Last week it was that time of year again: Medica – the largest medical tradeshow in Dusseldorf, Germany. VP Healthcare, Emre Aykac wrote this blog post about EuroDev’s experience at the biggest medical trade fair.
It was a very productive show for us, allowing us to connect with our clients, network partners and North American companies looking to expand to Europe. The overall feeling is that the economy in North America is doing well. Despite uncertainties about Brexit and hurdles around the MDR that will be implemented per 2020, the European healthcare market is growing rapidly and offers great opportunities for North American companies to export and grow their European footprint.
Several of our principals attended and look back on a fruitful show with many new prospects. Our business development professionals, who act as their European sales force, assisted our principals before and during the show. They will continue to support them with the generated leads and follow-up.
Paulien and our marketing team kicking off at Medica
Day 0 – Preparation Day
EuroDev exhibited at the USA CEO centre of the US Commercial Services. By having a dedicated meeting room, EuroDev was able to meet with the principals of North American companies that are looking to expand in the European market.
During the show EuroDev made sure the exhibitors got their daily vitamins and kept the German doctors away by handing out special EuroDev apples!
Day 1 – “Showtime”
The first day was aimed at making sure our principals have a successful start of the show. Several of our principals launched their new solutions for 2019. It’s an exciting time to be their business development partner.
Our business development professionals started months in advance with prospecting and qualifying potential sales partners to secure meetings at the show. They assisted in various marketing activities to attract and enable high traffic during the 4-day show and made sure distributors were up to speed with the schedule. The teams also assisted in developing an initial sales plan for 2019. During the show the multilingual team helped to develop new relationships, as well as overcoming language barriers to ensure meetings ran smoothly.
Day 2 – “Business and pleasure”
Around 40.000 people on their way to the Messe Arena in Dusseldorf caused a slight traffic jam and even a fight on the train, but we made it back to the Arena for Day 2. Another full day of meetings with prospects and clients ahead, as well as a special visit of the US ambassador of Germany at the US Commercial Service stand.
Several meetings took place with North American companies looking to expand to Europe. In addition, EuroDev met with several US Commercial Service trade specialists located in European countries. Together they discussed opportunities to better support North American companies with their export activities.
The day ended with a party organized by the US Commercial Services, representing over 400 US exhibitors exhibiting annually at Medica.
Day 3 – “European expansion cases”
Many interesting conversations took place with North American companies already selling into Europe and looking for the next step to grow, as well as companies are currently exploring the European market to test the potential and possible direction in the European market.
One of these meetings concerned a company active in the disposable surgical instrument industry with a few distributors established across Europe.
They are not satisfied with the activities of several distributors and are looking for new ways to grow these targeted markets. Their solution requires consultative selling and a network with sales force within hospitals.
We discussed a revision of their current distributors and regional focus and spread. To boost sales we spoke about adding additional multilingual sales support. They could focus on direct hospital sales and distributor support in various European countries.
EuroDev has a rolodex of these types of distributors and contacts within hospitals. These can be leveraged to grow the brand awareness and support distributors in growing their sales within the hospitals.
Day 4 – “Wrapping up”
The last day is relatively slow compared to the others, and allows people to walk around and network.
One of our final meetings was with a North American company manufacturing medical dressings, such as ostomy and wound care solutions. They currently already work for several European OEMs. But, they are looking to expand their customer base and launch their own brands in the European market. Based on EuroDev’s experience in this industry, the most attractive markets and ways to enter are analysed.
Challenges such as supply chains, product registrations, dealing with current exclusive agreements were considered. Moreover, current distributors were analysed and regional challenges were brought to the attention. For example, a distributor in Catalonia vs opportunities in Madrid.
EuroDev has worked for wound care companies in the past and helped them with sales development and channel management. In the ostomy care industry EuroDev assisted a US manufacturer that faced issues with their master dealer. EuroDev got in to take over the operations, build a new customer base and establish relationships with hospitals. This resulted in an efficient new operation and growth of 40%.
Overall the show was successful for all our partners, so we can look back on a prosperous week. Before dismantling the booths however, we of course had to do a German ‘Prost!’(cheers) with tasty German beers.
On to Medica 2019..! If you want to talk to us about your European expansion, feel free to get in touch with VP Healthcare, Emre Aykac. For an example of what we can do for our clients, please read our case study.