Heading to #HIMSS19 (Or Any Other Industry Conference This Year)? Plan Your Trip in 60 Minutes

Jessie GolombieckiHealthcare IT, The Netgain Team

HIMSS19 Planning

HIMSS19 is the largest source of healthcare IT education, innovation, and exhibition. With thousands of vendors and hundreds of educational sessions, the mega-conference ups their game every.single.year.

If you’re like most executives, you lack the time needed to adequately prepare for the conference, you’re trying to stay on top of work while you’re at the conference, and you’re overwhelmed with the amount of work that is waiting for you when you get back from the conference.

This year, try a different approach. By setting aside 60 minutes before you leave for the show, we can help you be more deliberate about your HIMSS experience. The hour you spend planning for HIMSS19 will pay off when you walk into the exhibit hall of 40,000 attendees, 1,300 exhibitors and 400+ education sessions.

Set Your Objectives – 10 Minutes

If you don’t have objectives going into HIMSS19, you run the risk of accomplishing nothing while you’re there. Are you attending to earn education credits? Are you looking for specific solutions for your practice? Are you hoping to find a new job? HIMSS19 has something for everyone, so set your objectives and plan around them.

Plan Your Education Strategy – 15 Minutes

One of HIMSS’ greatest strengths is the educational sessions they provide on so many topics. Take 15 minutes to review the tracks, categories, and times of the education sessions that are of most interest to you and your practice.

Use the HIMSS19 site to search for tracks that fit your role and objectives like Cybersecurity, Privacy & Security, Health Information Exchange, Interoperability, Data Integration & Standards and so many more. Use the Filter function to filter by your topic of interest, CE credit or audience.

HIMSS also offers a tool on this page that allows you to add and store sessions to your personal agenda so you can easily access them later.

If you prefer to plan via paper, no problem! Download the HIMSS19 brochure and circle or highlight your education tracks to ensure you know where you’re going and when!

Identify Which Vendors You Want to Connect With – 15 Minutes

You’ll have access to over a thousand innovative, industry-leading vendors in the healthcare technology space during your time at HIMSS19. Review your IT Roadmap for the next 18-36 months and identify what strategic partnerships you’ll need to develop to take your organization where you want to go.

Use the HIMSS’ exhibitor search to find where exhibitors are located within the hall or search for exhibitors by category or service offering.

If you’d like to meet up with us at HIMSS (you should!), send an email to sales[at]netgaincloud[.]com and we’ll get something our calendars before things get too hectic at the show.

Next, identify 3-5 questions that you want to get answered by each of the vendors on your list. This will ensure that your conversation stays on-track and is focused on what YOU need out of the conversation.

Plan The Logistics – 10 Minutes

Depending on where you’re staying, you may have to walk, use public transportation or use one of the HIMSS-provided shuttles to get to and from the convention center. Before you leave, figure out how far your lodging is from the convention center, how you’ll get to and from, and how long it’ll take, so you can plan accordingly. HIMSS offers this great hotel map and a shuttle schedule and routes to help you plan.

Get Social – 5 Minutes

It’s not all business! One of the great things about conferences like HIMSS19 is that you get to connect with other industry leaders, build your own brand and have fun while you’re in town.

Spend some time identifying who you want to connect with while you’re at HIMSS19, which networking events you want to attend and where else you want to visit while you’re in Orlando!

Set Aside Post-Conference Time – 5 Minutes

Don’t skip this step! This is arguably the most important step in planning. Open your calendar and find 1-2 hours in the day or two after you get back from HIMSS and block it off!

Use this time to review the notes you took in education sessions and craft an action plan for what you learned. Review the notes from exhibitors you met with and reach out to the ones who offered a product or service that your organization needs in the next 12-18 months. And lastly, send a quick overview of the conference, including your desired objectives and valuable findings to your physicians, board, and/or team. Let them know about the valuable things you learned and show them the value of sending you to HIMSS19.

Now, it’s time to high five yourself! You’re going to show up at HIMSS19 with a purposeful plan that is valuable to both you and your organization. Plus, you’ll enjoy the show and be more relaxed because of the margin you’ve created for yourself. See you at HIMSS19 or set-up a personal call to discuss cloud computing options in your healthcare organization!