It’s that time of year again, time to attend SHSMD 2016. If you’re like most attendees at the annual Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development conference, you’re probably starting to feel excited and a little overwhelmed about being out of the office and away from home for a few days. I like to focus on seeing old friends, visiting with vendors, learning from the many sessions, and the networking events. Here are five tips to help you successfully make it through the conference.
- Make a list and check it twice
SHSMD 2016 has over education sessions to choose from and over 140 exhibitors to see!!! Probably the #1 thing you can do to ensure you have a successful event is to make a list BEFORE you go to the show. Start by identifying what you want to accomplish at the show. Start by completing this statement; “At the end of the event I hope to have accomplished…..” Are there specific business needs that you have that you’re looking for solutions? Has your boss given you a goal that you’re unsure how to meet? Once you identify your goals for attending the conference, you can plan which classes to take and which vendors you’d like to visit.
- Plan your class schedule
The conference program is available online. Download it early and begin planning which sessions will help you accomplish your goals. Perhaps you’re most interested in marketing strategy or patient engagement. Maybe you’re being tasked with improving MROI and want classes that will give you fresh ideas. Going with a coworker? Have multiple business needs and areas of interest? If so, consider dividing and conquering. Plan on attending different sessions than your colleagues so you can attend various classes and double the information that you gather. You can compare notes when you’re back in the office or on the trip home.
- Plan your time with exhibitors
Meeting with exhibitors can be one of the best ways to get new information and fresh ideas. Ok, admittedly I’m a bit biased, but the reality is that we all have our perspective on how to solve certain business needs. Talking to many vendors will give you a good perspective on how to meet your objectives. Download the list of exhibitors early and identify the “must meet” and “nice to meet” vendors. SHSMD 2016 has made this super easy for you by breaking the exhibitor list out by company name, booth number and even categories (i.e. Marketing, Digital Engagement, etc.). Print the exhibit floor map ahead of time and plan your attack (Medicom Health is in booth #303).
- Wear comfortable clothing
That’s right! You’re going to spend a lot of time sitting in classes, walking from class to class and walking through the exhibit hall. Wear clothes, especially shoes, that are comfortable. Consider wearing an extra layer in case a room or two are freezing; you can always take a layer off. I’ll be in a suit, but I’d be in jeans if I were you.
- Drink lots of water
Early mornings, days packed with content, and late nights at parties or the hotel lobby bar can dehydrate you. Don’t get dehydrated, drink lots of water!
You’re going to gain a lot of new information, inspiration, and contacts at SHSMD 2016 and one of the best things you can do with those resources is to share them with your co-workers and colleagues. You may want to give a talk about something you learned at your next staff meeting and tell your boss about some of the interesting contacts you met. You’ll spread your new skills and knowledge—and hopefully, your colleagues will reciprocate the next time they go to a great event.
Medicom Health will have a photo booth in booth #303 so be sure to stop by and get a fun, keepsake photo of you and your colleagues.