11 Tips to Have a Successful HIMSS20

Before, after and during: make sure you’re prepared for HIMSS20

This article was published on March 2, 2020

Whether it is your first time attending a conference or your 50th, to have a successful and fun experience, it is important to prep. At HIMSS20, you will be surrounded by the best of the health information and technology industries for a week, and without a plan of attack, you could feel lost amongst all of the informational sessions and networking opportunities.

Before, while there and after, here is what you need to know to make the most of your time and a lasting impression at the HIMSS20 Conference.

Before HIMSS:

1. Research, research, research!

Before you are even on the plane — or in the car — on your way to the HIMSS20 Conference, make a top priority list of who you want to meet, what you want to see and what sessions you want to attend.

When Chris Nagorny, Director of Client Experience at Emelar, attended HIMSS for the first time he did little to prepare and felt a little lost.

“My first time at HIMSS, I did little to no research on industry trends and hot topics. Researching increases the value of the conference because you know the trends and the vendors you are meeting beforehand instead of trying to figure it out as you go,” Nagorny says.

2. Know the networking opportunities

HIMSS allows for an amazing experience and opportunity to meet the top healthcare and technology industry leaders and form professional relationships. Find networking events and welcome parties to attend and be prepared for long days filled with lots of socializing. Be sure to practice your elevator pitch a few times!

During HIMSS:

While some of these may seem obvious, don’t forget to:

3. Wear comfy shoes

Heels or new leather loafers may seem like a good style choice, but if your feet are in pain, you won’t want to walk around — or socialize — all day.

4. Pack Snacks

If you’re busy networking, finding something to eat can be difficult. Avoid this and pack some extra healthy snacks in your bag to fuel up throughout the day!

5. Don’t forget your business cards

An obvious thing to remember, but when concluding an interaction after exchanging business cards, take notes on the conversation and document the next steps to prompt your memory for a follow-up.

6. Attend in-booth presentations

By attending in-booth presentations, you are setting yourself up for great networking opportunities while being exposed to all the latest and greatest information from the vendors. Bonus: Oftentimes, refreshments are served.

7. Take breaks

Take advantage of the different quiet areas in the exhibit hall to decompress and recharge throughout the day.

After HIMSS:

8. Organize Yourself

No matter how many times you told yourself that you would stay on top of your emails during your week out of the office, there is bound to be an enormous to-do list from your week away.

Use the Friday after, as well as the weekend, to reflect, unwind and recharge from the crazy week. Organize the notes you took, the business cards you received and begin your follow-up process. Decide which contacts require an immediate follow up against those who are not as urgent. Then, plan a schedule to give those contacts and leads a call.

Throughout:

9. Write-up observations and lessons learned

Immediately after HIMSS, write up observations and lessons that you learned throughout the week so they are not lost and you can reflect on them later.

While you could wait until the end of the week to do this, you can also take 10 to 15 minutes after each day of the conference to journal.

10. Meet with your team

This step should be done before, after and during the event.

Before: Meet with your team to discuss expectations going in. Know what you are trying to achieve.

During: Hold pre- and post-day meetings to share high profile findings or interactions as well as what is and is not working well in terms of what you are trying to achieve.

After: Now that the conference is over, reflect. Did you meet your goals? Then, create a plan of attack and execute the opportunities that have since become available.

11. Have Fun

Above all of these tips and most important: have fun! Enjoy your workweek outside of the office.


Did we miss anything? Let us know how you are preparing for HIMSS20 or any other conferences!