The Top Five Things I’ve Learned (so far) at the 2022 Trade Shows

By Alan Brander

We’re almost halfway through June (can you believe it?) and the SpendMend team has been busy traversing the map and meeting clients and colleagues at trade shows and industry conferences across the country.

At this point in the year our team has already attended ten separate trade shows and I estimate we’ve had hundreds of meaningful conversations with clients and other industry experts.

A few patterns are beginning to come into focus, and I wanted to spend a moment to lay out my top 5 things I’ve learned so far at the 2022 trade shows.

We’re ready to mingle. One thing is for sure… we’ve all been cooped up long enough and although some of us already started returning to shows in 2021 – most of us have not.  Being out on the conference floor and among peers is a welcome relief from working from home and spending countless hours on video calls.

  • The emphasis on “Cautiously.” I’d say, for the most part, the colleagues and peers I’ve been meeting with are fairly optimistic about the market and supply chains, and COVID-19 cases getting better.  Many people acknowledge that we are in the middle of a downturn, but there seems to be a sense of cautious optimism.
  • Dance cards are full. The past few shows have been like nothing I’ve seen in the past.  I am a 30-year veteran of the healthcare industry and I spent most of my career serving on the healthcare provider side.  My most recent hospital gig was as a Chief Nursing Officer where I was responsible for 2 hospitals.  Nowadays, I attend conferences as a service provider, in that new capacity I’ve gotten used to working a little harder to get the attention of VPs and C-level officers.  So far, this year has been different, I find that the hospitals are seeking us  I barely leave the booth and there is often a line of people queuing up to talk with us.
  • Cost savings, cost savings, cost savings… There are many things on the minds of hospital leaders at present. Supply Chain, Data Security, COVID-19, Nursing shortages, and more.  All that said, the most common pain point that we observed was in the area of cost savings.  Or more to the point – hospitals and healthcare systems are asking, how can I get better visibility into: What I am spending? How can I spend more intelligently? How do I avoid profit loss? How do I negotiate better terms? What cost metrics should I be tracking… and on, and on.  They used to say, “Cash is King.” Right now, I feel like “Costs are paramount!”
  • There simply isn’t enough time. As we return back to a semblance of normalcy, I see hospital leadership with much longer “to-do lists” than ever before – with the same number of hours in the day to do it all. The world has become more complicated so there has been an increase in new initiatives.  At the same time, the hospitals are still obligated to maintain their usual operations and add to that there is a daunting backlog of items that have been ignored since March of 2020.  Leaders throughout the healthcare industry are working overtime to balance all these different sets of priorities and trying to settle on… what are the real

So that’s my Top 5 list for the time being, but we still have another 7 shows on our calendar for the balance of the year.

I’ll check in again in six months to tell you how everything turns out!