18 Sep What I learned at The London Dentistry Show
The London Dentistry Show, 13th & 14th September 2019
Olympia vs the NEC
The room was FULL, or at least I wasn’t aware of any unused space. This show has grown from last year’s equivalent and I would expect it to grow again next year, so not sure what venue the organisers will go to in 2020.
But Olympia has its limitations. If you’re not familiar with the building, finding your way in is embarrassingly difficult. When I did find the right door, there was a bizarre need to go up to the show in a lift. Olympia is much older than the NEC, and I have to say it shows in areas like registering and entering the show.
Within the show itself, catering wasn’t prominent but looked more appealing than catering at the NEC. There was also complimentary tea & coffee provided by the organisers, a beer & bubbles stand (sponsored by Durr Dental), and a Bucks Fizz stand (sponsored by Belmont). Toilets were plentiful, easy to find and clean, so another plus point. And the layout of the room was bustling without being claustrophobic, and with a minimal number of stands seeming ‘lost’ on the outer edges.
I live in rural Essex. My journey involved a 55-mile drive to Westfield, Stratford to park my car. I then caught a London Overground train directly to Kensington Olympia, followed by a 5-minute walk to the show entrance (you can enter or leave the station from either side via a footbridge). It took me about 2 hours 15 minutes each way and cost £49.50 driving costs, £7.50 parking and £13.20 for a travel card – a total of £70.20.
Visiting the Dentistry Show at the NEC in May took about 2 hours 45 minutes from door to door, and cost (each day) £108.90 driving costs, £16 parking (and transit bus) for a total of £124.81.
So from a travel perspective, Olympia wins it for me.
Who was there?
A lot fewer exhibitors is the answer (155 of them). And many of the stands were smaller and simpler than their equivalent at the NEC. BUT there were vendors I’d never heard of who put on some of the best stands.
Some of the stands looked a bit cramped (marketing managers – you need to think about space needed as well as space you can afford). Others were very well thought out.
CAD/CAM stands seemed to be very busy throughout the 4 hours I was at the show. Vendors selling endo systems were also doing well.
There were A LOT of implant vendors, but few seemed consistently busy. Is that market becoming a bit cluttered?
Few of the Practice Management players were there. Dentally had a strong stand and seemed busy. SOE had a very half-hearted effort that didn’t always appear manned, and Carestream was also a bit low key. Show regulars SFD and iSmile were absent, as was Pearl Dental Software.
Practice sales consultancies and finance companies were there in reasonable force and most seemed to have a steady stream of visitors.
Should you exhibit?
I don’t know how much the organisers were charging for floor space and other facilities, but I spoke to 20+ exhibitors and not one complained about the costs or how busy they were. The show had a real buzz to it, and several of the vendors I spoke to said they not only had several good quality leads but had also made sales on the stand, and that has to be good news.
If you are considering exhibiting in London next year, my recommendation is to contact the organisers (FMC, publishers of Dentistry magazine) and see what deals they are offering. In my opinion, if the price is right then this is an exhibition to consider for next year.
So, well done to FMC – I look forward to next year’s show.
- 10 things I learned at The Dentistry Show (May 2019, NEC)
- Confessions of an NEC Virgin
- How to manage PR at a Trade Show
- IPEX 2017 – A visit to the NEC
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