Whether you have a disability, you care for someone who is disabled or you work within the independent living sector, the Naidex convention is the pinnacle of the year. It’s by far the biggest industry exhibition in Europe, and that’s why so many people flock to the venue on an annual basis. How many to be precise? Just a mere 12,000.
Now, the event spreads across two whole days, which gives everyone a perfect amount of time to browse the stalls, watch some demonstrations and just have a great time. Everyone who attends is in some way connected to independent living, which empowers you to meet new people who share common interests.
I personally attend most years, and I’m always amazed at how many people actually turn up. But, I’m also inspired by the innovative solutions that companies continue to create and work so hard on. It almost highlights how determined humanity is to discover ways to make life better for disabled individuals.
From smart wheelchairs and robotic limbs, to aftercare and rehabilitation measures, the convention really does see some unique products on display. The wonderful thing is – and something that should give hope to the independent living community – technology keeps evolving at a tremendous pace, which means products will become more adept, more intelligent and more helpful.
Something that I’ve loved since I’ve been heading to Naidex is the element of healthy competition between traders. Everyone pushes each other to manufacturer better products, services and educational material. In fact, Naidex have even established their own awards ceremony.
It’s broken down into four sections; the Naidex Innovation Award, Naidex Changing Lives Award, Naidex Professional Award and Able Magazine Best in Show Award. For all those in attendance, you’re able to cheer on your favourite nominee and see who claims top spot. Moreover, like I’ve just touched on, this is something that I truly admire about convention.
So much so, I’ve actually been invited to be a part of the judging panel for the Naidex Changing Lives Award, alongside Geoff Holt MBE and Tom Jamison. This particular category is full of nominees that have forged a product or service that has had a hugely positive impact on users.
If you’re interested, the event will take place on Wednesday 25th of April and Thursday 26th April at the NEC, Birmingham, UK. Join the 12,000-strong crowd and pledge your support to the independent living sector. There’s roughly 300 exhibitors, one to one advice from leading professionals, and the chance to network with some amazing people. You can enhance your knowledge, buy cutting-edge products or just attend for the ambiance.
Want to know what the best part is? The convention is completely free to enter.