MedTravelExpo-2017: exhibition summary

MedTravelExpo catalog

There used to be two major specialized medical tourism exhibitions taking place in Moscow. The first one is Intermed, located on the site of the large tourist exhibition MITT in March and intended primarily for business contacts with travel agencies and medical tourism agencies. The second one is Medshow, which takes place in TVC Tishinka twice a year — in March and in September, and which attracts mostly end-users of medical services abroad. If you specialize in health tourism, then in September there is also an opportunity to participate in the SPA & Health exhibition.

From 4 to 8 December, for the first time, a separate exhibition of medical tourism MedTravelExpo was held, which the business community has long lacked in the market. MedTravelExpo is intended for B2B contacts, and, unlike other exhibitions, actively develops the business part, covering all categories of participants. In addition to the traditional presentations of exhibitors about themselves and their medical capabilities, sections were devoted to:

  • inbound medical tourism;

  • health and spa resorts of Russia;

  • development tools for clinics from marketing to cases on the experience of private clinics;

  • training — a course on medical tourism for travel agencies;

  • non-governmental health care;

  • disease prevention and promotion of healthy lifestyle;

  • methods of treatment.

The exhibition was held for the first time and went quite well: the second hall of the 7th pavilion was completely filled.

  • Participants:

Visitors came to the booths of clinics, facilitating companies from different countries, sanatoriums, and agencies of medical tourism from Russia. In total, about 100 participants from 14 countries took part in the exhibition. National Tourist Offices from Germany, Spain, and Italy also represented their countries at the booths, and the Association has already agreed with them on conducting webinars and info-tours for the next year. We personally did not have enough this year and would like to see more booths of Russian large clinics ready to receive foreign patients. The subject of inbound medical tourism is actively discussed in 2017 as well as the poor readiness of Russian clinics to work with medical tourism agencies, which is the main source of foreign patients.

  • Exhibition zoning:

There was a lack of division of the area into blocks of sanatorium and health resort rehabilitation and medical treatment, but the organizers plan to distribute such a division next year with an increase in the area.

  • Business program:

Three equipped halls inside the pavilion for business programs were always occupied. There was no exhibition area before MedTravelExpo where the issues of medical tourism were openly discussed by market participants and speakers, whose main goal was to share experience, not to sell their services. The full hall on the section “Best Practices in Developing Outbound and Inbound Medical Tourism Worldwide”, where 10 speakers talked about their cases, indicates that there is a need not only for finding new partners but also for knowledge, ideas, information on best practices helping to develop their business. The Section was organized by Medical Tourism Agencies Association and conducted by the expert of the Association Evgeniy Chernyshev and Tatyana Sokolov, the head of the medical tourism agency MedikaTour. At the presentation site, where clinics performed, there were fewer people until 11 am and after 4 pm, this is why we advise the following year participants to book booths and slots for the performance in advance and to choose the best time for performances.

  • Information support:

Of course, there were organizational blunders that caused a smile. The information and advertising catalog of participants of all five exhibitions included in the Russian Health Week, perfectly printed with duplication of information in Russian and English, was so heavy that it could not be delivered from the organizers' office to the exhibitors. Those participants who ran to the office themselves and brought in a pair of catalogs weighing 3 kg each then thought about how not to take the catalog with them on the plane. We got out of the situation easily and just snatched away the unnecessary pages, but it was a pity to damage the catalog. In general, the information support was at an altitude: the exhibition was easy to find, everywhere there were booklets with the business program as the Expocentre has long refined the experience of organizing major international exhibitions, and this is an excellent basis for the development of a new exhibition and increase the number of its participants in 2018 at least twice.

The Medical Tourism Agencies Association also plans to double the business part devoted to different topics of medical tourism in 2018, and invite international speakers, whose experience and ideas will help to develop Russian market.

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