Should you attend?
We asked your peers and here’s what they said…
By Tim J. Busche, MBA, is Co-Founder, President & CEO of Envision Health
For tens of thousands of healthcare IT professionals, HIMSS21 will be a watershed moment. It’s the first opportunity to attend a major in-person conference since the pandemic began in early 2000 and it helps to usher in a new era of healthcare; one that is increasingly virtual and more digitally connected than ever before. To what extent will HIMSS act upon lessons learned from its recent past to create an even better experience?
Of course, there are many other questions about HIMSS21 as well:
- Due to limited hospital budgets, the absence of the CHIME event for CIOs and post-COVID travel restrictions, will there be fewer hospital IT exec attendees this year?
- Is the vaccination requirement going to cause a political upheaval?
- Will key HIT vendors participate on-site in Las Vegas or virtually?
- Will on-site education sessions be pared down from previous years?
- Is it going to be a worthwhile investment for companies that have already suffered setbacks in the pandemic?
- Will vendors be soured by the HIMSS20 refund debacle?
And, to further complicate matters, HIMSS22 is right around the corner, scheduled for March, 2022 in Orlando, Fla. Some health systems struggling financially may not have the budget to send people to multiple conferences.
Ultimately, the question everyone must answer is whether or not attending HIMSS21 in person will be worth the investment.
At Envision Health, we live and breathe healthcare industry news. However, we also acknowledge we don’t have a crystal ball. Tasked with helping our growing list of clients and partners navigate those uncertainties, we decided to leverage our clients’ collective buying power to help them realize more exposure at a lower cost…and offset the potential negative forces we all face. And we wanted to go to the source — the companies most affected — and simply ask them about their plans for HIMSS21. Thus was born the Envision Health Collaborative, designed to help participants in the conference navigate this uncharted territory.
The early results are surprisingly positive…
To help answer these questions, the Envision Health Collaborative — with partners Verinovum, InterBit Data, eVideon and HealthTalk A.I. — created the “Place Your Bets” surveyfor HIT professionals to share their thoughts and see how their responses compare to those of their peers.
From the survey, we are finding overwhelmingly that payers, providers and consultants believe that HIMSS21 will be an in-person event with 80 percent of payers, 78 percent of providers, and 60 of consultants leaning toward a “Yes” to the question “I bet HIMSS21 will be primarily an in-person event.”
In addition, when replying to “Odds are I’ll be attending HIMSS21 in person” the affirmative responses weigh in currently at 86 percent for payers, 79 for providers, and 67 for consultants. So it appears that folks who align with HISTalk’s typical readership will be attending.
Interestingly, though, the virtual option is still open for some attendees or specific events as some payers, providers and consultants expressed a decision to attend virtually. And, the majority of respondents say they believe that “HIMSS21 will be as educational as past years.”
In fact, based on these research results, it appears that HIMSS21 will remain the preferred industry “watering hole” for networking and seeing new and innovative IT solutions firsthand — and remains a critical source of business intelligence as IT decision-makers seek to become more virtual and more digitally connected.
An Innovative Approach: Making HIMSS21 more affordable
In addition to the survey, at HIMSS21 the Envision Health Collaborative identified innovative strategies to reduce cost by offering a variety of packages, and a-la-carte options specifically intended to make the conference more cost effective and productive for small and mid-tier participants.
These spaces were designed to illustrate how leveraging collective buying power can help mitigate risk by enabling IT executives to focus their precious time on generating sales and making connections.
From fractional hospitality suite space, to shared resources within the conferences themselves, combining resources provides solutions that enable authentic conversations that can help lay the foundation for trust, and build lasting business relationships.
Should I stay or should I go now?
This is a question virtually all of us must answer every year. It’s no secret that small to mid-tier HIT vendors have typically struggled to generate a positive ROI from their HIMSS investments, and this is even more challenging given today’s uncertain times. Pooling resources to gain the economies of scale necessary to break through the noise and make a major impact is a new option made possible by initiatives like the Envision Health Collaborative. Larger vendors tend to garner a disproportionate share of voice at major conferences however, through the Envision Health Collaborative, we hope to help level the playing field for mid-tier HIT vendors, consultants and healthcare innovation hubs.
According to Kelley O. Smith, RN, MPH, Co-Founder and COO of Envision Health, “Collaborating in this way can bring together decades of event management experience along with clinical expertise and real-world healthcare knowledge. And it leverages these resources to attain a higher level of brand exposure and sales efficiency than individual players could achieve on their own.”
The survey will run until the HIMSS21 conference.