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How Exhibitors felt about NASS 2022

NASS 2022 was held in Chicago from October 12-15. Our MedTech Momentum team was on the ground at this important industry event, meeting existing and prospective clients, attending key sessions, and getting a general feel for how this year's event was going for exhibitors and attendees alike. Opinions seemed mixed at best.

As a thought leader in our industry, we felt it was important to capture some of this information more formally. Last week we conducted a survey of over 40 individuals and companies to get an overview of how people felt the event went in 2022, where it fell short, and what we're thinking about NASS 2023.

Before we do that, however, it’s important to applaud NASS for experimenting in these challenging times. Launching the first Surgical Stadium was particularly insightful, featuring novel products while providing expert insight on new techniques and relative benefits. 

Here is a recap of our NASS 2022 Survey Results:

View This Nass Survey

As you can see, while most people surveyed (70%) felt that NASS was very important to their business, less than 25% rated the event as excellent. When asked what could be improved, the most frequent comment by far was to attract more surgeons to the event. As one respondent mentioned:

“The show is definitely not what it used to be. I didn’t really see any surgeons walking the exhibit halls. It was pretty much just businesspeople walking around booths to sell their products to manufacturers."

Another noted that "Surgeon attendance has come down dramatically, compared to pre-COVID. It would be interesting to learn about NASS' outlook on 2023 surgeon attendance."  Many respondents felt the virtual component of the conference was contributing to the lack of physicians in attendance. 

Less than 70% of this year's NASS attendees surveys felt they were "very likely" to attend in 2023, while more than a third answered the question with "maybe."

It's clear that surgeons want the ability to attend sessions virtually, and it would be folly to remove the virtual aspect of the conference to force them into attending in person. While this feedback is important, it's also key to note that there are many reasons exhibitors return to NASS each year. Brand awareness and connections with industry stakeholders, product demos and launches are all strong reasons why people exhibit at NASS. Also, new innovation like the

While the survey feedback is important, it's also key to note that there are many reasons exhibitors return to NASS each year. Brand awareness and connections with industry stakeholders, product demos and launches are all strong reasons why people exhibit at NASS. Also, new innovations like the Surgical Stadium shows that NASS Team is aware that times have changed, and they are taking action by experimenting new formats, from a hybrid experience to new concepts like the Surgical Stadium.

What's the answer? NASS needs to continue to evolve as an event. From our survey results, we make the following recommendations:

  • Create a virtual exhibit floor where medtech companies can participate without the huge expense of an in-person conference.
  • Speaking of expenses, lower the cost of attendance and also exhibits to reflect that the event has lost a key benefit of meeting surgeons face to face. 
  • Retool the conference schedule to provide more industry sessions, not just surgeon education. Build a stronger presence as an event that features thought leaders, new innovation, and future predictions using a more modern, hybrid model. 

We believe NASS is still an important event for everyone involved. From our conversations during and after the show, and from these numbers, we also believe NASS must evolve rapidly and dramatically if it is to maintain its position in our ever-changing industry.

What are your thoughts? What changes do YOU think NASS needs to make to thrive as an important industry event? 

 

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