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New International Medical Conference Hits Houston

Organizers say Houston hosting a new medical conference is an obvious choice.

A portion of the ground floor at the George R. Brown Convention Center is filled with a variety of medical products, technology and services. Some 2,000 health care professionals from here and around the world are attending the inaugural Medical World Americas conference.

Tom Mitchell, president of Messe Dusseldorf North America, a conference organizer, says coming to Houston took a lot of planning.

“The style of show that we do in Germany the Medica Show, is different from how shows are done here. Most of the shows in the medical industry are very vertical, focused on a certain ‘ology’, and so we wanted to find the right opportunity to do it. And it’s, I think you couldn’t just say let’s do a show in some city and hope for the best, we needed to find the right infrastructure and the right partners. And Houston really offered us the right partners, especially with the Texas Medical Center.”

He says there is no other city that’s as attractive for a medical conference as Houston, with the Texas Medical Center.

“With a hundred thousand people working at that facility every day, I know they’re not all doctors and nurses and what-not, but that’s a built-in audience right there. And then, just the way Houston is organized, the proximity, the way the exhibition center here is and the tight downtown community that’s here, it really fosters the ease of putting a show together.”

Greg Ortale, president of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, says he helped come up with the idea of hosting such a conference, and discussed it with the the mayor. Other major sponsors came on board, and Ortale says initial reaction has been positive.

“We’re very pleased, it’s about where we thought we were gonna get. And I think that people have been coming here for so long, particularly and perhaps because of medicine, and because of energy that the reputation of what is available here is so much greater.”

He says the event is an opportunity for attendees to know more the city and its medical facilities.

“We could have populated all the speakers from the Texas Medical Center, but they said yeah, but you need to get this guy from Boston, you need to get this guy from Mayo, you need to get this guy from San Francisco, and we did. And it’s proven to be very successful.”

Officials say the three day event is expected to pump some $2 million into Houston’s economy.

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