Incremental Steps To Surviving HIMSS

by Dr Nick

In the spirit of survival given the overwhelming nature of joining 40,000 people at one conference, I offer up this year’s Incremental Guidance to not only surviving the HIMSS conference but enjoying it too (you can find my HIMSS16 Guide here).

The Key to Life (and HIMSS)

This will be my 21st HIMSS and 3rd year as a Social Media ambassador and every year I learn new things about the show, the opportunities for learning and networking and always make new friends and contacts.

relating to or denoting an increase or addition, especially one of a series on a fixed scale.
“incremental changes to the current system”
Mathematics: denoting a small positive or negative change in a variable quantity or function

HIMSS Social Media Ambassadors

HIMSS Social Media Ambassadors

Once again I am joining a veritable energized group of Social Media Ambassador program now in its 5th year. This group of individuals represents a veritable treasure trove of insights, tips, tricks and on the ground highlights that are worth following throughout the show




But beyond this group what else can you do to prepare for the show. What small incremental steps can you take to maximize the value of your time and energy spent at the show. To be clear – there is no way you can manage to absorb it all, nor would most want to, so how do you prepare and then pick the most beneficial opportunities

I’ll take it as a given the unspoken rule of (my) life

“Have Fun”


which has been my rule from Day 1 of coaching and life in general – Have Fun. If you aren’t having fun everything is harder and you should be asking yourself why are you doing something that’s not fun


3 Things to Do

Use the HIMSS App and Social Media and track activity 

Struggling with Social Media and Overwhelmed by the choices – use the search function in your favorite social media app (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram) and search for “#HIMSS18”


HIMSS Social Media HashTag


Before You Arrive:

Spend time at the HIMSS Conference Web Page (or in the App on the iPhone App Store or the Google Play Android Store). Once you have created an account and have logged in any sessions or events you highlight online are reflected in the app and vice versa. You can create a list of sessions and in the app interface have them added to your calendar

Take Notes Immediately

If you are able to catch notes on your digital device – I use Evernote when I can but use whatever works for you. For everyone else carry suitable writing material and a pen (you don’t need a spare – there are thousands of giveaway pens available on the show floor if you lose yours or it breaks). You can always take pictures of things and slides and content you want to remember with your phone but sometimes even this can challenge your mind as to why this was important – a quick note to yourself with some link to the context will help you remember and maximize the information you will acquire at the show


3 Things Not to Do


Move on if the Session/Event is not Right for You

Don’t feel obligated to stay in a session or event if it’s not offering value. People move between sessions, sometimes end up in the wrong session by mistake – make the move quietly and find something of value ot fill the time. That could even be taking a break, catching a few minutes of meditation and refueling with some healthy snacks (you brought some with you didn’t you!) and water


Don’t Forget Chargers for Your Device(s)

There are opportunities for plugging in your device to boost the power – but HIMSS will drain your power quickly and having backup power and cables to plug into to power is essential

Beware of Open USB Charging Sockets

But a word to the wise: Beware of Open USB Charging sockets

It’s a trivial exercise to breach a device connected via a data cable. Expect USB Kill to be ported to this if it has not already. Shadow brokers released the NSA tools (Vault 7) to the public domain some time ago (Dark Matter/Weeping Angel etc) – expect lots of activity in this area

Bring your own power block and plug into the power through that not directly into USB charging sockets



Don’t Do Everything

Be prepared to leave the event or activity without having seen and done everything you wanted to or expected to. We all overextend ourselves and it’s difficult to turn down another invitation especially in the evening with the recurrent fear we seem to have of missing out on something great


1 Essential Activity


Fit in the Workout

How to Make the World a Healthier Place, in 12 Minutes Flat with Krista Stryker

In a timely podcast from Dr. Chris Stout, A Life in Full he featured Krista Stryker and her 12-minute workout – designed for those with not enough time. You can definitely find 12 minutes every day while at HIMSS – I know I will. You can download and subscribe to iTunes, SoundCloud, or listen below

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