In February, I will be attending the NMEDA conference in Daytona Beach, FL. It is the annual conference for members of NMEDA, National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association. NMEDA is a non-profit trade association of mobility equipment dealers, driver rehabilitation specialists, and other professionals dedicated to broadening the opportunities for people with disabilities to drive or be transported in vehicles modified with mobility equipment.
At the annual conference, we as manufacturers, show our new and exciting products, from hand controls to lifts and wheelchair vans, to our mobility equipment dealers. Some of the products are prototype models, or concepts to gauge how the industry leaders will get behind these new products before they are sold through to the end user level. It is the one show a year, where all industry professionals can show off their best and brightest concepts to a captive audience.
Once these products are validated and tested, they hit the market and are introduced through the mobility equipment dealer. There are a lot of great conferences/expos for end users to go and see new products and one of the biggest shows is the Abilities Expo that will be in New Jersey in April. I highly recommend you mark that on your calendar and make every attempt to go. Even if you are not in the market to buy anything, it’s an eye opening experience. Things you never thought of are made and sold every day. As an example, I saw last year at one of the expo’s a hunter’s tree stand that was a lift. I would have never imagined something like this existed, even if I were a hunter!
Look for some exciting new products to hit the market in 2009 and remember to contact your local mobility equipment dealer with any questions you may have.