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IDS 2013

May 7th, 2013

If you have not already read something about the IDS in Cologne last week – or were not one of the 25,000-odd who was there, then maybe I am right in Calling this ‘Message from the Universe’. Maybe you are from ‘out there somewhere’.

You will know that this was and is traditionally the World’s largest dental exhibition. And as usual, it broke all previous records in number of visitors, number of exhibitors, countries whence they came etc. No one had a bad word; everyone is doing better. Recession? What recession? Even the stands were bigger, the total exhibition area was larger, more staff were on display, including entertainers. I did not get a picture of ‘Laurel & Hardy’ on the EMS stand, but I did catch my wife exercising with those elastic strips that you pull from leg to arm to neck.

They were handed out by the German dentists’ association, which obviously is not happy with the physical condition of their members…

We bumped into the Hoffmann company that is so well known for dental cements. They had already become famous for having a giant elephant outside the expo parking area. Now they were adding moustaches to everyone..

The Speiko company introduced a new product called ‘Bobby’. I told them I was British, and they promptly arrested me!

Then we espied something really special for us: the Keystone company was displaying – unfortunately only behind the glass, the Syrijet. (This is a needle-less injector, originally brought out both as a pre-anaethesia and also to replace needles, especially for children). I had to take a picture of my wife standing next to the display, pointing at the instrument. For, as you will see from the second image, she held that very same instrument in her hand back at the IDS in 1974 in Hamburg, just 3 weeks after we were married. Even then, the instrument, originally made by the Mizzy Company, was not new. (Next time you meet me, ask me questions about the Syrijet; ask me to relate some of the many stories around the successful attempts to sell this wonderful product).

And for those of you interested in nostalgia, the gentleman on the left is myself, back at the IDS in Stuttgart in 1965. Next to me, in the glasses, is Harold Opotow. Some of you will remember his products, such as EBA Cement, Aqua Solv etc. This was a company that eventually became part of the Teledyne group. For years, it was a serious rival of Kerr, with Elastomer impression materials and ZOE cements. The lady on the right is Roselle Sittig, part of the husband & wife team that ran Robert H. Sittig Associates, export agents for many US manufacturers. She was also a successful author and journalist, working for many years with Proofs magazine.

Smile – Promote your dentist.

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Teething at the IDS

March 29th, 2011

The most urgent news to come out of the IDS was the pain Nil Miro was suffering from his slowly erupting teeth. This was compounded by the fact that he was surrounded not only by his parents, one of which was a dentist, but by thousands of others dentists. None seemed prepared to help. The best I could do was to make funny faces and funny noises, and that seemed to calm him down…

Also a special hello to Dr. Robert Piscioneri who, quite obviously, is from Adelaide in Australia, who bet me $5,000 that I would not get his name onto the DTI website within 2 days. Expensive drinks will be served in the lounge.

The IDS is over for another 2 years. From ‘the floor’, we came to the following unofficial conclusions –

  • More exhibitors, including a lot of small manufacturers. They used the many national pavilions which provide service to  ‘make it easy’ to attend. (As long as they have the means to back up their product, good for them. For it is becoming more and more difficult to break into overseas markets, let along one’s own).

It seems the Americans again brought the largest team from overseas…

And among the most attractive stands?

CMS Dental

Baumann Dental

Klockner S.A.

One of the strangest? The stand of the Italian company, Metasys.
And at the Sanavis Group stand (which includes SciCan and MicroMega), where they were driving visitors up the wall.

  • Overall, definitely less retail visitors, with the Saturday much weaker than expected. But there were quite a few additional comments that the quality of visitors was better, suggesting that retail orders were good – perhaps better overall sales than in 2009.
  • The international dental trade attended in strong numbers. All exhibitors I spoke to were surprised that all planned meetings went ahead –  and there were many new/potential dealers turning up.
  • Officially, no sales over the counter, but there is no question that some exhibitors went home ’empty-handed’, while the ‘buyers’… well, they just went home.

Smile – Promote your dentist

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The Famous IDS Dealer Day

March 24th, 2011

Have to admit that, much as you were all panting with anticipation at my next blog, due at the end of the first IDS (Dealer) day, the fact is that there is only so much that these 3-4 typing fingers can produce. And we, those fingers and I, have been rather busy here.

But first you’re all hungry for news about the weather at the IDS….Well, have a look at the skyline of Köln above the exhibition’s rooftop car park.

Yes, I love the magnificence of the Cologne Cathedral, seen on the left in the distance – and cleverly held in a blurred dusk in the picture on the right.

The Dealer Day was reported to have been a great success, with trade visitors from both Germany and almost every country of the World. I could not verify this; I was stuck on my own company’s stand, with wall-to-wall meetings.

And at the end of the day, the DBU party, a popular celebration of 18 years of the Dental Buddies of the Universe (www.dentalbuddies.com). Here were gathered some of the icons of the international dental trade, including Torsten Oemus (don’t know him? We wouldn’t be reading this without him…). Torsten is seen here with yours truly….Torsten is holding a copy of the current DBU magazine, which features ‘An Interview with Torsten Oemus’.

New products? Of course there were. And they featured…? I have no idea; I was stuck on my stand.

Smile – Promote your dentist

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Preparing for the IDS

March 22nd, 2011

I must not be so arrogant as to presume that every dentist knows what the IDS is. Manufacturers and all traders…they know that I am referring to the International Dental Show in Germany. For the others among you, the IDS is and always has been the World’s largest dental show. It used to be held every 3 years in Germany, each time in a different city. Since the 90s, the expo has stayed in Cologne, and is held every 2 years. There were initial complaints at the costs of having such an expo 50% more often than before. But today, very few exhibitors complain. The show is growing larger and more popular every year.

I arrived Saturday morning in Frankfurt. It was 4C and rainy. But 2 hours later, we were already in Cologne, using the wonderful ICE train (Inter-City Express), which hits 300 kph during its journey. The temperature had risen to 15C. The skies were blue. And the streets were full of the weekend shoppers…

Busy pedestrian shopping area with the spires of the famous ‘Kölner Dom’ (Cologne Cathedral) in the background  -and one of the many street entertainers taking advantage of the wonderful weekend weather.

But all is not perfect in Cologne. The city has been suffering with effects of the construction of a new subway (metro) system…

But that Cathedral is still magnificent…

On the ‘piazza’ in front of the Cathedral, most people were having fun…

While the following pictures show 2 groups with totally different methods for collecting money for Japan.  The first shows young guys ‘being strong’ for the tragic country. The second, a young Japanese watches proudly as his extended families ask for donations. It really is strange to see poor Japan in this light.

And  the expo itself?

Well over 100,000 visitors are expected – from all over the World. There are over 1,900 exhibitors from 56 countries. An interesting development, I believe started many years ago by the Americans, is the emergence of ‘national pavilions’, as seen at World Expos.

The Dental Trade Alliance (formerly the Dental Manufacture’s Association) were the first to set themselves up as the hosts for many ‘smaller’ US manufacturers who, for many varied reasons, were happy to have someone provide all the necessities, including stand design, refreshment lounge, interpreters etc. Such pavilions now exist for many national groups, including the Italians, Swedes, Israelis, Korean, British etc. Among some of the benefits is the attraction of many more manufacturers into the export World, who otherwise would have stayed at home.

More news at the end of the Dealer Day (March 22).

Smile – Promote your dentist

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