Putting a "Divide and Conquer" plan for HIMSS Into Place
The HIMSS conference has a multitude of education opportunities for you and your staff, but let’s just narrow those down to 3 kinds of content sessions: general sessions, concurrent sessions and exhibit sessions. From an ROI perspective, it’s helpful to select the sessions you want everyone to attend in advance. The beauty is now you have more people to cover more ground. Frankly, if you don't split up you're going to be missing out on useful information.
There will be so many sessions at HIMSS that it will likely be a struggle to narrow it down to those that would benefit to you and your organization. Going with a team makes this aspect of the HIMSS experience a little more tolerable because you can share the load of the sessions. However, it's still important to work together to plan ahead of time which sessions you will be attending so you don't find yourself all in the same sessions.
There are several types of sessions at HIMSS and you should know about them up front.
These are sessions that are intended for the full complement of attendees and exhibitors. They’re usually big names who speak on universal topics tangentially relevant to the conference theme. These sessions are going to be popular on social media so it's a good opportunity to get your smartphone out and share your thoughts about the speaker.
These are the meat and potatoes of the conference content and are scheduled throughout the conference agenda. They’re called “concurrent” because there are multiple sessions scheduled at the same time. The divide and conquer plan really comes into play with these sessions.
These feature a sponsor or exhibitor’s product or service that are marketing-focused rather than content-focused as part of their sponsorship/exhibitor fee. Don’t dismiss these. You can get great information about what’s new and cutting edge as well as scope out potential new partners.
Planning is Key
However you approach attending these sessions, identify the sessions you want to attend and the speakers each team member wants to hear before you all arrive. The sessions will have greater impact if the “right” people are attending them intentionally rather than if you're choosing sessions for each person haphazardly — especially if the topics are relevant to current challenges in your organization. Review the HIMSS schedule in advance to ensure that you have team presence in all the sessions that you need. Task each person with taking detailed notes so your group can meet for quick huddles between sessions to review. And it’s also important not to over-schedule yourself so that everyone can have time to network and meet other HIT pros.
Putting the HIMSS Experience All Together
After you've had your last slice of deep dish and the conference sessions have ended, you'll head home and work towards putting what you learned into practice. It's a good idea to schedule a series of meetings for each HIMSS attendee to discuss the sessions he or she attended along with any highlights or items that need follow up based upon information gained in this session. Having no post-HIMSS plan is a waste of all the knowledge and connections you've made. So make sure sure you get every bit of your money's worth out of HIMSS by dividing and conquering and then collaborating on the wisdom gained after the conference.
You can start collaborating now in the March to HIMSS community.
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More HIMSS Conference Resources
- Divide and Conquer at HIMSS
- 5 HIMSS Conference Essentials
- How to Get the Most out of Meeting with Vendors at HIMSS
- How to Continue the HIMSS Experience After the Conference