The inaugural Assistive Technology Suppliers Expo held in Auckland, New Zealand on May 23, has been rated a success. The show was officially opened by New Zealand Paralympian Dan Buckingham, a member of the Wheel Blacks for 16 years. Buckingham gave a presentation at the expo in an audience discussion on Assistive Technologies and the Power of Sport.

The expo received a very positive response based on initial feedback from a survey of visitors and suppliers, ATSNZ executive officer, Ingrid Van Rijn told F2L. “I think there was a good vibe at the event with the majority of our exhibitors happy on the day at how the expo went. I believe it bodes well for future expos,” she said.

The conference programs nominated as delivering the most helpful content included, Paediatric Powered Mobility, Power Assist: Navigating the Options, the Case for Bluetooth and Technological Advances in Complex Rehab Power Wheelchairs. Among the most attended conference sessions were: Is it Possible to Implement Safe Patient Handling with a Reduced Number of Carers? Assistive Technologies and the Power of Sport, Paediatric Powered Mobility and Power Assist: Navigating the Options.

Geoff Purtill, vice president, Invacare AP with Dan Buckingham

A majority of exhibitors rated the expo as very good and would recommend exhibiting at the event, also that it was well organised with a very friendly atmosphere.

Directly on the back of ATSA’s Independent Living Expos held in Australia, it was New Zealand’s turn and it attracted many therapists and end users, Permobil NZ marketing manager, Andrea Woodall said. “It was the perfect forum to showcase the best products we have available in AT as well as present on the most up-to-date clinical evidence. Permobil’s Rachel Fabiniak presentation on Paediatric Powered Mobility: Earlier Intervention was well received by all who attended. All-in-all, the ATSNZ event was a huge success.”

Melrose Wheelchairs NZ sales manager, Philippa Melrose said the expo was informative and a good networking opportunity. “We had people from Nelson and Christchurch attending and we were very pleased with the event.”

Morton & Perry NZ CEO, David Morton said the venue was excellent and it was a good show for a first time event. However, he would like to see the expo run over two days to make it a real destination for people to attend from other parts of New Zealand and give it a stronger education focus. “The sessions were staggered so people could go back to stands. It was a great first step but let’s make it greater.”

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