The HIMSS16 Conference & Exhibition is coming up. Scheduled for Feb. 29 to March 4 at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas, HIMSS boasts more than 40,000 attendees, 300 education sessions, and 1,300 exhibitors expected. This is one of health IT professionals’ best chances to network with peers, clinicians, vendors, payers and even executive recruiters. The environment can be overwhelming, so being prepared and managing time are keys to making HIMSS successful for you.
The following are some helpful tips for surviving HIMSS16:
- Be ready and willing to network heavily at the HIMSS Annual Conference, because this is the place to be. Even though it is huge, there are many sitting areas, eateries, and quiet spaces to sit and chat. Many of the exhibitor booths will have sitting areas or even private rooms to talk. I always see many people talking and networking at the hotel restaurants and lounges as well.
- Download the HIMSS16 Mobile App to simplify your planning.
- Sign up for CHIME/HIMSS CIO Forum, or attend the Pre-Conference Symposia, visit the HIMSS Opening Reception, view the keynote presentations; all of these events are a great chance to meet and see people in the industry that you might have only communicated with online or by phone.
- Accept as many vendor, media and reception get-togethers as you can handle, but choose the “club soda or soft drink” option over cocktails to make the best appearance.
- Share a cab with someone, and you may meet a new prospective employer or employee.
- Set up pre-arranged meetings with individuals before you go to HIMSS, either early morning, lunch or during the day.
- Dress for success: formal business suit is always appropriate, but comfortable walking shoes are advisable. Bring copies of your resume and business cards. Be friendly, outgoing and smile.
- In addition, be sure to read the Show Daily conference newspaper, visit the HIMSS book store and stop by HIMSS Career Services Center.
Happy conference attending to you! I encourage you to try to make 50 or more new important contacts in healthcare IT.