LESSONS FROM THE GREATER NEW YORK MEETING

December 3, 2023
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Whenever I go to the Greater New York Meeting, I have 2 objectives.

1. Renew and reinvigorate friendships with people
2. Spot Industry trends.

This year, I fulfilled both in very meaningful ways, some that can help YOU!

Relevant to YOU now, are the TRENDS I spotted while walking the exhibit floor.

1. The exhibits have shrunk.
2. Previous exhibitors have gone.
3. The exhibitors have changed.

 

Let’s explore each of these, as they provide timely lessons for your practices.

SHRINKING EXHIBITS:

​The days of conspicuous displays are gone.  While there were some, mostly from NEW exhibitors who wanted to make a mark, most were very small compared to how they were a decade ago.  There are 2 reasons for this.

1. The dentists attending this meeting are no longer these company’s primary market.  The DSO’s are now competing for these companies’ attention, which means they have to spend their marketing dollars more judiciously.
2. The costs of displays and attending such meetings, like everything else, has risen and companies are tightening their belts.

The lessons:

Keep redefining your market.
Keep a tight eye on your budget

MISSING IN ACTION:

​Gone were some major exhibitors like Crest, Sensodyne and Oral B.  WHY?

Why were they there in the past?

One of these company’s marketing strategies was that Dental offices were “Influencers” and by promoting product to them, they were able to reach their patients.

Obviously, this strategy has changed.  Now, especially in the younger demographics, “Influencers” are no longer in dental offices but rather on Instagram and Tiktok.  Welcome to the new reality of marketing.

There has been a consolidation of brands in the industry.  Dentsply now owns Sirona and Septodont now owns the Cook-Waite trademarks (Carbocaine and Marcaine).

There were few chair manufacturers as brands such as Pelton Crane are gone.  And most practice management software arenow owned by larger companies.

The lessons:

Consolidation is a trend that is not only present in dentistry but in all industry.
Marketing has changed.  Have you adapted?

THE EXHIBITORS:

Foreign exhibitors:  

Now represent a larger %, with China (50) and South Korea (40) leading the pack of 21 different nations.

​What does this indicate?

​It means that the US market is still the largest for oral health products.  It also means that there’s a greater market for less expensive products, from China, S. Korea, Pakistan, India and others as inflation and other factors have eaten away at dental profits here in the US.

​Many companies had suffered from the “supply chain” chaos of the pandemic and are trying to reestablish their customer base.

The lessons:

Everyone wants your business, so you have leverage.
Competition is global.  
Supply chain issues can be costly in the long run, so be careful where your products and equipment are being made.  
Service and reliability are valuable components of any service or piece of equipment.

 

Non-Traditional Exhibitors:

There were 3 trends that I noticed that are worthwhile to explore.  First was the number of foreign dental organizations and conferences.  Second was the number of exhibitors promoting facial esthetics.  Third was the number of DSO’s present.

1. The number of foreign dental organizations and conferences is a reflection of the growing numbers of dentists who come from diverse backgrounds.  The dental student bodies today are very different that they were 2 decades ago.   Attempts at promoting diversity are bearing fruit as today’s dental school classes are 57.4% female and Asian, Black and Hispanic students now make up 32%.

The implication here too is that diversity is coming to a theater near you, if already hasn’t.  Are you prepared?

2. The second trend of FACIAL ESTHETICS is, for those who practice Dental Sleep Medicine and TMJ, even more interesting.  Why are these companies so interested in dentists?

There are many reasons.  One is there is a perceived need for non-insurance reliant services among dental practices.  Second is the perception that patients will be willing to trust their dental providers with such therapies.  Third, these companies know that patients seeking dental care are nearly the same market that seek facial esthetic enhancements.  These reasons should be great news for dental practices.

Should patients know that such facial esthetic options are available at an office they already trust, why would they NOT want to explore these services?

3. DSO’s are exponentially increasing in market share.  In 2022, 23% of dental practices were affiliated with DSO’s and that number is expected to increase to nearly 40% in just 2 years.

The lessons:

DSO are going to be an increasingly important part of exit strategies.
New graduates will increasingly be attracted to DSO’s.
Disgruntled DSO practitioners will be looking for non-DSO alternatives.

 

STRATEGIC PLANNING

In my book “From Here to Where?” I discuss the value of planning.  I recommend using a SWOTT analysis, enumerating the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats, and Trends that together can help guide a practice owner towards their goals while skirting obstacles.

Taking the time to strategize and plan isn’t on many dentists’ to-do lists.  But it should be.  And, there’s no better time to do this than before the New Year.  So, take the time, do a SWOTT analysis.  And, if you need help, schedule a Complimentary Strategy Session now and get a free copy of one of my books.

Towards a clear path ahead,

Michael

Practice Success Insights

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Dr. Michael Goldberg is one of the leading educators on dental practice management in the United States.

Michael ran and sold a prestigious group practice in Manhattan and has been on Faculty at Columbia University and New York-Presbyterian Medical Center for 30 years including Director of the GPR program and Director of the course on Practice Management.

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