After months of planning and prep, the annual Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference once again came and went in the blink of an eye. More than 45 thousand healthcare professionals across 13 hundred organizations landed in Las Vegas with a goal of discovering the promise of health information technology while hoping to catch the eye of a few potential prospects along the way.
Now, we all know that at a show as crowded and competitive as HIMSS, standing out among the masses is much easier said than done. That being said, there are a few quick and effective steps to help any organization make the most of a show this size. Check out a few examples below:
- Post, tweet, like and share - Using social channels to promote your company’s presence both leading up to as well as during the show is a simple way to update your stakeholders on all things happening at your booth. Platforms like Hootsuite are an easy way to schedule a steady stream of social content throughout the show, where sales and business development teams can share and promote the content to their network. Not sure where to begin? To start, think about which channels your key audiences are most likely to be monitoring - Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn - and use those platforms to highlight what unique offerings your organization will be showcasing. A few topics to fuel your post cadence include product news and demos, internal executive and customer attendees and general booth number and location info. It’s also a great opportunity to repurpose existing brand content - think blog posts, whitepapers or byline placements - and tie it to major trends happening on the show floor. Also, be sure to check out what topics and hashtags the HIMSS social media ambassadors are focusing on to see how your organization can insert itself into key social conversations happening in real time.
- Realize that no news can be good news - Some of the biggest healthcare IT news announcements of the year always happen on the HIMSS showfloor, and the 2018 conference was no exception. Take a look at this year’s HIMSS headlines: “Google announces Cloud Healthcare API to unlock health data,” “Cerner, Salesforce partner on population health,” “UnitedHealthcare adds Apple Watch to Motion employee wellness program.” Needless to say, if you’re a small-to-mid sized organization, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. Instead, consider making your big announcement either pre- or post-show in order to make a bigger impact. Not only are you more likely to see higher coverage numbers, but the news cycle should also be a bit slower - allowing your headline to stay top of mind for longer.
- Never forget to network - Nearly every company exhibiting at a show like HIMSS brings someone from their marketing department along for the ride. Thankfully, HIMSS is well aware of this and offers a number of events during the conference specifically aimed at healthcare IT marketers. The annual New Media Meetup is a great example. We cannot stress enough how important it is to take advantage of these types of events! Not only is it a great way to network, but it will allow you to hear first-hand what other players and influencers in the space are doing to make the most of their marketing efforts. Listen and learn.
Needless to say, HIMSS can be one of the most exciting (and intimidating!) times of the year for anyone in the healthcare IT business. But by taking the right steps to maximize your time and presence at the show, you can ensure that your team is set up for success months after the madness concludes.