The countdown to HISS17 is in the final days. As I wrote the past two weeks, the best way to think about your prep for HIMSS17 is in three ways – education, vendors, and networking. This post is the last in a three-part series – focusing on networking. It has to be the last, you’ve probably finalized your schedule for education and vendors. Now, you’re thinking about what to pack at this point. For us Northerners that means pulling out some summer like clothes and shoes – I’m looking forward to that part!
Have you been to HIMSS conferences before and know tons of people in the industry? If so, networking is probably not an issue for you. Are you relatively new to HIMSS conferences and want to make a lot of new connections? If yes, then this post might be useful.
I know a few things about networking. After all, one of my daughters’ nicknames for me is the “network queen”. Here are some tips to consider:
Scheduled receptions and meetups – There are plenty of these including an orientation for first time attendees, opening reception for all attendees, local chapter events, vendor receptions, and topic focused meetups. John Lynn, founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network wrote a helpful post summarizing many of the scheduled meetups: Where to Meetup and Connect with People at #HIMSS17
Exhibit hall – The main walkway in the exhibit hall is where you will run into many people you know. If you’re working your exhibit hall plan, you still have plenty of time to network and find out what cool vendors your colleagues are checking out.
#HIMSS17 Hashtag Guide – This is a great tool from HIMSS. By following a few key topical hashtags, you will easily find other people interested in the same areas as you.
Business cards – Yes, even with LinkedIn and all the social media channels, you still need a big stack of business cards with you. My trick is to write any notes/follow-ups that I commit to on the back of the card and then schedule time in the two weeks after HIMSS to do all the follow-ups.
Heads up – You will see people everywhere on their laptops and phones checking their email and doing work. Yes, we all have jobs back home to keep up with but try to manage your email time so you have plenty of “heads up” time to meet people and connect. As one of my daughters likes to remind me, be in the moment!
Women in HIT – Kate Gamble of HealthSystemCIO.com asked me to write a post on specific sessions and events for women at this year’s conference. You can check it out here – Women Rising: How Aspiring Female Leaders Can Make the Most of HIMSS
Hope this series of HIMSS17 posts have been helpful for all of you attending – see you in Orlando!