I recently got an email announcing that HIMSS17 is quickly approaching. As soon as the email appeared in my inbox, I thought about the collective attendee anxiety about the coming behemoth that is a HIMSS Annual Conference. Sure, the email boasted some impressive numbers like 1,200+ exhibiting companies and 250+ specialty exhibit area education sessions, but even that doesn’t quite capture the size and scope to be expected there.
My colleague, Chris Seib recently wrote a post on the HIMSS17 sessions he’s most excited about, but I am talking about survival here. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed with all that a HIMSS event has to offer, even for a conference veteran.
As an Eagle Scout, “be prepared” is a motto that I live by and has served me well over the years. The same rule can be applied to your HIMSS17 attendance for the best possible experience. I have outlined a checklist to help you be prepared so that you don’t just survive HIMSS17, you get ROI out of every minute there.
- Review the agenda and pick out the HIMSS17 sessions you want to attend – today. Spots fill up quickly, so do this before you do anything else. Seriously, stop reading this blog post and go finalize your sessions. (Don’t worry. I’ll be here when you’re done.)
- Find the exhibitors you want to visit right away, too. If you rely on “window-shopping” when you get to the exhibit hall, it is very likely that you will get lost in the sea of booths.
- At the conference, take advantage of shuttles to events whenever they are made available. You may prefer to travel alone, but remember Uber and Lyft impose rate hikes when demand is higher. Also, Orlando isn’t really known for its public transportation.
- Be open to networking and reach out to industry innovators beforehand for opportunities to meet. HIMSS17 is the perfect time to discuss all things about health IT with the brightest and boldest in the industry converging in one place. Don’t be shy either! I have noticed people involved with HIMSS are open and welcoming to any opportunity for engaging discussions. These meetings can be over coffee, dinner or even at your hotel pool, but the most important thing is to grab spots on calendars as soon as possible. Want to start networking right away? Join the InstaMed team for an evening of conversation, food and drinks after the HIMSS17 Opening Reception – RSVP today to reserve transportation to the event.
- Create events in your smartphone’s calendar for each of the sessions you want to attend, all networking events and even informal meetings, with ample time between each for travel time. Be sure to include all the necessary details in each calendar event, even if you think it might be overkill. Your smartphone can be your best friend at HIMSS17, so arm it with as much information as possible and it won’t let you down.
- I’m a little biased, but you have to come check out the innovation and latest product developments in healthcare payments at the InstaMed booth 609. Connect with me and the rest of the InstaMed team to discuss the InstaMed Secure Token and One Bill.
- Download the HIMSS17 mobile app and you will have a friend that you can really rely on. The map feature on the app is enough to recommend it, but the lists of speakers and exhibitors are robust features to help you navigate the miles of information in the conference hall.
- If you have gone to only one conference in your lifetime, then you probably know this simple truth: the rooms are cold. It’s worth mentioning this in my list, because I always see people who packed all their summer clothes for the sunny weather of a place like Orlando, only to find out the AC is on full blast inside.
- Speaking of clothes, be sure to put comfort and utility first. I recommend versatile business attire and shoes with rubber bottoms. You will be on your feet all day and in various settings. You don’t want to be forced to leave early, because your feet hurt or you weren’t dressed appropriately for a dinner at a fancy restaurant.
- Stay hydrated. HIMSS17 will be a marathon, not a sprint. The InstaMed booth 609 will have water for you all day.
- Finally, I’ll end my list with one of my favorite topics: dining out. You will find plenty of familiar restaurant names around Orlando. There are also great food spots off the beaten path worth trying out, too.
By Jeff Lin, Senior Vice President of Product Management at InstaMed
The views expressed within posted comments do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of InstaMed.