Written by CS Product Manager Amy Sweeting
The Healthcare Design Conference & Expo (HCD) has brought design teams, manufacturers, facility managers, and owners together for many years. The conference includes educational seminars and a huge exhibit space for manufacturers to show the latest and greatest healthcare-focused products.
Everyone attending is there for the common goal of improving healthcare design, but each person has their own personal takeaways. This was my fifth year attending and every year, I have found the conference so engaging and inspiring. Each year I educate our customer base as they visit the booth and get to see their reactions to our products.
I had the opportunity to interview two CS colleagues to gain their perspectives on the HCD experience. Erin Wall is the Tradeshow Supervisor in charge of ensuring we have an incredible presence at the show. This was her fifth HCD show. Laura Gemperline is our Senior Product Designer who makes sure our presence is on point and looks amazing. This was her second show with CS, but she has participated in other years by attending the educational sessions.
The CS Booth:
Our booth this year featured the key theme of Designing with Purpose. We emphasized our new Acrovyn® Woodgrains, Tapestry, and CSelect™ fabrics, among many other finishes. I asked Erin about our theme and why we focused on Design with Purpose.
Erin: It was important to show our coordination story – showing things with purpose and specific functions that relate to each other. We also wanted to emphasize our new finishes.
And that it did! There were quite a few designers that picked up our swatches and started building color palettes right there in the booth. I asked Laura about her thought process when designing the booth and deciding which key elements she would like to resonate with designers.
Laura: I want to make sure people are drawn into the booth. We want the booth to be engaging and interactive. Our door display was in the round and allowed visitors to view our new wood grain options and experience the new microtextures. A curved wall showed how our ABD Metallics reflected light and could enhance any space. And we displayed our new cubicle curtains with the fabric and disposables interspersed to show how they complement and work with each other. Designers like the ability to touch and feel and the booth was set up to maximize that. We also included the swatch wall so that designers could see and grab samples of our great selection of Acrovyn.
Not only did the designers interact with the booth because of our use of texture, pattern play, and color, but they also could experience a bit of augmented reality. I asked Erin to share more on our interactive Acrovyn by Design® sample.
Erin: This was a great collaboration with a graphic design and augmented reality team to incorporate animated graphics into Acrovyn by Design. We had samples that we shared between all companies, as well as booth numbers and QR codes on each to direct people to all three booths.
We had portable-sized samples with the image of a giraffe that could be colored virtually when the QR code was scanned. It was very cool!
IIDA Power Breakfast:
Laura, Erin, and I also had the opportunity to represent CS in co-hosting an International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Power Breakfast learning session. We titled the session “Building Better Healthcare” and focused our smaller breakaway session discussions around healthcare topics that have surfaced over the last few years. I asked Erin to share how this opportunity came about.
Erin: We have collaborated with IIDA on power luncheons in the past. This year we decided to move the session to the breakfast hour and offer this as an accredited CEU. We worked with Phyllis and Evangeline of IIDA and pulled together the details for a breakfast. We wanted an open discussion of challenges designers wanted to learn more about. We wanted to make sure it was interactive.
I can attest that this was an excellent opportunity to share challenges and how they have been overcome. I was the transcriber for one of the breakout sessions, which generated great conversations. I asked Laura, a fellow note-taker, to share her thoughts on her session.
Laura: The breakfast was a great opportunity for us to listen and hear about how our customers are adjusting their interior design in the post-COVID world. We learn about their pain points and challenges and see how they are addressing them. In turn, we can learn how our products might provide solutions. It was also an excellent opportunity for our customers to engage with each other. They can see similar challenges they are facing and how they have worked to resolve them. It was a great exercise in ‘listening.’
I don’t want you to miss out on our great conversations and I invite you to check out the splash page here.
The Best Part:
I asked Erin and Laura what they look forward to the most when attending HCD.
Erin: I love networking with other organizations to generate more CS engagement. This seems to be our number one audience. HCD does a great job of setting up the show and seminars. People have really realized how important in-person events are even more over the last two years. It’s great to collaborate with our team and see people in person.
Laura: For me, the show had a twofold purpose. One: It is an opportunity to see what other manufacturers are doing, what’s new, and what technologies or manufacturing processes are addressing the needs of the healthcare segment. A good example is what new ways manufacturers are addressing infection control. It is an opportunity for me to see the breadth of colors, patterns and textures available, which could be the future inspiration. Like our customers, there is nothing like experiencing these materials in person. And second, it is also an opportunity to attend learning sessions that provide insight into the complexities and challenges of designing for the healthcare segment. This practice is clearly impacting other shows, as I have seen an increase in education sessions at other trade shows.
Between the exhibit space and educational sessions, I would say that HCD 2022 was a huge success and I am looking forward to HCD 2023!