Archive for February, 2016

Leading up to the Chicago Mid-Winter Meeting

February 9th, 2016


First, some visual greetings from the annual conference of the Israeli Perio Society



For those wanting a breath of fresh air, this was the view from the terrace – And an interior view.


Lectures like everywhere – usual hi-tech. At the expo, the usual happy mixture of visitors.


For those wanting a breath of fresh air, this was the view from the terrace – And an interior view.



I have been visiting, watching, experiencing, enjoying, admiring the USA for almost 50 years. My first visit, which became a 1-year stay, was back in Summer 1966. That was part of my 3-year apprenticeship into the dental industry, which had started in the Fall of 1964.

Later this month, I shall be in Chicago to attend the Mid-Winter meeting. My first was in 1967. What has not changed over the years is the potential weather situation: either freezing, snowy temperatures with that bitter wind from across the lake, or crisp winter sunshine, making that Lakeshore skyline one of the most beautiful in the world.

It sounds incredible that the trade exhibition was always a big success, despite the fact that it was located in a very complicated environment: the Chicago Hilton. It was held on several floors with many corners, rooms and corridors. Unquestionably, some booths had every right to complain (despite paying the same rent per sq. ft). But they didn’t. Because in those days, the visitors came with their order books at the ready.

In this days, there was a clear difference between the US dental market and most others. Brochures and flyers? Yes, they were available, but mostly ignored. If a dentist was interested in trying something, he’d order it. Why waste time, as in most other markets, with a frantic gathering of flyers, booklets, catalogues etc., lugging them home (rarely a short car ride) and then turning on the night light and reading it all in advance of a conscious decision to order one?

Wow, did we do good business in those days! Exhibitors really could rate their success based on orders taken at the booth.

And another big difference in US expos: small, functional booths. In those days, the emphasis was on product display and active demonstration. No flower pots and trees. No conference or rest area on any stand (which is still the case today actually – the unions don’t allow hospitality on the stands. That’s why you’ll see many visitors at American expos sitting on the floors, eating hot dogs).

In most other countries, especially Europe, which has been my main territory, it was never the case to expect big sales. Reading material was always popular – and samples, of course.

Today, the picture has changed unbelievably. In Chicago, for example, the trade show has been reduced from 4 1/2 days to 2 1/2. In older days, the first day was always a Sunday. Today, it ends on Saturday, and it sure gets quiet during those last few hours.

In Chicago. if a stand is large, it’s because the company is large. Usually in 4 categories: toothpaste, implants, equipment and…big companies. (They are almost forced to put on a ‘big image). Otherwise, the small stand remains the norm. A back wall, couple of stools, front counter, and that’s about it.

And US exhibitions are rarely in hotels any more. In Chicago, it’s at McCormick Place. (In New York. having been originally at the Statler Hilton, then the New York Hilton, their meeting ended up in the Jakob Javits Center).

Happily, the Midwinter meeting is still very well-organized. It is always combined with a highly efficient and respected conference which really does attract professionals from all over the country, and from abroad. Exhibitors are usually praising the number of delegates who do get to walk the expo floors.

See you there?


Smile – Promote your dentist