The home to the “happiest place on Earth” will provide the perfect backdrop for the 28th iteration of the Florida International Medical Expo (FIME)—the largest medical trade fair across the Americas. From July 17-19, medical professionals from around the globe will congregate at the Orange County Convention Center in sunny Orlando, Fla., to network with peers and meet key decision-makers in the healthcare sphere. And if past FIME conferences are any indication of what’s to come, FIME 2018 will be another resounding success, event organizers say.

Benefits of Conference Attendance

Gil Alejo—an exhibition manager with Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions, the organizer of FIME 2018—says medical device professionals should attend the tradeshow for a variety of reasons, including the abilities to:

  • Rub elbows with 1,202 global manufacturers representing 42 nations
  • Access more than 500 products
  • Post their product requirements on the “Dealers & Distributors Wall,” thus enabling exhibitors to contact them directly
  • Learn about the largest assortment of affordable medical devices worldwide

Another major bonus? FIME 2018 will offer four accredited conferences, in addition to a trade seminar—all of which are designed to help clinicians be more time- and cost-effective. “Conference topics this year will focus on infection control, digital healthcare, and hospital supply chain and procurement, while the trade seminar will discuss investment opportunities in North America, as well as provide market insights, trade prospects, and regulatory affairs for market entry to the United States, Latin America, China, Asia, APAC and Europe,” Alejo tells 24×7 Magazine.

What’s more, FIME 2018 will also feature a dedicated area for medical laboratories dubbed MEDLAB Americas. This offering, Alejo says, will bring together key leaders in the in vitro and standard diagnostics sectors, as well as laboratory management, to exchange ideas and learn the latest testing techniques and solutions in the industry.

The four accredited conferences, trade seminar, and MEDLAB Americas all illustrate FIME’s ability to adapt to the changing demands of conference-goers, meeting planners say. Alejo adds: “FIME continues to grow and facilitate partnerships with key organizations and invites influential trade decision-makers from across North, South, and Central America, who offer valuable insights related to the region’s healthcare and medical laboratory market.”

Location, Location, Location

The decision to host the conference in Orlando was highly strategic, meeting officials reveal. After all, they point out, the United States ranks as the top medical device market in the world—accounting for 43% of the global sector. And its value is only slated to increase in the next few years; recent projections place the U.S. medical device market as worth $179 billion by 2020.

Orlando is also very accessible from Latin America—another growing medical device market. By 2020, the Latin American medical device sector is expected to be worth US$ 18.4 billion—a fraction of the value of the U.S. market, but a strong number nonetheless. Latin Americans will also comprise 35% of FIME 2018 attendees, with the subsequent 51%, 9%, and 5% of conference-goers coming from the U.S., the rest of the world, and the Caribbean, respectively.

Gil Alejo further addressed FIME 2018’s strategic location, telling 24×7 Magazine exclusively: “FIME capitalizes on the Americas’ strong international healthcare stance. [The conference will] offer a unique platform whereby professionals from across the Americas and international attendees can network and forge business ties, along with having access to the industry’s latest innovations from 1,200-plus exhibitors from more than 42 countries.”

Past FIME attendees have also praised the relationships they forged during the conference, with 97% of respondents saying they made new contacts for future business and 96% confirming that they planned to attend the next annual meeting. Also promising, 95% of the attendees revealed that they successfully met their objectives during the exhibition.

To FIME conference officials, such positive responses reflect the hard work and planning that goes into each annual conference. “The medical expo continues to position itself as an influencer for improved patient care and offers new opportunities for healthcare colleagues to deliver efficient and cost-effective services,” Alejo says.

This year’s FIME meeting promises to be no exception. After all, Alejo says, if you work in the healthcare sector, FIME 2018 is a must-attend event. “The FIME team looks forward to welcoming you to the show,” he adds.

**Explore Orlando**

Disney theme parks aside, Orlando offers travelers plenty of excitement and adult entertainment. During downtime from the conference—or pre- or post-show—consider visiting these Orlando staples:

  • University CityWalk: Pick from a handful of famous restaurants, such as Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, and Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood (just make sure to leave room for a Voodoo Doughnut!) before catching a Blue Man Group or “Bob Marley—A Tribute to Freedom” show. Whatever your taste, University CityWalk is sure to please.
  • Orlando Museum of Art: From June 1-August 19, the museum will offer the fifth annual Orlando Museum of Art Florida Prize in Contemporary Art—an exhibition featuring 10 of the most buzz-worthy artists currently working in Florida. Be sure to check out the Orlando Museum of Art’s popular “Art of the Ancient Americas” collection, too.
  • Walt Disney World Golf: Hit the links at one of Walt Disney World Resort’s three top-rated golf courses. Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course tends to be a favorite among golfers, however, due to its length (the Magnolia Golf Course is the longest of the three) and aesthetics. In addition to beautiful magnolia trees, the course features elevated tees and lush greens.