HIMSS17 Advice from a Social Media Ambassador

HIMSS17 Advice from a Social Media Ambassador


With light up sneakers and her Twitter handle necklace, this #healthITchick knows how to show up & stay fierce

Attending the annual HIMSS conference can be incredibly rewarding – and also overwhelming. Attendance at the conference in recent years has topped 40,000 people, and the number of sessions, meetings, vendors, meetups and events is staggering.  To get the most out of your HIMSS17 experience it is critically important to be well prepared. Here’s my advice:

Set Goals:  Taking some time to identify goals for the conference before diving into building an agenda helps me to prioritize my choices when there are multiple options for a given time slot. Do you need to get Continuing Ed Credits? Do you want to build your personal network?  Are you looking to evaluate specific vendor offerings? Let these goals be your guide when deciding how you are going to spend your time

MaxHIMSS17-3Join the Conversation:   There is an active and growing conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #HIMSS17, as well the multiple official & unofficial hashtags related to the conference. Even if you are not normally a “twitter person,” this is a great way to identify people and events that you may be interested in connecting with before you get to the show. Not sure where to start? Check out the HIMSS17 Social Media Ambassadors.  There’s even a #HIMSSHP hashtag for those who are super excited about HIMSS night at Harry Potter (or maybe that’s just me)

Make a Plan:  The best plans are informed by goals – there is no “best way” to do HIMSS. Some people will attend only education sessions, some will conduct business meetings, some will spend all of their time in the exhibition hall. HIMSS has some great tools in their app and the conference webpage to help you build your agenda. I have found it super helpful to add my meetings and parties into my schedule on the app so that everything is automatically in the right time zone and in one calendar. Want to make sure you visit a specific vendor? There is an interactive map both on the web and the app.

Be Prepared: Wear comfortable shoes. This is key. You will easily walk 20,000 plus steps in a day without even realizing it. Bad shoes on one day can ruin your whole conference. Other essential items include:

  • Phone Charger
  • Portable Battery pack
  • Band-Aids
  • Business Cards
  • Hotspot

Talk to People: The most valuable resource at HIMSS is the people. If networking is not in your comfort zone, plan to push yourself in little ways. Attend a meetup with folks whose interests align with yours (I’ll be attending the #HCLDR and #HealthITChicks meetups.) Bring a battery pack or charger that has two ports, so you can share. Speak with at least one stranger a day.

Follow Up: When you arrive home, with your pile of business cards and a stream of new information swirling in your head – reach out and establish a connection with the folks that you met. Connect on LinkedIn, send an email, or even write a personal note and send it through snail mail to acknowledge your new connections.

Questions? Stop by our HIMSS17 Booth #4448 or contact us below: 

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