Who would have thought going to a dental convention would actually be fun? I certainly did not—until I went to the International Dental Show (IDS) in Cologne, Germany. I was used to conventions like the ADA or Chicago Midwinter. About 15,000 to 30,000 dental health professionals attend these shows each year. IDS blows that away at more than 150,000. WOW!
IDS, which takes place every two years, is unlike any show you will see in the United States. It’s comparable to big name auto shows that have tons of reveals. As you walk down the exhibit floor, you’ll see product releases, new companies and some of the greatest booths on the planet. You’ll find a range of products, from the very low end of the scale to the highest end solutions available in our field. Be prepared to take your time during your visit, as the halls are more than 10 times the size of a traditional exhibit floor. It took me three days to explore all the exhibits, and I’m sure I missed many of them.
IDS also helps keep clinicians on the leading edge of dentistry. It seems like companies find it easier to release products in Europe first, then introduce them to the U.S. market within the next year—making IDS a great place to see what’s coming next.
My favorite part of IDS is the customer experience. Unlike here in the United States, you’ll find coffee machines in every booth all day long and beer during the afternoon happy hour. Food is flowing and the nighttime parties are great for networking.
The town of Cologne is historic, safe and an extremely fun place to explore great German food and the local beer (Kolsch). If there is one dental experience you should have in your career, it is to visit IDS. You will not regret it!
Click here for more information on IDS.