REHAB - more space, more quality and more international

Visitors and exhibitors benefit from new concepts

Karlsruhe, 13 May 2017 -The 19th trade fair for rehabilitation, therapy, care and inclusion (REHAB) at the Karlsruhe Trade Fair Centre came to a successful close today: Around 450 exhibitors from 18 countries, primarily from the rest of Europe, exhibited their new rehabilitation, orthopaedic and medical technology products and innovations for nursing care and therapy on a total of 35,000 square meters. In addition to around 10% more space, REHAB 2017 also recorded an increase in the proportion of international exhibitors to around 14% (2015: 7%). “This year’s REHAB had the most space and was the most international exhibition in this trade fair’s history,” commented Britta Wirtz, Karlsruher Messe- und Kongress GmbH’s managing director. “Visitor numbers remained constant at around 18,000 professional and private visitors, and exhibitors have confirmed that they meet their target groups at REHAB - which include specialist dealers, therapists, decision-makers and specialists from the nursing care branch and funding agencies as well as people with disabilities and their carers.” A total of 95% of visitors were very satisfied to satisfied with their visit to the exhibition. Exhibitors praised the quality of visitors and visitor numbers at the stands as well as the valuable mix of specialist and private visitors.

Visitors at REHAB 2017
Around 18,000 professional and private visitors attended REHAB 2017.

“REHAB is must-attend event in the south of Germany for this industry. This is shown by the numerous commitments we have already received from exhibitors to participate again in the 2019 exhibition,” summarised project manager Annika Gehrmeyer. When opening the exhibition, both Verena Bentele, Federal Government Commissioner for Matters relating to Persons with Disabilities and REHAB’s patron as well as the actor Samuel Koch underscored this trade fair’s reach throughout the whole of Germany. The 20th REHAB will be held from 16-18 May 2019 at the Karlsruhe Trade Fair Centre.

Exhibitors convinced by visitor quality and mix of target groups

REHAB scored big points with the exhibitors thanks to its high proportion of specialist visitors (67%) and valuable contacts to end users. Sascha Schierbaum, head of marketing with Schuchmann GmbH & Co.KG, noted how important the mix of specialist and private visitors is for his participation at the exhibition. “Our focus is on specialist retailers, medical supply stores and also on end customers who want to find out more and who also already use our products. Many health insurance company employees also attended the fair and found out in detail about what they accept and reject.” Mela Ikanovic, head of marketing with ReWalk Robotics GmbH, also benefited from both visitor groups attending REHAB. “We are attending REHAB for the third time. This year we have a larger stand and we are completely satisfied. The mix of visitors is right in line with our target group. The entire bandwidth of our market is represented here. We will certainly be back again in two years.” The frequency of visitors was also a positive feature. Sarah Bauerfeld, marketing coordinator for Germany with Permobil GmbH, summed up, “We have been exhibiting at REHAB for several years. Our stand already had a lot of visitors as soon as the gates opened. The quantity has increased once again compared to the last event.”

REHAB is a must-attend date for exhibitors to reach visitors in the south of Germany and neighbouring countries. Harald Meyer, team leader for external sales (south) with Russka, confirmed, “I met a lot of people and business partners who I haven’t seen for a while and was very pleased to start talking to them again at REHAB. These were mostly contacts from the south of Germany. There were also some Swiss visitors. That was a positive factor, because there were some with whom we were not yet in contact and we were thus able to improve our business relationships in Switzerland.”

Initial registrations for 2019 thanks to excellent business

One in four visitors concluded a transaction during their visit to the trade fair, and more than 41% want to conclude a transaction after the exhibition according to the information we have received. Sascha Kröner, a member of Rollstuhlbau Bräunig’s management team, was enthusiastic. “This exhibition has outclassed my expectations. We held lots of excellent discussions and have recorded several successful deals.” There were registrations for 2019 even at the end of the first day of the fair, for example from Stefan Schaaf, managing partner with Humanelektronik GmbH. “We will be attending REHAB again in two years’ time - with a stand of the same scale.” There was also positive feedback from a large number of new exhibitors such as Thyl Junker, a design graduate and CVO with DESINO. “This is the first time we have exhibited at REHAB. We’ve had loads of visitors, we’re busy all the time, and I would say that we’ll certainly be back.”

Family-like atmosphere and direct, interdisciplinary exchanges

Both exhibitors and visitors alike love the family-like atmosphere at REHAB and underscore this as being a key criterion compared to other, competing exhibitions. “REHAB is definitely a must-attend event for us. It is a great exhibition and has a much more family-like atmosphere than other fairs,” explained Harald Stotz, sales management/authorised signatory with AAT Alber Antriebstechnik GmbH.

More than 50% of exhibitors were manufacturing companies and all of the key players in the industry exhibited such as Ottobock, MEYRA and Permobil. In particular manufacturers, such as Hipp, benefited from direct exchanges with visitors. Tobias Bauer, head of liquid and special foods at Hipp, highlighted, “Our participation at REHAB was certainly worthwhile. We welcomed specialist visitors and also end users at our stand, and they reported on their own experience with our products. These impressions were very interesting and a motivating factor for us, as we don’t otherwise have direct contact with our patients and their friends and relatives, and they have shown us that we are on the right track.”

Top grades for marketplace concept and supporting programme

Bundling topics and the extended concepts also met with a positive response from visitors: 91% of those surveyed gave us top grades for focusing the issues and confirmed the successful continuation of the marketplace concept. The new concept “Marketplace Homecare and Nursing” with a forum on the subject of “extra clinical intensive care” met with an excellent response according to Sven Kübler, chairman of Competenz Netzwerk Außerklinische Intensivversorgung e.V. “The quality of discussions at the stand was very high. That means we had specialist visitors, we met decision-makers and visitors that came specifically to the marketplace. And I have to say it was absolutely excellent and a great success!”

The marketplace concept supports transparency and promotes lively, interdisciplinary exchanges. Frank Stotko, consultant for recruiting for Remeo projects at Linde Remeo Deutschland GmbH, underscored the importance of this. “The marketplace homecare and nursing was perfect for presenting our innovative concept patients with long-term assisted breathing. We had excellent discussions with colleagues and in-depth exchanges with specialists from intensive care services. We believe that our cooperation with intensive care services will intensify over the coming months and years as a result.”

The supporting programme also received top grades: Presentations by experts on the subjects of “Providing aids”, “Child and youth rehabilitation”, “Therapy and medical rehabilitation” in the specialist forum received top grades from 93% of participants. The “Kulturbistro” was also well attended. In addition to readings from authors this bistro included cooking displays for the first time.

Portrait Michaela Streicher
Michaela Streicher
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