Inside Dental Technology
March 2013
Volume 4, Issue 3

Off to the IDS!

By the time you read this letter, I will have just arrived in Britain to begin a two-week business trip that will first take me to the Dentistry Show in Birmingham, England, and then, a week later, a short flight to Cologne, Germany, for the 35th International Dental Show (IDS). Though this will be my 7th trip to Cologne, I have not had the honor of attending a British dental event. I am honored that the organizers of the Dentistry Show invited me to speak this year to provide attendees with a perspective on the US laboratory industry and where we stand in combatting the threat of offshore production. While in the British Midlands, I will also have the opportunity to visit dental laboratories and talk with owners to gain a better understanding of the business challenges they face and the opportunities they see. I will be reporting on what I find during my stay, so log on to IDT’s Facebook page and watch for updates.

Both of these trade exhibitions are a unique opportunity to attend events that embrace the entire dental team. The UK draws nearly 5,500 dentists, specialists, and laboratory owners and managers as well as auxiliary personnel each year. Separate and integrated educational tracks provide attendees with the opportunity to learn together as well as hone individual specialized skills. It is an event model that recognizes the individual value that each team member contributes to the oral health of the patient and an event model that will be increasingly important as the complexity of new technologies, materials, and treatment modalities increases.

And, of course, there is no dental industry exhibition more important for forecasting the direction that the global dental community is moving than the IDS show held every two years in Cologne. This monster event draws more than 100,000 attendees and nearly 2,000 exhibitors spread out over nine separate, but connected, exhibit halls.

Running a business today, whether it is managing a publication or operating a dental laboratory, requires keeping informed on movements within the industry and to what extent that movement will likely move the bar in the business continuum so that you can remain agile and react. It requires networking with your peers and also with your clients to better understand their challenges and help formulate solutions. And it requires a continuous quest for education that enhances your business acumen so that you make smart business decisions to keep your business, as well as yourself, relevant and competitive. We are entering into an economically driven global industrial age that is impatient and intolerant. No longer is it enough to keep tabs only on the competition down the street, in the next town, or even the adjacent state. Today, the complexity of the industry has made that almost irrelevant. It is knowing and understanding what is taking place nationally and globally that may be more important than happenings in your own backyard. Make 2013 the year that you invest in yourself and your business by joining a study club, taking courses and networking at any one of the many learning institutions, and attending local and national tradeshows. It is the best investment that could be made.

Pam Johnson

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