#HIMSS16 is here - Get your head in the game

By Ashlea Cartee on February 26th, 2016

From the “Windy City” to “Sin City”, HIMSS16 is bound to be another thrilling conference full of insightful sessions, bringing together collaborators and innovators from across the country. On Monday, a wave of 40,000+ healthcare professionals and technology enthusiasts will arrive in Las Vegas to attend the largest healthcare IT conference of the year.

The key with a conference the size of HIMSS is to go in with a plan. Here are 5 tips that will keep you in check as HIMSS16 approaches.

1. Planning ahead is essential. To all you procrastinators, this is not the time. In order to make your experience at HIMSS a success, you need to plan out your time accordingly. Use the power of the checklist to make your life simpler and more productive. Here are a few things to put on your list:

  • If you scheduled meetings with prospects and clients, plan them out in detail. Where? When? With who? How will you get from point A to point B?
  • Collaborate with your sales and marketing team to create a messaging strategy that aligns with your company’s brand.
  • Promote your presence at HIMSS on social media to connect with colleagues, prospects and clients who are also attending.
  • Don’t forget to pack lots of business cards!

2. Design your own experience. Make your plan of attack prior to arriving in Vegas. Take time to plan your experience carefully by viewing the agenda on the HIMSS16 site. There are two main features of the conference: educational sessions and the exhibition. If you are attending the conference with a team, it may be beneficial to divide up who will attend what to maximize your exposure to what the conference offers. If you know a certain session will increase your knowledge in a topic that resonates with a client and will be beneficial to bring up in conversation, we encourage you to attend that one.

3. The venue map and HIMSS app are your new companions. If aren’t aware yet, there will be more than 1,300 vendors exhibiting in the Sands Expo, which occupies the space equivalent to 22 NFL football fields. Put some time on your calendar to review the map to get familiar with the venue. This will save time and prevent giving the wrong first impression to prospects due to lateness. Also, be sure to give yourself ample time for traveling between vendors, which is especially important when scheduling a meeting with a company representative.

The HIMSS16 Mobile App is every attendee’s lifesaver. Once you have reviewed the map before the conference, the app is beneficial to use while your on-the-go in Vegas. It provides basically any HIMSS-related information to you at your fingertips, including education sessions, exhibition hall, networking events and more. The app also has a new networking feature that allows you to position yourself as a thought leader by sharing opinions on industry updates and announcements. You can download by searching for HIMSS in the iTunes store or Google play.

4. Be a social butterfly. Network before, during and after the conference. The opening reception kicks off the networking events on Monday after the keynote at 7 pm in the Exhibit Hall. From breakfasts to receptions, HIMSS offers numerous networking events that you can plan to attend and connect with others that share the same interests as you.

Social media is a great way to connect with people at HIMSS16. Check out the official hashtag guide and make sure you’re using these on Twitter to keep up with hot topics in conversations. Additionally, be sure to post timely photos on Twitter to help those who are hundreds of miles away feel as if they are experiencing the conference right there with you.

5. Enjoy it! HIMSS can be overwhelming for first timers, but hey you’re in Vegas among thousands of industry influencers. Enjoy your time sharing insights with colleagues, prospects and clients. It's okay if you can't see and do it all while you're at the conference. Schedule as much as you can, but leave yourself a little free time to reflect on everything you've learned.

With HIMSS, there is certainly no shortage of things to look forward to or prepare for. As you attend the conference, remember why you’ve joined thousands of your healthcare IT peers. Connect. Collaborate. Innovate. See you there!

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