The Vallarta Medical Community

06 November, 2019
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Medical Matters in Puerto Vallarta

The title of my column here somehow became “Medical Matters” but this is never to be confused with what is the REAL Medical Matters! This is a massive event that we have in February at the Hotel Marriott Casamagna.

Medical Matters began about seven years ago when the US Consular agent and I decided to have a few physicians and hospitals with exhibits in a smaller sized room at the Marriott for folks to stop by, collect information and that was it. To say that it grew exponentially is an understatement.

The most recent Medical Matters (held the year before last, I decided to take a rest for a year!) had almost 4,000 people pass through the doors throughout the day. The Grand Ballroom at the Marriott is filled to capacity with healthcare related exhibits/providers offering information on everything from lab studies to vascular specialists to insurance information and everything in between. In addition, we have three separate rooms running with continuous speakers programs given by local physicians on a wide variety of topics.

This is for citizens from ALL countries.

We are pretty strict with who can participate as an exhibitor. They must be legal and licensed to work in the Banderas Bay area and be an established and reputable business.  We have limited exhibitors to only local businesses because the focus on what is available HERE in the area.

This is a no-charge event. Many people have suggested that I charge for this, even a nominal type fee like 50 pesos to attend. I waffle back and forth with this decision and have decided to keep it as a free event. Why? Believe me this is not a money-maker for Healthcare Resources. Exhibitors pay directly to the Hotel Marriott for their stands, not me. I still prefer to keep this open at no charge for people so that everyone is able to attend.

Attempting to operate this colossal event is daunting. It cannot be done without a small army of volunteers who assist with everything from registration to manning the doors of the speaker’s rooms. This is a no-pay gig and if you are interested and available to assist, please send me an email as I am just now putting together the details for volunteer duties.  Thank you!

We have not been without our challenges at past Medical Matters. The speakers rooms fill quickly and some, more ‘aggressive’ people actually fight over seats when they cannot have one.

In past Medical Matters, the Marriott prepares and has put out throughout the day wonderful snacks of muffins, cookies and the like. Attempting to keep some people from filling their bags with these led me to last year, serve fresh fruit and vegetables instead, making it a bit more difficult to overload a bag. Try doing that and not making a mess in the bag. Ha! And after all, this is a health event so better to have healthy snacks.

On the same theme, exhibitors complain that there are some people who rush in, run around the exhibitor’s room filling their bags with ‘free stuff’. Seriously. Pens and notepads, coffee cups and hand sanitizer; are they really that difficult to find around here?

All in all, I am extremely proud of this event! We are able to present everything health-related in one day along with featuring some of our very best physicians speaking on current topics.

So please save the date! February 11, 2019. Doors open at 9am. You will see massive amounts of publicity. So much so you will probably be sick of seeing it! But plan your day and we look forward to seeing you there! Now, my big challenge: my shoes for this year’s event!

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