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Make the Most out of your HIMSS Experience

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Author: Kathryn McMahon Arrigg, Vice President, Healthcare at PAN Communications, headshot
Kathryn McMahon ArriggVice President, Healthcare


Next month Chicago will host arguably the largest conference in the Health IT industry, HIMSS. Last year the conference welcomed nearly 38,000 attendees. So with that much competition, what can attendees do in advance to break out from the mold and differentiate their product or company? Below are three tips to keep in mind while planning for success at #HIMSS2015!

Leverage All of Your Assets

Whether your exhibit is large or small, this is your chance to communicate your value, so make sure you are using every inch of your booth possible! Visuals are always helpful, so consider displaying photos, videos or an infographic that helps visitors to easily understand your offering. Another effective tool which PAN client Arcadia Solutions is planning to leverage this year is customer testimonials. Help booth visitors to understand your value by sharing the stories of how you’ve helped others. Lacking video assets? A conference like HIMSS is a great opportunity to interview customers or company executives. And don’t even worry about lugging video equipment and lights—you can shoot a video with your iPhone.

You can’t be everywhere at once – prioritize!

With so many attendees, it would be nearly impossible to connect with EVERYONE at the show. While some networking will of course happen organically, think about your end goal and exactly who it is most important that you connect with during your time in Chicago. Try to strategize your networking as much as possible in advance – take some time to make a list of all of the exhibits you’d like to see and people you’d like connect with. Use your time wisely and set a maintainable agenda for yourself. Also, it’s always a good idea to get ahead of the game by connecting with those you’d like to speak with at the show in advance via social media. You can use Twitter or LinkedIn as a tool to set up meetings before you even set foot in Chicago.  Maybe point out the networking events they are having at the conference—there is some street fair or something like that the organizers mentioned. Should be on the website.

Practice Makes Perfect

By nature, networking can be uncomfortable for some, but this is your chance to communicate why people should care about your company and or product. Don’t be shy –  be ready to step out of your comfort zone and speak with people you don’t know. One tip to make this easier is practice, practice, practice. You know what makes your offering great, but can you communicate it effectively in 30 seconds? You’ll likely only have a small window of time with each person, so define your ‘elevator speech’ before-hand so that it is second nature by the time you are at the show and someone asks you what your offering is all about.

Have any questions about these best practices? As a leading PR firm in Boston, PAN is diligently working with its clients to prepare for the conference and we would love to connect with you too! Please reach out to healthcare and tech PR practice at  or look for us at the show. We look forward to seeing you at #HIMSS2015! 


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