Thursday 11 June 2009

Getting our teeth into Glasgow

Despite a 4am start from Cambridge, Duesseldorf or Malvern, Mark, Marie,Ulrich and I found ourselves relatively bright on the Banks of the Clyde in the early afternoon. We entered the Scottish Exhibition Centre, the day before the British Dental Association Annual Exhibition to find organised chaos reigning as we came into the hall to find and set up the NRW – Dental Technician Mission Stand. Afterwards, I inevitably got distracted with the camera photographing the Squinty bridge and the Exhibition Centre in glorious sunshine.

The remaining delegates arrived later in the afternoon as we had our introduction to Scotland, with James from the Hotel Marriott reception reading out some of Burn's “Ode to a Toothache” to drive home the point of Scotland as an independent nation. Delegates also learnt how to find USPs or examples of their work unique to them by using their answers to client's specific questions and problems. Dinner in a Glasgow Tapas bar broke the ice that evening.

The next day, the German dental technicians put their new found skills to good use at the exhibition. With free internet access, I enjoyed returning the favour of the friendly and helpful reception at various stands with collecting their Tweets for my twitter blogs.

The afternoon included a visit to the exceptional Visage lifestyle Clinic where Dr Attiq Rahman, Director, introduced us to a top of the market, Harley Street clinic, combining Dentistry with Cosmetic treatments. We were all fascinated by the apparently Glass bowl like treatment room, with the treatment chair visible from reception. With smile, Attiq flicked a switch and the intelligent glass became opaque. Waiting patients could therefore gauge when the treatment room was in use or not.

We dined that night at the Piccolo Mondo where I enjoyed my Salmon and discovered an unexpected fellow Chocoholic when the after dinner mints arrived! Fortunately our preferences differed sufficiently; I enjoyed the square mints, my unnamed choclateur (or should that be chocolateuse?) preferred the round orange ones which all our colleagues generously donated to us!

Friday Morning brought us to the equally impressive Scottish Centre for Excellence in Dentistry. Arshad Ali BDS, FDSRCS (Eng & Edin), FDSRCPS (Glasg), DRD, MRD RCS (Edin) Welcomed us to his Top of the Market clinic, into which they had recently moved before dashing off to the BDA exhibition in his Bentley. Rodger & Kevin McLaughlin, father and son in house dental technicians and German speakers gave us a considerable amount of their time. Again, we were impressed by how a dental business vision could be taken to a high level.

Then it was back to the exhibition to support our Scotland based speaker Dr Tobias Rinke at the Seminar on German double crown telescope techniques to a packed room. He was introduced by Consul General Moessinger, who had lent his support to our mission and chatted amiably with us at the reception with invited guests immediately afterwards. The Consul General also gave me an impromptu tweet which, with a twinkle iin his eye, he wished Alex Salmond could see!

A good introductory talk on the BDA by Clare Crishop and colleague, a meeting with Henry of Raconteur, who provide the insert pages for The Times, and many others that we met at the exhibition made this a memorable but exhausting day. But now it was time to Party! Bernd had obtained invites for all of us to the BDA Party at the Corinthian. I was flagging by 11 and returned to a welcome bed – the hardcore party goers stayed on till well after 1pm!

Whilst the party goers recovered the next morning, I made an early dash into Glasgow for a second photo tour of the Merchant City and attractive city centre. After supporting Tobias' second seminar, we went on to Dental Technology Services. I can only describe it as the Shock and Awe visit as we were shown the future of dental technical services and support by Alex Littlejohn and his sons. The forward looking family team have built up an impressive business that has acquired sufficient clout to be approached by those companies seeking places to test cutting edge equipment.

The end of the NRW Mission left us better informed and willing to look towards uniting for further action in order to support the efforts of German dental technicians interested in the UK market.

You can read our tweets collated at

Relevant German articles
on interesting business introduction and setting your company apart from others at:

Participating companies were:
Dentaform GmbH, Schroeter Dentallabor GmbH, Schueler Dental-Technik, Ivorydent, Zahntechnik Horchmer & Joyeaux Meisterlabor, Zahntechnik Peters GmbH, Ulrich Schultheis Zahntechnik, Zahntechnik Roland Volkhardt, Form+Funktion
Dentaltechnik GmbH
, Dental-Labor Froesch GmbH, Teeth 'R' Us, Cooperation for Dental Comfort.

DE Organisers – Bety Chu of NRW International, Marie-Theres Luetje of Handwerkskammer Duesseldorf and Bernd Krey of the Handwerkskammer Koeln

UK organisation & support – Mark Dodsworth Europartnerships Ltd, Chris Thomas Milton Contact Ltd, Audra Green & Helen Murfin of Virtual Advantage

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