#hcsm, education, HealthIT, HIMSS, HIT, social media February 5, 2016

7 Tips for the Best HIMSS16 Experience

by Dr Nick

 

This year will be my 19th year at HIMSS – things have grown significantly since 1997 when HIMSS was held in San Diego with a record number of attendees – 15,800 and 408 exhibitors (you can read more of the history going back as far as 1961 here). At the time I remember being overwhelmed adn that was before things had grown to the most recent statistics for 2015 now at over 43,000 attendees

 

HIMSS16 SMA BadgeThis year I am part of the HIMSS Social Media Ambassador program joining my 19 colleagues to help provide a guide that was not available back in 1997 to help guide you through the landscape of the HIMSS conference and get the best experience possible

If you do nothing else – follow my friends and colleagues on the list at the bottom. Their feed and content will keep you up to speed on the latest news, events and any last minute gems to keep you getting the most from the events and activities

 

 

 

As part of this opportunity I also the present the following 7 rules/suggestions things to help you get the best from HIMSS 16 in Las Vegas

 

Rule 1: Have Fun

HaveFun

Rules 2: Hack your Conference Badge to Include your Social Media Handle

This used to require some clever editing of the name in the system but it has gotten easier – all you need to do is put you Twitter handle in Nickname field

HIMSSHackBadge
Rule 3: Look up

SocialMedaiEverywhere
Don’t bury your nose in your phone and technology the whole time – part fo the value is the exchange with real people and real activities. When you get in the inevitable line for a taxi or shuttle at Las Vegas airport talk to your fellow travelers – you never know who you might meet and what they might share about their business, news or the conference. You might even be able to shorten the wait and share a ride.

Rule 4: Prepare and Plan and then Adapt

Your plans will change but if you come with no plan you will end up missing more. Depending on your organizational preferences either fill your gmail calendar with your plan or download the Apple or Android HIMSS16 App and use it to checkout the daily sessions and listing of keynote speakers, exhibitor listing, maps and the social media activity feed which will have the latest news from the show floor

Look for the sessions you really want to attend and grab the details and add to your schedule now – you may not make it but you stand a better chance of making it if its on your plan.

Rule 5: Enjoy the Parties but Don’t Stay Late

How you manage this may depend on what time zone you came from but be warned the days are long and can be physically and mentally exhausting

Celebrate but my advice is enjoy the parties and social activities but don’t burn the candle completely – get to bed especially so you can get up early to exercise before hitting the show floor. You may get your steps just walking the floor but even if you do 30 minutes in the gym will energize you to cope with the busy days on the show floor

Rule 6: Leave the Laptop in the Hotel Room

I know a full sized keyboard is great to have but the additional weight of a laptop will weigh heavily on your shoulder. If you can use your phone as your main device and carry a spare battery or a Portable Battery Charging device like this one and/or charging cable and plug

Like this 10ft cable

An extra long one would be helpful when accessing difficult and hard to reach ports)

If you really need the larger device – go with the tablet format but bear in mind the bigger the device the more weight you are carrying around every day

Rule 7: Stay Connected Socially

Use social media to stay connected and find out the latest adn greatest things going on at the conference. You can use Social media just as a lurker and to access information but this is a great opportunity to ascend the social media ladder of engagement

 

SociaMediaLadder

Use your phone to take pictures – post your experiences and things you see and tag everything with the official #HIMSS16 hashtag. But its not just twitter – there are other channels and some can help you share to a wider audience. If you set up your instagram account to link to twitter and facebook you can post from here and populate both your twitter and Facebook feed.

For short videos (less than 6 seconds) – Vine is great for capturing and sharing across multiple channels

Facebook has been rolling out a live streaming feature and if it is available in your newsfeed you could try this for any exciting presentations or interactions

And expect some addition of live streaming from Twitter’s Persicope and the more recent interactive streaming from Blab

Enjoy the conference – it presents a host of opportunities to learn, meet new people and renew old friendships. You are in Las Vegas – you never know you might win some great new friends – to start you off here is a list of my colleagues and friends who are also Social Media Ambassadors

 

 

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