Plan ahead for deals, comparison shopping at ODA Annual Session Exhibit Hall

The Ohio Dental Association Annual Session Exhibit Hall is one of the largest in the area, and offers attendees everything from discounts on everyday items to comparison shopping on X-ray systems to the opportunity to test drive chairs.

“Attendees at this year’s Annual Sessions can expect to see an Exhibit Hall full of the latest equipment, materials and supplies,” said Dr. Daniel Ward, 2015 ODA Annual Session senior exhibits chair. “Conveniently assembled in one location are most of the major dental manufacturers and companies. Dentists have the opportunity to sit in the dental chairs and to try out the latest CAD-CAM devices.”

This year’s Annual Session will take place in Columbus on Sept. 17-20, and the Exhibit Hall will be open Sept. 17-19, giving attendees plenty of time to shop in between classes.

“Dentists should plan ahead and allow time to visit the Exhibit Hall during the meeting,” Ward said. “Lunchtime and after lectures is a great time to walk the aisles.”

Dr. Paul King, a general dentist in Columbus, has been shopping in the ODA Annual Session Exhibit Hall for over 25 years.

“During that time, my partner, Dr. Jeff Gibbs, and I have purchased equipment in the hall ranging from loopes and handpieces, all the way to digital X-rays systems and entire dental delivery units,” King said. “Three years ago, we were outfitting our new dental office. The Exhibit Hall gave us an enormous opportunity to educate ourselves regarding our equipment needs, and then allowed us to compare equipment side by side.”

He said his experiences shopping in the hall have always been positive.

“There is great energy in the hall, and I love being able to discuss my questions with all the vendors,” he said. “Being able to compare different products and services under one roof is very valuable. Once a decision is made, the vendors make it super easy to complete the purchase, so I can keep moving along.”

Ward agreed that the ability to test equipment in the Exhibit Hall before making a decision is a great benefit.

“It is beneficial to try out the equipment before purchasing,” he said. “‘Test driving’ can be invaluable. Comparing different models helps make dentists better consumers and allows them to choose the equipment and technology which is best suited for their practices.”

King added that the Exhibit hall is also a great place to find deals.

“I find it beneficial to purchase items in the Exhibit Hall primarily because of the great deals you can get,” he said. ”Pricing always seems best during the ODA Annual Session and especially in the Exhibit Hall. I will frequently load up on everyday supplies while in the Exhibit Hall because the deals are the best you can get all year long.”

This year, the ODA will post a list of exhibitor’s show specials online to help attendees find the best deals. Check leading up to Annual Session to find the latest information.

Ward said planning ahead can help dentists make the most of the deals and offers in the Exhibit Hall.

“With the many show specials, dentists should prepare a list of equipment and supplies that they want to check out before walking in the door,” he said.

This year, the ODA will have a new and improved online floor plan for the Exhibit Hall to help dentists plan ahead for their shopping experience. The website will feature an interactive floor plan showing where companies are located, a more robust exhibitor listing, information about each exhibitor and a search function. The online floor plan will be available at

King said his biggest piece of advice to people planning to visit the Exhibit Hall is to make the most of the sales reps and their expertise.

“My advice to people planning to shop in the Exhibit Hall would be to engage with the vendors and ask questions about their products or services,” he said. “The more we understand about the product or service, the more likely we will make smart decisions that help our practice and our patients.”

And the Exhibit Hall isn’t just about shopping. The hall will feature special events throughout the meeting, including the Welcome Reception, Take a Break! and Tailgate! The membership booth will also feature opportunities for attendees to win door prizes each day.

The Exhibit Hall also is a great place to catch up with old friends from across the state.

“My favorite thing about the Exhibit Hall is bumping into an old friend or classmate and wandering the hall with them,” King said. “After all the catching up, I will usually pick their brain about products that are working well for them. If it sounds good, I will visit with the vendor and give it a try. It’s always fun to go back to the office on Monday with something new.”

Table Clinics will also take place in the Exhibit Hall again this year, with a new day and time: Friday, Sept. 18 from 4 to 6 p.m.

For more information about the Exhibit Hall and 2015 ODA Annual Session, visit or like the ODA Annual Session Facebook page.