HIMSS#17 is Coming! HIMSS Executives Share Key Insights

Jan 19, 2017 Lauren Arnold

It’s January so for those in health IT, that means final preparations are underway for HIMSS17 - the industry-leading conference that brings together the brightest minds in health and IT. More than 40,000 health IT professionals, clinicians, executives and vendors around the world will gather on February 19-23 in Orlando to talk about the state of the industry today and its future direction. Since many of our clients are attending and/or exhibiting at the conference and we want to ensure they have the best experience possible, we are thrilled to bring to you a series of conversations with the experts who know the industry like no one else. In addition to speaking with reporters at leading health IT magazines which we will detail in subsequent posts, we went straight to the experts who are responsible for helping put together a dynamic conference year after year. I had the pleasure of once again of speaking with Karen Malone, vice president, meeting services, and JoAnn Klinedinst, vice president of professional development, to learn what’s new at the conference and how to take advantage of all the sessions, keynotes and networking events.

Q: What is the theme of the conference this year?

A: A major theme this year is healthcare reform, which is on the minds of everyone today. HIMSS is the largest healthcare conference to be held after the presidential inauguration, so we want to explore where healthcare reform stands at this point and the impact to health IT. Former Speaker of the House John Boehner will provide his perspective on America’s future and insights on the changes in health IT. We will also be hosting fireside chats on the practical implications of healthcare reform and the state of the health IT industry. In addition to healthcare reform, additional key areas that will be addressed at the conference include cybersecurity, connected health, interoperability, data analytics and innovation.

More so than other years, people want to come together and talk with their peers about the possible changes and solutions. As such, we have made networking a priority, creating more networking activities and having more networking areas to facilitate discussions. We want to ensure that it is as easy as possible for people to connect and learn from each other.

Q: What’s new this year at HIMSS17?

Attendees will see a lot more innovation this year, not only from newcomers but from companies that have been in the market place for a few years. We are seeing the health and wellness industry being transformed by disruptive digital health technology like wearable devices and patient engagement systems and our HX360 Innovation Zone will showcase these early- to growth-stage companies that are developing game-changing technologies that are challenging existing models of care delivery and how we we think about health.

We are offering HIMSS 365 to extend the life of the conference beyond the show floor. Visitors are able to search online to take a deeper dive into the products and services being talked about, connect with others and provide feedback.

The show is also more experiential this year, offering attendees the chance to interact firsthand with the technology they are learning about. For instance, our Innovation Zone enables attendees to become a healthcare product and solutions maker. They can explore hands-on tools for learning, design and invention.  

Our “View from the Top: What You can Learn from the Experts” series brings together leaders and experts to explore leadership, patient engagement, precision medicine and other key themes in healthcare today to provide new ways of thinking .For instance, with patient engagement to help improve outcomes being a hot topic today, an executive from Hilton Hotels will talk about how it has reimagined the guest experience and how the digital services and tools it created can help increase the feeling of control and more powerful engagement for patients in the hospital setting. In addition, the health IT field has proven difficult for women to achieve pay equity with their male counterparts and secure the highest level positions. Our “Shattering the Glass Ceiling: Lessons Learned for Aspiring Female Executives” discusses lessons learned, experiences and counsel from three female executives who champion women in health IT. Attendees can hear firsthand how these women addressed challenges in the workplace and how they can inspire others.

Q: A lot of our clients are emerging growth health IT companies. Do you have advice for them to make the most of the show and not get lost in the noise of larger, more established companies?

A: For the first time, we are offering a new concierge service to provide VIP assistance to attendees to help provide a seamless conference experience. From assistance with travel and logistics to designing a tailored, personalized agenda, our Star Service is great for first-time attendees.

Preparation is critical. Attendees must do their homework-from perfecting their sales pitch to researching who will be at the conference to knowing what people are looking for in products and services. Companies are making a significant investment in attending and/or exhibiting the conference so they need to ensure they make the most out of the show. This includes networking. Don’t underestimate the benefits of meeting with peers and those in other industries. This is one reason why people come back year after year.

Thank you so much, Karen and JoAnn, for chatting with us about HIMSS17. We look forward to seeing you at the conference!

Topics: Healthcare, PR, 2017

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