HIMSS13 goes social

By Healthcare IT News
02:25 PM

For organizers of the 2013 HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition, social media at this year’s gathering is all about one thing: #connectivity.

“We are really focusing on connecting and bringing people together,” said Cari McLean, manager of social media at HIMSS.

Thousands of healthcare professionals will converge March 3 through March 7 in New Orleans to discuss hundreds of topics affecting the industry. HIMSS organizers are using social media to help bring stakeholders together.

“Social media in healthcare has been such a hot topic,” said McLean.

Part of the HIMSS team’s approach to ramping up efforts to connect attendees and improve their general experience includes plenty of new features at this year’s conference, such as a completely redesigned social media center, social media integration during presentations and more calls to action utilizing social media.

“Over the course of the last three to four years, we’ve been integrating social media more and more at the event,” said McLean. “We are really trying to improve the overall experience.”

As part of that effort, the Social Media Center will host events and tweetups to help folks engage. The center will be equipped with screens displaying the latest conference buzz, outlets to recharge mobile devices and plenty of wireless capability to engage folks in social media discussions and interactions. Also, several tweetups are organized at the center. “There are a lot of social networking events popping up,” said McLean.

The HIMSS team isn’t just looking to connect people with people; it’s looking to connect people with experiences.

“We think that using Twitter and other social media outlets, you can get insight and experience other parts of the conference that you didn’t necessarily check out,” said McLean. “We want to help them stay in touch with everything that is happening at the show beyond what they are attending.”

While it's nearly impossible to attend every education session or visit every exhibitor, attendees can stay connected to the conversation by following the hashtag #HIMSS13 or following other social media outlets such as the HIMSS Facebook page and the HIMSS blog.

“We really want to invigorate the people attending this year,” McLean said.