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a blog by Chris Barrow

Was it The Bartlett or The Buzz? The Dentistry Show

Hats off to Closer Still Media Group for creating easily the best dental trade show for many years.

It's an open secret that they threw the budget at Steven Bartlett to assuage the many trade exhibitors who expressed their concerns after last year's rail strikes. Everyone I spoke to (and there were many) who "secretly" shared what he had been paid, agreed that it was money well spent.

What's not to like about a bit of celebrity endorsement and the queues forming to get into the main and overspill sessions were proof (it were needed) that he was a big draw.

In the spirit of the good old days, it was also electrically exciting when a rumour emerged about two hours before SB was due to speak, that we was only appearing on video and would not be in the NEC.

Clearly, someone had got the wrong end of the stick and assumed that the overflow video theatres were the main gig - the story swept across the conference floor like a Mexican Wave and quite a few people were peeking through the main auditorium curtains to see if he was real.

What's equally encouraging is that, even whilst Bartlett was speaking, the rest of the conference floor remained busy, both for those speakers unfortunate to have been given the same slot and on the stands themselves.

Not everyone wanted to bask in the Dragon's glory.

I was only able to attend on Saturday but it was a hoot from start to finish - lots of very well built stands, the inevitable Ferrari, some exhibitors stuck in a time-warp that suggests attractive people on a stand will compensate for the dullness of whatever they are selling, exercise bikes, ice cream, cocktails and silly hats - all the daft stuff we used to love way back when.

Judging from the look of some of the exhibitors at 09:00 on Saturday, the Friday night bash is still around.

Beneath all the nonsense, intelligent conversations with positive people about the future of dentistry - and inspiring demonstrations of innovation in every aspect of the job. Great speakers from within our own community. Ideas, ideas, ideas.

I used to love the trade shows for all of the above - and it seems to have been missing for quite a few years.

The Dentistry Show 2024 has put the genre back on the map and the buzz back in the room.

This year Steven Bartlett - next year?

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