Meet Medtrade director Mark Lind

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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

It has been 10 years since Medtrade had a new show director, so Mark Lind’s ascension to the job is particularly noteworthy. He admits that replacing longtime director Kevin Gaffney is a formidable challenge, but cites his four years as Gaffney's protégé have enabled him to hit the ground running.

As Medtrade Spring approaches March 3-5 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Lind reflects on his professional experience and new role for the show.

HME News: Tell us about your professional background and why you are well situated to take control of the Medtrade legacy.
Lind: I’ve been in trade shows going on 17 years. Right before I came to Emerald four years ago, I was at America’s Mart, and I was a trade show sales executive in charge of bringing trade shows into our empty space when America’s Mart events were not going on. My first foray into the trade show world was in the gift industry, and I’ve worked for GES, as well as some booth builders.

When I first hired on with Emerald Expositions, I was a sales manager for (annual trade shows) Healthcare Design and Environments For Aging. After about a year, I transitioned to Medtrade as a sales manager. In November 2018, I moved into associate show director. I am still associate show director for EFA and HCD.

All of it has helped prepare me to take on the Medtrade show director position and hopefully help to expand the Medtrade legacy. Working with Kevin Gaffney over the last four years has been invaluable, and he has served as a great mentor. Kevin still works as an advisor on the show, and he is a great resource.

HME News: Tell us your impressions of last year’s Medtrade.
Lind: Last year’s Medtrade had a truly positive vibe. That may be impossible to measure, but it seemed as if many attendees were in a post-competitive bidding mindset—even though that miserable program is very much still with us. That new mindset meant that fewer people were tempted to reminisce about the good old days.

My impression of Medtrade is that it is still the ideal place for maximum human interaction and learning. There’s nothing better than going somewhere and looking somebody in the eye. You can say what you want behind phone calls, e-mails, Facebook, and Twitter—but at the root of it, we’re still an interactive people. Especially at Medtrade, providers want to trust manufacturers and meeting in person is one way to establish that trust.

HME News: How do you plan to leave your distinctive stamp on Medtrade?

Lind: We’re looking at all facets of the show. What relationships can be rekindled and rebuilt, or added onto? There are a lot of new mindsets, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to get some different looks at the show that maybe haven’t been common in the past.

Everything is on the table. Attendees want education. They want to learn, they want facts. I see conferences continuing to get better with better feedback. I think that’s going to be where Medtrade goes. The trade show is still going to be there, and that’s what we need. But also, the conference side I foresee is kind of a stronger future.

That might include dedicated time for conference and expo. We already have expo hours only and conference hours only for some of the time. I guess the over-arching message is that we are considering many options, including keeping things somewhat the same if that’s what makes sense. We want to first serve our attendee base and find out what they want most. An important fact is that we take the surveys seriously, and we look at them, and the more responses we have, the better data we have. Answer your surveys, because we listen.