Saturday, 16 October 2010
Women shrouded on chairs with a rictus grin, exposing their blue lined teeth. Cabinets filled with gleaming sharp instruments and pliers. Was this the torture chamber of the London Dungeon? No, I was walking past stands at the BDTA Dental Showcase 2010 in the ExCel, London!
I had made my way there to meet up with Ulrich Heker of Teeth"R"Us. Ulrich is an expert in precision dental attachments and was showing his expertise at D21a. It was good to come and see him, not only as a former participant with a German delegation to Glasgow in 2009, but as a friend through working together.
Ulrich had seen a need to train UK dentists in the art of German high quality precision dental work. We worked together and wrote articles for The Technologist and other dental magazines. You can find the electronic versions here.
His stand was already very busy. Both Ulrich and Christian Eis, a dentist partner, were talking to interested visitors. So I picked up some leaflets and wandered around the show to find other possible partners for Ulrich and Christian.
The BDTA was a fascinating show. You could find everything, from a new type of toothbrush to the complete dental laboratory. The ladies in shrouds were willing volunteers for tooth whitening. Hydrogen peroxide is the agent used to bleach the teeth and can be applied in a variety of ways. At the other end of the hall was a glass dental laboratory where new methods were being shown. The audience could look in from three sides, with a screen giving added information.
One of the ironies of the show was the ubiquitous use of sweets and chocolates to entice visitors to the stands. Either that, or it was a clever ploy to increase business in the longer term. The definite disappointment was the overpriced ciabatta with its limp salad at the cafe in the arena.
After making some successful new contacts and finding the stand still in full swing, I took a walk out of the show.
The bridge across the crane-lined Royal Victoria dock was in the fligh path of London City airport. This was a good site for photos of the jets and turbo-jet planes flying overhead. I then made my way to Barrier Park by the river, to catch a full view of the spectacular Thames Barrier. It was officially opened in 1984 to protect London from exceptional high tides and weather conditions that could threaten to flood London. In the 1980s it was closed four times, and in the 1990s, 35 times. Perhaps it is an sign of global warming that in the first decade of this century, it has been closed 75 times already.
The Docklands Light Railway swept in a futuristic curve overhead. So I took the lift up at Pontoon Dock station to catch a train to the next stop. My hope was to get a clear picture of the 02 Arena, which I remembered from the Millenium show. I found the East India Dock nature reserve after a further walk and took my photos from there. Slightly stained by age, the dome was still a spectacular sight.
The city high rise buildings glinted quite close in the West but my time and the light were running out. So it was back to meet up with Ulrich and party. They had had a steady stream of visitors and also identified more interest by dental magazines, plus possible opportunities with training institutions.
Now, at the end of a long day, it was top marks to Ulrich for finding a good food pub (The Fox) a short walk from the West entrance of Excel! Having been generously treated to a meal, I sadly had to leave. Catching the late train back to Cambridge, I arrived home at last, shortly before midnight.
This was a positive day out, for business and photography.
Have you visited any great exhibitions and locations recently?