Walking up to the Orange County Convention Center, it’s a Marketing Manager’s dream. Branded everything and HIMSS photo opps for the gram every which way you look. From the grand Exhibit Hall tunnel and down to the HIMSS emoji stickers, to say it’s a bit of a thrill is the understatement of the century.First HIMSS as CommonWell’s Marketing Manager 1

I arrived at my very first HIMSS on day seven of my new role as Marketing Manager with CommonWell Health Alliance. Thankfully, I do have a bit of background within the Health Information Technology/Exchange (HIT/HIE) space, so I at least understood 20% of the content I was hearing, seeing, and reading (haha). So, what’s it like as a newbie Marketing HIMSS attendee? Here are the deets:

  • If you’re running a booth or showcase, that’s your focus. CommonWell was in the Interoperability Showcase, demonstrating the clinical exchange of data and core services with partners athenahealth, b.well, ELLKAY, MEDITECH, Oracle Health, and Zus. Ensuring a social media focus on driving attendees to the Showcase was a top priority, while making sure to stay engaged with partner mentions, tweets, tags etc. Staying LIVE while at HIMSS is a top priority for any marketing guru.First HIMSS as CommonWell’s Marketing Manager 2
  • That leaves little room for attending other sessions. While attending other sessions wasn’t necessarily in the cards for my first time, there were key trends and themes that were apparent at HIMSS24. Artificial intelligence, TEFCA, interoperability, and of course, cybersecurity, to name a few.
  • NETWORK, network, and then maybe…network. This is perhaps THE best place to network with all the brilliant people nerding out about #HealthIT. You’ll never find a bigger, more passionate ~30k people on the planet. Introduce yourself, scan badges, connect on LinkedIn and listen. I learned so much in a quick 48 hours and my connections on LinkedIn grew overnight and I’m thrilled to continue connecting with everyone I was able to meet and chat with. However, I will say, if you’re not an extrovert, get ready to step a bit out of your comfort zone at HIMSS.First HIMSS as CommonWell’s Marketing Manager 4
  • Take the time to meet your members or clients. While yes, this is part of networking, HIMSS is also a great place to meet people with whom you’ve already built virtual relationships (or for me, are in the early stages of doing) with. It was great to meet people that I’ve chatted with via email or on teams calls, and with a face to the name, it makes our working relationship that much better.
  • Make sure you bring a phone charger. Or two. My phone was attached to my hand. Pictures, live tweets, videos, retweets, time lapse, reels, LinkedIn connections, the list is endless. But looking back now that I’m home, I have over 200 pictures and videos and still wish I would have taken MORE. When in doubt, take a photo (live is best – then you can easily make an epic reel after).First HIMSS as CommonWell’s Marketing Manager 3
  • Be inspired. When you DO get some ‘free time’, walk around and soak it all in. Look at everything around you, be open-minded, see the creativity of others and let it inspire you. It’s always fun to see what other ideas other marketers had and used. What drew you in? What did you love? I can easily answer that the emoji inspired stickers at the HIMSS booth (have I already mentioned these?) were my favorite thing I saw. Took me right back to the dentist visits as a child and getting to pick which one I wanted (they also reminded me of Lisa Frank, which, IYKYK).

Did I mention this was my first time meeting my fellow colleagues in person? Needless to say, it was 48 hours I won’t soon forget and truly such a thrill. I’m already looking forward to next year in Las Vegas, having had a full year under my belt with CommonWell – what will we do next?