpse into some of what we thought were the best and worst of this year’s show.
Best at portraying the heart of the matter: The Pulse team certainly had their pulse (pardon our obligatory puns) on a fully integrated campaign centered on green Converse tennis shoes. Everyone in their booth was wearing the classic kicks, and they were even passing out matching key chains to remind visitors that as far as electronic health record (EHR) implementations go, they’ve “walked a mile their shoes.”
Biggest splash: Vitera probably made the biggest splash at this year’s show. We thought they had a nice clean look that wasn’t too overwhelming even though they had one of the largest spaces at the event. We thought they effectively used the bright orange to make a splash. It was a nice change of pace from the usual blues and greens of the healthcare scene. A few other booths also attempted to use bright orange as a “calming” color, but we’d recommend using it as an accent instead of having a monochromatic orange booth.
Most questionable apparel: In the sea of buttoned-up business suits and professional attire, two men were boldly walking around in brightly colored pants and certainly caught our attention. We decided to go see what they were all about, and let’s just say we know what’s wearing the pants in that business. It took several minutes of talking to them to find out what their company actually did, and we still aren’t sure which Core Solutions they are after a quick Google search. The pants were a fun, unique conversation starter, but they should have capitalized on the attention they received to talk about the company they were actually there to represent.
Most likely déjà vu moment: Either this lady knows how to be in more than one place at a time or we were experiencing a bit of déjà vu. We’ve seen this nurse before a time or two. While it’s a good stock image that portrays a nice team of healthcare professionals, there’s probably a better graphic for the companies that used it to more accurately describe the products and services they provide. We also spotted some blackjack tables that snuck their way into the exhibit hall—apparently what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas.
Best and worst crowd pleasers: For better or worse, several booths were able to attract a large crowd. We thought RealMed did a great job attracting a crowd for a standing-room-only presentation given by Elizabeth Woodcock in their booth. Abbadox, on the other hand, also attracted a crowd with the help of a balloon guy who could make anything you could imagine from rings to ladybugs. The balloon guy was able to tell us what the company did in general terms, but guess what the Abbadox sales guy told us his company did? Healthcare IT. No, really?!
Most likely to make us feel like we were actually in Texas: It’s no surprise that several vendors decided to capitalize on the locale for their booth theme, and after a long day of walking around, it was nice to be reminded that we were in Texas. Bandanas and cowboy hats were abounding in booths this year, and MedAssets even turned their booth into a saloon complete with lassos and a longhorn skull. Cheesy? Just a little, but it was well executed.
While many of the booths would have received incentives for meaningfully using and executing design concepts, others needed a little more work in making the connection between design and messaging. What do you think were the best and not-so-best of show this year? Let us know!