Mathias Kuepper is the managing director of Koelnmesse and has been helping to organise IDEM Singapore, which is South East Asia’s leading dental show, for nearly a decade. Owing to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, the last edition of the biennial event took place online. However, this year, IDEM is back to its beloved in-person format, although it will continue to offer some digital elements throughout the event. In this interview with Dental Tribune International, Kuepper talks about event highlights and the selection of a new location and discusses the tremendous value that IDEM has for the dental industry.
Mr Kuepper, IDEM 2022 will be held at a new venue, Sands Expo and Convention Centre at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. Why did you choose this specific location?
Based on our experience from the past in-person editions of IDEM, which were held across multiple floors, we found that consolidating the exhibition and activities on one floor is more convenient and accessible for our exhibitors and attendees. The move of IDEM 2022 to a larger exhibition hall at Sands Expo and Convention Centre also serves to mark a significant milestone for us as we welcome more sponsors, exhibitors and speakers and expect more local and regional attendees after the past four years of hiatus caused by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.
The theme for this year’s event is “Building resilience in dentistry”. What is the message behind the title?
With this year’s theme, we hope to provide a forum for a robust exchange of ideas as we navigate new challenges and explore the latest market trends. Our aim is to maintain competency, update and upgrade our knowledge and skills, and ensure relevance in our attendees’ clinical practice. In this new edition, participants to IDEM 2022 can expect digital elements throughout the event. This will allow the participants to extend their learning beyond the event days and offer ample networking opportunities.
We are committed to maintaining high standards and providing our participants with the best experience for their professional development in order to meet the changing requirements and challenges of today’s dynamic environment.
Owing to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, the on-site IDEM 2020 was cancelled and the event was held online for the first time in its history. How do you feel about coming out of the pandemic and returning to the traditional in-person format this year?
We are beyond excited to host IDEM 2022 in person after four years. Although we hosted IDEM digitally during the pandemic, we have heard from sponsors, exhibitors and attendees that IDEM in a physical format is an experience like no other. They find it more effective and efficient to connect face-to-face with speakers, partners, prospects and peers in order to learn about the latest developments in dentistry. In the meantime, it has given us more time to rethink formats and to create more opportunities for businesses and attendees. Thus, we will be launching the IDEM360+ Community platform in the hope of building a one-stop digital platform for the Asia Pacific dental community to connect and exchange ideas from any location.
“Our aim is to maintain competency, update and upgrade our knowledge and skills, and ensure relevance in our attendees’ clinical practice.”
Although held in a physical format, IDEM 2022 will also feature some hybrid elements. Why do you think this is necessary?
IDEM360+ is a digital community platform that adds another layer of experience to IDEM. The platform allows participants to do business matching, find networking opportunities using the on-site lead generation feature, book meeting slots, watch on-demand content after the actual event day and more. IDEM360+ digital platform and app will also be available after the event, and the trade exhibition will continue running virtually as part of the IDEM360+ Community. Attendees can continue to access useful information for their practices, and exhibitors can continue to engage and follow up with visitors beyond the event days.
What is unique about IDEM, and what should the attendees most look forward to this year?
As the leading dental exhibition and conference in the Asia Pacific region, IDEM gathers dental brands and experts from all around the world at one venue and offers networking opportunities and business growth to all participants. We are excited to be introducing a new programme, the Singapore Speaker Series, to showcase our local speakers. There is also a new initiative that aims at nurturing young companies from the dental industry, called the Innovation Arena, which will permit entrepreneurs to grow their network and explore different business opportunities with IDEM. This year, there is an increase in new exhibiting companies participating for the first time in IDEM, and we look forward to the dynamic and fresh ideas that these companies will add to the already robust exhibition.
Would you like to add anything else?
We are hoping to move towards being a more sustainable event, starting with this edition of IDEM. Taking our first step towards this goal, the IDEM360+ digital platform and app will be used as an all-in-one tool for networking, scheduling and navigating the event, replacing the need for bulk-printed materials like exhibition and conference guides, venue maps and even name cards.