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The IDS 2017 pre-party: Dental technology from Germany in New York

April 7, 2016
In preparation for IDS 2017, the German dental industry plans to make a splash at this year's 2016 Greater New York Dental Meeting. A "Technology from Germany" exhibit will feature a hands-on science lab and more.

American dentists are showing increased interest in the International Dental Show (IDS), the world's largest dental trade show. IDS organizers have taken notice and plan to make a big splash this fall at the 2016 Greater New York Dental Meeting (GNYDM). Here's why you should consider booking tickets to Germany—and the Big Apple—now.

This time next year, the dental world will descend upon Cologne, Germany, for the biennial IDS, the world's largest dental meeting. (Last year, IDS attracted just fewer than 140,000 people.) But even now, in the "off year" of this ginormous event, there is good reason to turn your eyes to the German dental market.

Why's that, you ask? Here are two good reasons for starters:

First, the German dental market matters, both in terms of its size ($5.17 billion) and its importance to the US dental market, as the United States is Germany's second largest trading partner following Europe.1 German dental companies are doing more than holding their own in the relationship: Exports to the United States totaled $249 million in the first half of 2015 (according to the most recent data available), while dental exports from the United States to Germany totaled $125 million. That's a sizable gap, but consider this: While German exports to the United States increased by 5.2% over the year prior, US exports grew by a whopping 26%.

Second, 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the organization behind IDS, the Association of German Dental Manufacturers, or, as it is commonly known, VDDI (which stands for Verband der Deutschen Dental-Industrie). As part of VDDI's centennial celebration, the association has partnered with Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Industry to prepare a 600-square-meter (6,540-square-foot), state-of-the-art exhibit for dentists and the dental industry that will be displayed at the 2016 GNYDM. The exhibit is named, straightforwardly, "Dental Technology from Germany," but it promises to be anything but ordinary. Imagine a mini-museum the size of two tennis courts, 30 presenting companies, a science lab, a hands-on demonstration area, and loads of new German tech that's arrived straight from university research programs, and you'll start to get the picture. VDDI is even giving two lucky winners a trip to IDS 2017-all expenses paid. How's that for a trade show giveaway?

VDDI announced its latest economic data and its plans for a special exhibit in a press conference during the 2015 GNYDM. The announcement was made by VDDI Executive Director Dr. Markus Heibach, BEGO Managing Partner Christoph Weiss, and German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy representative Dietmar Schmitz. With their shared goal of strengthening dental exports, the three speakers represented a fortified partnership between German dental manufacturers and the government. According to Weiss, who spoke on behalf of the 30 companies participating in the planned Dental Technology from Germany exhibit, 62% of all German dental products manufactured today are exported. Most of these exports have been increasing or holding steady across the globe, apart from Eastern European exports, which have suffered due to the ongoing political crises in the region.

Schmitz noted that the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy, which supports German companies in various industries at 250 trade shows each year, will contribute to funding the Dental Technology from Germany exhibit at the 2016 GNYDM. Schmitz also gave attendees of the conference a teaser, saying that "a high-ranking industry spokesperson" will be making a formal presentation during the event. Although no names were given, speculations are that the mystery guest will be a high-level member of the German government.

"The German dental industry is a significant part of our country's growing health-care market. The gross value [. . .] of the health-care business in Germany is approximately €280 billion today." —VDDI Executive Director Dr. Markus Heibach (above)

"North America (the United States and Canada) is an especially important market for us because [. . .] its level of health care, especially in the area of dental care, is very high. In this market we are dealing with a strong and innovative industry and companies that are just as long-established and innovative as those in Germany." —BEGO Managing Partner Christoph Weiss (above)

"I am especially pleased to support the presentation of the German dental industry in the very important US sales market. Small- and medium-sized companies in particular appreciate the joint presentations sponsored by the German federal government as [platforms] for doing business deals, sharing information, and making contacts. [. . .] Through the presentation in 2016, we would also like to underscore the significance of our German-American partnership and strengthen the excellent trade relationships between Germany and the United States." —Dietmar Schmitz, head of division trade fair policy/expo participations, German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (above)

Fact Sheet

Association of German Dental Manufacturers or Verband der Deutschen Dental-Industrie (VDDI)

• Established in 1916

• Represents 200 primarily small- and medium-sized German dental companies, 30% of which are more than 90 years old

• Organizes IDS, the world's largest dental show

• Led by Executive Director Dr. Markus Heibach

• Represents German interests and shared dental industry interests all over the world at the national, European, and international levels

• Works on technical issues, legal issues, and the standardization of medical products

"Around 139,000 trade visitors from 152 countries attended the world's leading trade fair of the dental industry, which corresponded to an increase of almost 11% compared to the previous event. IDS also achieved new records in terms of the number of exhibitors and the exhibition space sold. 2,199 companies from 59 countries presented a wealth of innovations, product developments, and services on a gross exhibition space covering 157,000 square meters." —IDS press release


1. Statistics in this paragraph were presented by the Association of German Dental Manufacturers (VDDI) at the Greater New York Dental Meeting, New York, New York, December 1, 2015.

Editor's Note: Look for continuing coverage of this topic in our May–June issue.


Association perspective: Interview with Dr. Markus Heibach, Executive Director of the Association of German Dental Manufacturers (VDDI)

Company perspective: Interview with BEGO Managing Partner Christoph Weiss.