HIMSS attracts more than 40,000 attendees and exhibitors from the world’s largest companies, and each year, it continues to grow. It’s a full week of educational sessions, networking opportunities, and exhibitions.
I first attended HIMSS in 2015, and even then, it was overwhelming. I was so focused on attending every interesting session that I didn’t make time to network with my peers, fully experience the exhibition hall, or have fun. Needless to say, I did not have a great time. I was sent to HIMSS to bring back new information for my team, so I wanted to make sure I filled my time with learning. I stuck almost exclusively to the educational sessions, but HIMSS has so much to offer than that.
In order to get the most out of your HIMSS 2020 experience, you need to embrace the different opportunities at your disposal. Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned attendee, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your time at HIMSS this year.
Attend at least one session each day.
If you’re in charge of a booth in the exhibition hall, you may be limited on when you’re able to leave for a session. That means it’s important to create a booth schedule for you and your team. This will help you squeeze in a session where possible. If you’re flying solo in the exhibition hall, your slowest time will be first thing in the morning, so you may be able to fit in a keynote session.
The sheer number of sessions can be overwhelming, so rather than going through every single page of the schedule, use the search function to look up terms associated with topics you’re interested in learning more about. This year, you’ll probably find that social determinants of health (SDOH) are prominently featured in sessions. To get you started, some search terms we’re interested in this year are interoperability, analytics, APIs, data security, and telehealth.
Here are some interesting sessions from this year’s lineup.
- Harness the Power of Analytics Storytelling to Improve Outcomes
- Massive Interoperability: High-Performance Data Sharing at Scale
- Addressing SDOH through Data, Analytics and Technology
- The Future of APIs: Patient, Provider and Vendor Perspectives
- The Future of Digital Health: Lessons from Around the World
Find some networking events that interest you.
HIMSS is a great place for networking. One of the key takeaways from my first HIMSS experience was that I didn’t take advantage of networking opportunities. There are a few ways to get involved with networking at HIMSS.
- Scheduled Events. HIMSS hosts their own after hours receptions for networking. These are events with an additional cost (around $40–$75) where you can interact with healthcare professionals who have similar interests to you. After my first HIMSS, I always made a point of attending the Millennials or Women in Health IT receptions when I could.
- Company Parties. As you interact with organization’s on the exhibition floor, you’ll likely get invited to happy hours from 4:30–5:30 p.m. at their booth or after hours parties at local restaurants. These are great opportunities to learn more about how their tools can support your organization and meet other businesses with similar needs and problems.
- Networking areas. HIMSS provides several networking areas where you can sit and interact with your peers. Some of these locations will be accompanied by educational sessions and Q&As to spark discussion amongst attendees.
Get involved on social media. Consider following the #HIMSS20 hashtag. Already, companies are taking to Twitter to promote their booth, speaking sessions, and other activities. Linkedin, Twitter, and Instagram are all great ways to interact and keep a pulse on what’s going on throughout the week.
Come find us.
This year at HIMSS, you can find Formstack in the Innovation Center at booth 8200-26 and on the exhibition floor at booth 7469. On Wednesday, March 11, at 9:45 a.m., we’ll be talking with Kevin Howell of AdventHealth about how they used Formstack to transform patient registration across their organization.