On the 28th – 30th March 2017 Naidex returned to the NEC Birmingham for its most successful, well received and forward-thinking edition to date – firmly re-establishing itself as the leading event for the disability and independent living sectors.
Since taking over the show in late 2016 we (PRYSM Group) have poured all of our energy into reaffirming Naidex as an event the whole community can be proud of. As a result, we were overwhelmed by the response we saw this year. The minute the doors opened on day one the hall was electric with thousands of visitors, overflowing seminar halls and a buzz from each and every exhibitor – you literally couldn’t turn for amazing product demonstrations!
Panel sessions, inspirational stories and educational insights shaped the seminar schedule, which was enjoyed by visitors and exhibitors (and organisers!) alike. Interactive demonstrations took place across the exhibition throughout all three days. Favourites included the mechanical horse at the Riding for the Disabled Association stand which saw many ecstatic faces experience the joy of riding (from the safety of the NEC!); the Mobility Test Track provided a hugely functional and entertaining opportunity to test the latest in mobility products; the Sports Arena saw young and old engaging and connecting in a variety of inclusive sports and activities; stair climbing wheelchairs from B-Free Technology Ltd; exoskeletons from Rewalk and Gogoa; augmented and virtual reality from GiveVision and Tribemix; and you could even take a virtual tour of Portland college!
“You can feel the energy in the show, everything is going in the right direction” – Colin McNaught, Ability Needs Magazine
The impact Naidex had on its exhibitors was immediately palpable and will continue to flourish as contacts and leads convert into lasting profitable relationships over the coming months. In fact a common observation from exhibitors was that the hall was so loaded with visitors that stands were brimming with business and enquiries to the point that it was almost impossible to take a break throughout the day!
“Naidex is professional gold dust” – Gerry Allmark UKTelehealthcare
Visitors may have caught BBC 2 who were casting at Naidex for the next season of the hit show The Big Life Fix, or possibly the awesome actress and activist Samantha Renke who was filming around the show with Middle Child Productions. Noah Wall, “The Boy Who Grew a New Brain”, was also hanging out at the OMi stand and triumphantly closed the show on day three.
2017 saw the launch of the Naidex Awards, combined with the Able Magazine Best in Show Award, these highlighted the calibre of the event. Running throughout all three days, the awards delivered the most relevant decision makers and top industry experts to the finalist’s stands to consider the leaders who are breaking new ground in each field.
Grandcare were crowned the very deserving winners of the Naidex Healthcare Professional Award. The judges noted the incredible impact that their products would have on both carer and end user and commended them on their contribution to the sector.
“Shows like this are helping to push the boundaries.” – Matthew Warnes, CEO, Grandcare – “I feel like part of the Naidex family”
The Naidex Innovation Award celebrated the most innovative concept that is set to change the market within the disability sector. A unanimous decision saw Orcam crowned the winner with their futuristic wearable assistive tech for people who are partially sighted.
The Changing Lives Award commended the product, service, or initiative which has had a positive and demonstrable impact on its user. Living Safely were named as the winner for their innovative, low-cost and specialised monitoring device, Vivago. Living Safely proved so impressive that they also received the Able Magazine Best in Show Award from Editor Tom Jamison who explored every corner of the exhibition for an all-round extraordinary product that is set to take the sector by storm. Congratulations to all winners and finalists.
This has been a positively moving event which surpassed our expectations on so many levels. We have learnt a huge amount from this year’s show already, and value the feedback we have received. Our ideas and plans for next year are rapidly materialising with over 100 stands already booked for 2018. Over the coming year we are hugely excited to continue to build and develop this phenomenal event.
“Naidex stands apart in the sector as the most comprehensive and diverse event of its kind. I am absolutely thrilled with the outcome this year, it was above and beyond even my expectations. Naidex is unquestionably the most imperative disability, independent living and healthcare event, and next year is set to be even more exceptional!” – Paige Lewin, Event Director, Naidex