REHAB scores points with further growth
Industry convinced by the concept and the offers at the trade fair
Karlsruhe, 23 May 2019 - For the 20th anniversary of REHAB, 460 exhibitors from 21 countries (2017: eighteen countries) presented their latest rehabilitation, orthopaedic and medical technology products, as well as innovations for care and therapy, on a total of 40,000 square metres (2017: 35,000 square metres) of exhibition space. The approximately 18,500 specialist and private visitors who flocked to the exhibition halls at Karlsruhe Trade Fair Centre from 16 to 18 May made REHAB the preeminent venue for peer-level encounters between people with and without disabilities. Increasingly many of the visitors, 68 percent of whom were experts, undertook long journeys to come to the fair. “All market participants – from manufacturers and dealers to experts, as well as people with disabilities and their relatives – gather at REHAB every two years. The Karlsruhe location likewise received top ratings”, says Britta Wirtz, Managing Director of Karlsruher Messe- und Kongress GmbH, who adds: “This year the exhibition halls were fuller than ever. We achieved increased visitor numbers and a double-digit growth (14 percent) in the total exhibition area. To meet the increased demand, we are already conducting talks on expanding our exhibition space for the next REHAB.”
A diverse selection with a clear structure
Visitors experienced an excellent and informative spectrum of products and services in two barrier-free exhibition halls, an events hall and on the open-air exhibition area. Ninety-six percent of those surveyed praised the quality of the exhibitors and emphasized their satisfaction with the wide range of products on offer. To adequately reflect this multifaceted market, the comprehensive spectrum of products and services presented at the fair was divided into various thematic marketplaces. Exhibitors and visitors alike were delighted with the continuation of this tried-and-tested concept: “I can best describe the marketplace concept as target-oriented. We were surrounded by our specialized trade partners and we found precisely the practical sharing of know-how with specialized dealers that we were hoping for”, explained Eduard Harsch, Area Sales Promotion Manager at Philips GmbH. The thematically structured concept, which facilitates speedy orientation and efficient sharing, received a topmost rating from 91 percent of the visitors.
Exhibitors appreciate the visitor mix and plan to participate again in 2021
Consistently positive feedback was expressed by the exhibitors, who especially praised the visitors and the many successful business deals. “We have a good mix of visitors here and we can intensively interact with our clientele. Our stand is frequented by specialist and private visitors, as well as by people from many different age groups. Some of them ask very specific questions, which shows that many customers are knowledgeable and well-informed. For others, however, the situation and the needs are still new, which is why they want to inform themselves more generally”, reported Marcel Schäfer, Regional Manager of RMT RehaMed Technology GmbH. Michael Pura, Regional Manager of Permobil GmbH, praised both the mix of target groups and the number of visitors: “We are absolutely delighted. Visitor traffic was very good. We not only meet the specialist trade here, but also our retail customers.” The employees of Otto Bock HealthCare Deutschland GmbH were similarly impressed: “Our sales representatives are all highly satisfied. We had plenty of work to do, we enjoyed very good discussions, and we met our target group”, explained Lars Haufe, Market Management Mobility Solutions.
Equally positive feedback was voiced by both first-time and longstanding exhibitors: “This is the first time that we came to REHAB to present our products. We have already concluded some business deals and we are very satisfied with the quality of the visitors”, said Franz-Josef Lasek, Managing Director and Partner at AHA! Effekt-Technik Vertrieb GmbH. Bernd Lohmüller, Marketing Manager at MEYRA GmbH, said: “We have enjoyed coming to REHAB for many years – for decades, in fact. This fair is an absolute ‘must’ for us. And it is unique thanks to its pleasant, informal atmosphere.” Mobilcenter Zawatzky GmbH, which has been exhibiting since the first REHAB in 1980, likewise numbers among of the fair’s first and most loyal exhibitors. The reason is simple, as Managing Director Andreas Zawatzky well knows: “REHAB is a ‘must’ for us.”
The fact that REHAB is a firm date every two years is also evident in the strong interest expressed in returning to participate again: “We are very satisfied with this trade fair. The quality of the discussions was very high, and the audience of specialist visitors, health insurance company employees and retail customers was impressively sophisticated and discerning. We will surely return again next time”, said Patrick Schwarzkopf, Area Manager and Rehabilitation Consultant at Life & Mobility GmbH. REHAB’s project director Annika Gehrmeyer is pleased to report: “Numerous exhibitors have already announced their intention to participate again in 2021 and some of them have already made binding bookings. We have also received many inquiries from businesses that would like to participate for the first time as newcomers at the upcoming REHAB.”
International technological progress in Karlsruhe
REHAB ranks among the foremost trade fairs in the industry. The spectrum on offer at the fair clearly reflects the fact that technological progress is also a major driver of innovation in the field of rehabilitation, therapy, care and inclusion. In addition to solutions for the use of virtual and augmented reality in rehabilitation, the presentations also included smartglasses apps to control wheelchairs, as well as hearing aids that can be connected to smartphones. In connection with the topic of medical and rehabilitation technology, REHAB was also able to exploit the strength of its location in Karlsruhe as a technologically leading region. The renowned Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the acclaimed ETH Zurich collaboratively organized an international CYBATHLON prosthesis series at REHAB. People from six nations who wear arm or leg prostheses demonstrated the potentials and limits of contemporary prosthetic technology for helping prostheses’ wearers accomplish everyday tasks. International academicians and scientists from universities and industrial research institutes presented their latest findings at the accompanying symposium. Prof. Dr. Tamim Asfour, Head of the Faculty for High Performance Humanoid Technologies at KIT, drew a positive conclusion: “We were able to experience what these assistive technologies mean for people with physical disabilities. I am delighted that Karlsruhe has so much to offer, including REHAB as a trade fair on this subject. We have just agreed that we will return for the next REHAB.”
Strong supporting programme
The comprehensive supporting programme, which included 88 hours of lectures, live demonstrations and panel discussions, likewise met with widespread approval and earned top ratings from the participants. Demand was particularly strong for lectures in the specialist forum, as well as for demonstrations of products for outpatient nursing and home intensive care at the newly created Joint Pavilion Homecare in practice. People with and without disabilities could try out various sports such as badminton or football at the Inclusive sports complex, where professionals coached and played along with the participants. In the Culture Bistro, top sportswoman Anna Schaffelhuber gave insights into her life as a wheelchair user. A diverse array of first-class specialized events attracted experts from throughout Germany and its neighbouring countries to Karlsruhe. Therapists, specialist retailers, and professional carers eagerly attended workshops on about wheelchair and assistive-device provision led by facilitators from the ROLLETS rehabilitation network. The fair was the ideal venue for the 43rd Conference of the German Association of Bobath-Therapists, which took place within the framework of REHAB and attracted approximately 200 Bobath-Therapists from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. This also applied to the Regional Care Conference of the TechnologieRegion Karlsruhe, which brought together numerous participants from ambulatory, home stationary and clinical care in the context of REHAB at Karlsruhe Trade Fair Centre.
The next REHAB will take place from 6 to 8 May 2021 at Karlsruhe Trade Fair Centre.