The Australian Podiatry Conference 2019 landed on us after a very busy Melbourne based week of MedTech networking events; the ANDHealth Summit, meeting with Actuator incubator and accelerator - the currently competitor-less MedTech accelerator for Australia. Both our CEO Koen and I found ourselves driving along the edge of the desert, bound for Adelaide. This is the first conference GROM has attended in Australia and New Zealand, and many of our expectations were met - some even exceeded. Key observations from up here in the cheap seats included me learning that business actually gets done at a conference, that the allied health sector is a buoyant and friendly one, and GROM definitely brings a welcome addition to the medical device production space.
In a previous professional life, trade-shows and conferences for me were a vastly different beast. Loud rock and hiphop music, free-flowing beer, heavy partying and free product frenzies were the norm. Don’t get me wrong, this industry knows how to party too, but then most of this usually took place before midday too. But this was a different affair - an air of professionalism draped over a scaffold of light-hearted yet target oriented discussions. (Did I mention four meal services per day and free barista coffee?!)
Everyone on the exhibitors side was keenly seeking out new network opportunities during the down times while delegates were attending seminars and workshops. For the first time in a while, I found myself in the company of people where there was a genuine willingness to get some good business done. Full disclosure here, I was happy to land in something so foreign to me. You see, I have always considered conferences and trade-shows my natural terrain in the business landscape anyhow. I thrive, even in less-than-optimal business conditions. Now being able to network and meet new people was made even easier in the absence of all of the above-mentioned distractions found at fashion weeks and action sports trade-shows across the globe.
Both exhibitors and delegates alike were peppering us with some great questions about our workflow solution. Moreover, we garnered solid interest from several key industry figures and organisational bodies. I remember taking a five minute walk along the Torrens River in the sun. Thinking to myself that finally, we have become a solid and legitimate presence on the Australian medical device market for all the right reasons. A tiny golden moment I savoured in the warm sunshine before diving back into the conference hall again.
For us as a startup, Adelaide presented us with a blank canvas on which to start the design of GROM in the ANZ region. Our booth offered us a fantastic opportunity to be found, but also to have a meeting point for the many laboratory technicians, practitioners and owners we spoke to and engaged with over the 3 days. And they all mirrored the exact same sentiment we hear often in the UK and Asia. That GROM brings structure to a fragmented process, saves time on repetitive tasks and drastically reduces wasted output owing to a lack of easy to track communications - that isn’t spread across multiple platforms.
To everyone who we had the opportunity to hear their story of success, of why they chose podiatry, of how they came to work in the allied health sector in Australia; I would like to say thanks, thanks for making our debut on the Australian market such a fun and welcoming experience. And thanks to Koen for being amazed by Kangaroo’s as well...