Live Life Alarms were an exhibitor at the 120th VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) convention in Orlando, Florida. Even though we are an Australian founded company with our headquarters in Newcastle, NSW, in the last few years we’ve opened an office in Salt Lake City, Utah and also an office in Calgary, Canada. In that time the Live Life mobile alarm has become a prescribed and fully paid for item for US and Canadian Veterans through the US VA program and the Canadian VAC (Veterans Affairs Canada) program. This means any Veteran in these countries who wants to stay mobile and is at risk of falls can simply have a Live Life Alarm prescribed to them by their VA Doctor and paid in full by VA or VAC.
The 2019 VFW Convention was a complete success, however the work has just started. This year the 4-day event was set in Orlando with over 10,000 total attendees including Veterans, Auxiliary members, key VFW leaders, politicians, Federal staff and more. This would be the 2nd year Live Life Alarms would attend as an exhibitor with over 200 others wanting to show their product and services. This year a change was made to exhibit in the main section instead of the Health Fair section in hopes that we would reach out to more business minded leaders to report back to their posts about our product. We also paid close attention to the agenda to take advantage of any meetings or trainings that may need our attendance. The decision paid off as each day was a success. To highlight a few successes:
Our first significant visit came from a company selling a medical alert device. They asked a few questions as we were able to highlight how our device not only activates when it detects a fall and is mobile throughout the North America Continent, but also text and calls family and friends and 911. They were impressed with our sleek design and the advances we were making for the future with our 4GX device. We are confident he left with respect for our company and our ability to show many Veterans how it works and how it compares to what else is out there for Veterans.
We had many questions and comments from Veterans on how they view our device and what assistance they would like to have when using it. They gave us valuable insight on what would make it easier for medical providers to order our device while writing the consult to what caretakers should have to better understand how to help the wearer in time of need, how to keep track of it and ensure it is working. This will allow us to increase order requests from other locations, improve our customer service and increase customer satisfaction.
We were able to speak with other businesses in different product segments that gave us tips and recommendations on how to increase business with the VA. They showed us improvements they made with their brochure and also gave us valuable insight on who to contact when working with the VA to increase product awareness. They also showed us how making it simple for medical providers to copy and paste a message into the consult would increase orders. We met other businesses that saw the value of our product and want to align themselves closely with us and see if there are any synergies that could be taken advantage of by working together. Health Advocates is one of the organizations that will be contacting us soon to see how we can join them with speaking to other Veterans while they get them their benefits. Another interesting experience is meeting a couple Veteran Affairs benefit administrators that were there to help Veterans take advantage of their rightful VA Benefits. They took a stack of our brochures and placed it at their booth because they saw the value in our product and wanted to showcase us as a great benefit they could have if they got registered and approved for VA Benefits.
We met Christina Lonigro from Health Advocates. She was the person that helped get Medical Alerts approved as a benefit paid for by the VA by writing to congress and having them added into legislation. She had a personal experience with her father and how he needed help but couldn’t get to his phone and that this caused more medical issues in his life that could have been avoided. She shared with us the history of what products were first introduced and how they evolved. She was very impressed with our technology and wanted to see what she could do to help us more. We have a follow up call with her and will get as much information as we can to progress with our brand awareness.
We met with old contacts from last year that were excited to see us in action. Many that have already received our product as well and were willing to talk to others in sharing that our product was the best. We took photos with them at our booth and they left with a deeper appreciation for our company and what we are doing. Many thanked us dearly for being there and for the good work that we were doing in educating more Veterans about this benefit paid for by the VA.
Last, but not least, we met Dr. Paul Lawrence who is the head of VA Benefits for the US. We spoke with him about our device. He saw the value of this and wants his mother to have one. We will get him one. He also introduced us to his colleague Lawrence Connell. Lawrence gave us a few minutes to have us show him how our device worked. He was impressed and said he would help do everything we can to get our product available to more Veterans. He gave us his card and wants to set up an appointment next week to talk next steps. He said that he will get us together with AJ Swingart who is responsible in getting us in front of the right people and tell us the best path to continued success with the VA. All in all, we spoke to the perfect people that will help us with the VA and we are very confident that they not only saw the value that our product can bring to Veterans in possibly saving their lives during an emergency, but also that we were committed to taking care of the Veterans throughout the entire process. They care about providing Veterans with the benefits that they have earned in a manner that honors their service, ensure they are choosing the best products and being responsible fiscally, and to foster a culture of collaboration with all involved. We took photos with Paul Lawrence and his team. What we didn’t know was that he would tweet about us and how products like us can benefit all Veterans in need. His publicist was following us throughout the meetings and using us as examples of how Dr. Lawrence is doing all he can to provide the Veterans with the benefits that they need. This was a tremendous opportunity to meet him and we hope to continue to build on this relationship as we will be able to show him more how committed we are to helping his cause.
There is so much work to do to take advantage of all these many opportunities. We are ready to focus on them wisely and ensure that we are doing all that we can to save lives with Live Life Alarms.