The Rose Bowl is called “the granddaddy of them all” when it comes to college bowl games. Perhaps the annual HIMSS conference needs a similar nickname. In the eyes of many, it’s the healthcare IT meeting.
HIMSS19 promises to be an opportunity to meet other champions of health IT, with hundreds of educational sessions and networking opportunities — not to mention more than 1,300 vendors. Attendees are not only looking forward to networking with industry colleagues, but also soaking in interesting ideas and uncovering valuable takeaways on interoperability, patient engagement and healthcare consumerism. Yet with so much going on, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and lose sight of your objectives.
Success at HIMSS requires a clear, strategic game plan.
When you walk into the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando next week — along with more than 45,000 of your closest friends — be prepared to maximize the event. Consider using a few of the strategies we’ve learned over the years:
- Know your goals — and your limits. What do you hope to accomplish at the conference? Long before you hop on the plane or jump in the car to Orlando, write down your goals. Just be sure to keep the list realistic. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to cram in so much activity that nothing really gets done. Prioritize. If you’re attending with colleagues, take a divide-and-conquer approach. Meet in advance to pool your collective objectives and determine who’s responsible for achieving what.
- Plan ahead. Use the days before the show to schedule meetings with clients, prospects and colleagues. The calendar is your friend — and so are meeting maps. Check out the Orange County Convention Center’s online floor plans to learn your way around in advance. The seven million square feet of meeting space offer plenty of places for coffee and conversation, so be sure to define exactly when, where, and with whom each meeting will occur.
- Build relationships. Yes, there’s a lot to learn from the 22 educational tracks at HIMSS19. But just as valuable are the opportunities to build relationships with clients, prospects and colleagues. Use #HIMSS19 to chat with other attendees and keep up with the latest show news on Twitter. Take advantage of the many networking events, starting with the opening reception on Monday night. At HIMSS, sometimes it’s OK to skip class!
- Follow up. For most of us, a productive show means we’ve laid the groundwork for long-term connections. To solidify that foundation, be sure to put your new contacts in your CRM system and include notes from your conversation. Consider sending personalized “good to see you” emails using your marketing automation tool after your meetings. Or, include your new contacts in informative lead nurturing campaigns.
- Never stop learning. HIMSS is all about fostering learning and growth. With that ideal in mind, take some time after the conference to reflect on lessons learned — and don’t limit those lessons to health IT. What best practices have you learned about maximizing your tradeshow effectiveness? For a few more conference success strategies, take a look at our complimentary whitepaper, Craving Face Time: Strategies for making the most of tradeshows.
HIMSS is all about coming together as a community to solve shared challenges. It’s about deepening relationships and building solutions. It’s an energizing experience, and we can’t wait to see you there!