Two fronts – bvd and dental fairs

Two fronts - bvd and dental fairs

Two fronts

The fact that NWD leaves the Federal Association of Dental Trade at the end of the year was just one of many bad news that Lutz Müller has recently reached. Maybe it was one too many. The president of the BVD feels increasingly abandoned – by the manufacturers as well as by their own members.

Lutz Müller, owner and managing director of the Hanoverian dental trading company Deppe-Dental and president of the BVD. | © Sven Skupin

Last year, Müller, owner and managing director of the Hanover-based dental trade company Deppe-Dental, was elected to the top of the BVD for the fourth time in succession. And currently he is experiencing the toughest of his terms. As if falling visitor numbers and canceled specialist dental clinics were not enough: Now there is also the Nordwest Dental GmbH & Co. KG (NWD), with 29 locations Germany-wide one of the “five greats” in the industry (in addition to GERL, Pluradent, Dental Bauer and Henry Schein), announced their exit from the BVD. For the BVD president, the series of disappointments continues so seamlessly, the job is much more crisis management than design.

The number one area of ​​conflict is the dental companies. “World companies and small manufacturers are difficult to reconcile,” Müller describes diplomatically the mined dental company environment. He complains that the industry is not pulling together. He is currently asking manufacturers extensively about their plans for 2020 – also with a view to participating in the trade fairs. “The answers are often very obscure. Mostly I get ‘yes’ because you do not want to confess. “One reason is for sure, that in more and more companies, decisions are made in corporate headquarters in other countries like the US (eg Dentsply Sirona, KaVo and Henry Schein) or – as in the case of NWD – in Finland. But that alone is not the reason for the misery: “The market just does not know where he wants to go,” Müller diagnoses. In particular, the major manufacturers are asked to finally show their colors and face up to their responsibilities.

From the information fair to the sales fair

But that also requires other ways of communicating with the customer dentist. This is just a haptic person who wants to look at things and try out. Trade fairs are the ideal offer for this, as can be seen in many other industries, in which the fair offers would be constantly enlarged and expanded. However, many manufacturers would no longer focus on the trade fairs. “The Fachdentals have completely changed: Previously were the information measuring. Today, they are regarded as sales fairs and valued accordingly. “From former” Gasgebern “had become now brakeman.

And now also the “conflict field” own members.

Müller, who is clearly aware of the frustration with this development, does not want to comment on the withdrawal of the NWD, especially as the conviction within the association seems to be generally crumbling. “What do you want to do when unanimously decided on the implementation of the Fachdentals at a presidium meeting, and a member of the board wants to hold a house mass on the day of id Munich with his company?”, Asks Müller visibly annoyed. The plan could only be prevented with great difficulty.

The Dortmund location was just as much an experiment as the experiments in Bielefeld and Münster – even if Müller continues to make these decisions: “In the end, you can reach your goal with 1,900 trade visitors.”

Mueller calls the trade fairs planned for 2020 “core exhibitions” – even if, for example, Leipzig, which is scheduled to become a new location in 2020, most recently exhibited 3,500 visitors, almost half the number of visitors in 2018 (6,700). In addition to Leipzig (25/26 September), Stuttgart (16/17 October), Munich (23/24 October) and Frankfurt (13/14 November) are “set” for 2020. Whether he is sure that these fairs really take place, we want to know. His answer: “Most likely.”

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Christina Cherry
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