How to Position Your Organization in the Limelight at HIMSS16

by Katie McGraw, Vice President, Healthcare Practice, SHIFT Communications

With HIMSS16 just over a month away, now is the time to prime the pump when it comes to external promotion for your organization. In addition to traditional opportunities – from promoting your organization’s news and/or what attendees can expect to see in your booth – it’s critical that you also look for opportunities to leverage content and social media to help boost awareness for your organization at HIMSS16.

With this in mind, the following are a few recommendations to help your organization increase awareness at HIMSS16 and stave off the competition:

Be part of the pre-show dialogue – While many will look to their own organizations’ blogs and social profiles to drive pre-show promotion and engagement, it is a missed opportunity to not also consider leveraging the insights of your internal experts to help increase awareness leading into HIMSS16. For example, HIMSS has a very active group on LinkedIn and, undoubtedly, many of your internal spokespeople already have a presence on LinkedIn. With this in mind, it is worth flagging relevant conversations within the HIMSS group leading into, at and post-show that your experts might be able to comment on.

Another social-related opportunity where you can assist your internal experts that are already active on Twitter is to share key hashtags of interest they can leverage to participate in HIMSS conversations being had with influencers, media and other attendees. Key hashtags for consideration include #HIMSS16, #HIMSS16Hacks and #PutData2Work (if healthcare analytics is an area of expertise). For additional useful insights on tapping Twitter as an engagement tool for your experts, it is worth visiting this Symplur page.

Participate in on-site social engagement – Throughout the conference, there are an array of opportunities for real-time social engagement. One particular area of opportunity is to keep a close eye on what the HIMSS Social Media Ambassadors (SMAs) are sharing and participating in at HIMSS16. A full list of the ambassadors and some reasons to follow them can be found here. SMAs are chosen for their unique perspectives and social reputation on far reaching issues at HIMSS16 – from interoperability to cybersecurity. It is worth following and engaging with the SMAs on social in order to closely follow what is trending at the conference, including what events – both speakers and social meet-ups – are taking place.

More so, be sure to keep a close eye for onsite Tweetups as these events provide not only a fun venue for networking but also a fruitful place for real-time influencer and media engagement. Tweetups and meetups, like HealthITChicks, are definitely worth attending.

Take a brand journalistic approach to your thought leadership strategy – We all know how intense and all-consuming HIMSS16 can be when you are in the midst of the conference. Nonetheless, it is a missed opportunity to not keep your finger on the pulse of breaking news coming out of the conference – whether a new vendor partnership or a government announcement related to a health IT roadmap. One way to stay connected without a heavy lift is to sign up for real-time breaking news updates from Healthcare IT News. It is as simple as visiting this page and providing your email at the top of the page in order to sign-up for these real-time alerts. As relevant breaking news arises, there is an opportunity to work with your internal experts and spokespeople to provide a real-time quote to key media in attendance that are sure to cover the news. By doing so, you will increase media coverage and visibility at HIMSS16 and further position your experts as go-to resources on trending health IT topics both at the conference and at-large.

Lastly, coming out of the show, take the time to reflect on the trends, news and topics that were topic of mind with attendees. By compiling your own post-HIMSS16 round-up and analysis, there is an opportunity for further thought leadership positioning that goes beyond your organizational blog.

In a highly competitive arena like HIMSS16, organizations must continue to look for ways to stand out from the crowd and have their voice be heard. While tried and true marcom strategies cannot be left to the wayside, increasingly content and social media are playing a more integral role in increasing brand awareness for HIMSS16 attendees. As you hit the home stretch for HIMSS16 and look to put your brand on a pedestal, stay focused on how your organization and your spokespeople can take a smart approach to engagement via social media and content.