The HIMSS Annual Conference is the largest gathering of healthcare IT professionals in the world. With about 30,000 attendees and 1300 exhibitors, it provides an amazing opportunity to network and connect with the best healthcare IT companies and leading healthcare organizations. While everyone that’s anyone in healthcare IT is at the event, there’s also a lot of noise at the event because of its sheer size.
The key with a conference the size of HIMSS is to go in with a plan, but be ready to throw that plan out the window as circumstances allow. A great plan will put together a list of companies you’d like to meet with at HIMSS and then will start connecting with executives with those companies before you are at the event. Between LinkedIn and Twitter, it’s really easy to connect with executives from these companies.
When connecting with these healthcare IT professionals, be sincere in genuine in your connection. Be honest about your feelings about their company and why you want to connect. You don’t want to start off a relationship with a future employer on the wrong foot. Plus, most executives at healthcare IT companies are incredibly busy around HIMSS. So, be direct so that they can process your request quickly. Maybe they’re not the right person at their company, but their colleague is looking for someone with your skills. Now you’re in business.
Social media is another great way to connect with people at HIMSS 2015. While you don’t want to broadcast that you’re desperately looking for a healthcare IT job on social media, you can use social media to connect with people in person. A great place to start is the #HIMSS15 hashtag, but also check out these advanced HIMSS 2015 Twitter tips. Once you meet someone in person, they’ll naturally ask you what you do and that’s the perfect opportunity to talk about your skill set and what you’re looking to do with your career.
Another great place to network and advance your career is at the evening networking events at HIMSS. There are hundreds of them on Monday and Tuesday of HIMSS. Most of them include great food and free drinks. However, the real value comes in meeting with a wide variety of healthcare IT professionals. Most of them are looking to meet people at these events, so don’t be shy in introducing yourself to people and getting to know what they do.
Finally, HIMSS has a whole career section of the conference. You can check out all of the Career Services Center options. This year they’ve even added the HIMSS portrait studio where you can get a professional headshot taken for free.