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9 HIMSS Attendee Survival Tips

Get ready for one of the biggest healthcare information management events of the year, filled with extensive engaging content, leadership insight and plenty of walking. To prep for this whirlwind conference, let's focus on HIMSS survival tips during the hectic conference in Orlando March 11-15 at the Orange County Convention Center.

  1. Prepare Your Conference Approach- Explore the differing attendee paths at HIMSS24 curated to your role's healthcare leadership challenges. Review the snapshots of educational sessions and speaker bios, along with the schedule at a glance, to help strategize your time and education focuses for the jampacked event. Download the HIMSS24 Mobile App for your iPhone, Android or iPad device for convenient use while at the conference.

  2. Take advantage of first-timer orientation sessions- HIMSS will lead on-site conference orientation sessions with Q/A opportunities from HIMSS staff. Sessions will take place on Monday, March 11 at 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. ET and Tuesday, March 12 at 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. ET.

  3. Wear your HIMSS Annual Conference badge at all times- Security is heavily present throughout the entire venue. You will not be able to enter sessions or the exhibit hall without your badge. Even if you're just running out for a quick break, security will not let you in without your badge. After the exhibit hall closes each day, your badge is also your ticket into many vendor or conference networking events. Your badge for full conference registration includes entry to the Monday night HIMSS Annual Conference opening reception, all keynote sessions, all general education sessions March 11-15, as well as access to the exhibition floor, which first opens March 12 at 10:00 a.m. ET.

  4. Map out your route to the convention center- Whether using the HIMSS Annual Conference shuttle system, walking from a hotel within the convention campus, or using a ride share app, figure out your route to and from the Orange County Convention Center to maximize commute efficiency and strategize how to tackle the crowds, so make sure to double check location specifications on your meet up invitations. To help navigate the show floor, save the link below to plan out your booth path. As you're walking the show floor, there will be aisle marker banners overhead. Also, look for the booth number tape on the show floor carpet in front of each booth.

    There are over 1,000 exhibitors this year featuring products, services, demos and thought leadership for your organization's needs, including specialty pavilions for patient engagement, cybersecurity, startups, interoperability, health tech innovation and federal health.

  5. Wear practical clothing- From travelling cross-country, to walking all over the convention center, to hopping around evening networking events, you'll be on-the-go constantly. Wear comfortable shoes and drink water often. A collapsible and/or refillable bottle is especially useful throughout the day. Ideally, bring multiple pairs of shoes to swap out, along with blister bandages.

  6. Avoid the clutter- As you're exploring the exhibitor show floor, instead of accepting countless handouts, flyers, case studies and white papers that may end up in the trash can, get a digital version. Most booths will have a lead retrieval app, so when they scan your badge, get value from it. Ask them to make a note to send you the material you're interested in via email.

  7. Take advantage of Continuing Education (CE) credit opportunities- CE credit opportunities are available to physicians, nurses, pharmacists, project managers, HIM professionals, information security professionals and of course, CIOs and IT leaders. Click here for more information on CE credits at HIMSS Annual Conference.

  8. Make meaningful conversation- Put yourself out there to network. This is the chance to voice your firsthand insight on how you improved end-user adoption and workflow, or to gain valuable direct tips from fellow HIT leaders. Pick the brains of decision-makers representing similar organization size and demographics as yours, so you can gain advice on initiatives like remote patient monitoring (RPM), EHR new version upgrades, M&A movement, interoperability, vendor changes, and navigating financial recovery.

  9. Finally, don't forget to have fun- Maximize your balance of work and play. Check out the massive Instagram-worthy HIMSS sign at the convention center main entrance. Explore the exhibitor floor to see how vendor capabilities can solve your HIT pain points, and check out the creative booth designs and freebies. Bring a bag to hold all your giveaways! Take advantage of the evening networking events, like the opening reception, exhibit hall social hour and the Thursday night special event at Universal's CityWalk Orlando and Island's of Adventure.

Using this quick tip list, you are well prepared to jumpstart your HIMSS Annual Conference experience. See you in Orlando!

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