5 Things to Look Forward to at HIMSS16

himssWhile the first HIMSS conference debuted in 1962 with only 54 attendees (and the exhibition didn’t debut until 1983 with ten exhibitors), the present-day HIMSS Conference and Exhibition draws in a lot more healthcare IT industry interest.

The conference, held Feb. 29 – March 4 in Las Vegas, Nev., will have more than 500 speakers to present, utilize more than 75,000 total hotel room nights, has space to accommodate more than 1,300 exhibitors and encompasses 2.25 million square feet during its run in 2016.

With that many in attendance and that much space, HIMSS16 may seem overwhelming, but armed with a little knowledge and organization, you can maximize your time at the annual healthcare IT conference. Preview HIMSS16 with the online pocket guide to view the schedule, review the floor plan and check out the education sessions, then make sure to pencil in the five standout items below that await you at HIMSS 2016.

Attend orientation, whether you’re a newbie or a veteran attendee. With separate orientation sessions for new attendees and for experienced attendees, you’ll discover new HIMSS16 programs and techniques for maximizing your conference experience, tips for navigating the Exhibition Hall, finding must-attend networking events and possibly even discovering where to find coffee without waiting in a long line.

Earn your HIMSS Certification. Why not? Renowned instructor Jim Brady is offering a CPHIMS Review Course during HIMSS16, and he promises both an educational and fun experience while you prepare for the CPHIMS exam. You can enroll in either the CPHIMS or CAHIMS professional certification exams, offered at a few different times, while you’re attending the conference.

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Look, listen and learn on the HIMSS16 Exhibition Floor. With much more to offer than free vendor swag, the HIMSS16 Exhibition Floor offers an opportunity to network (and have breakfast) with fellow physicians, nurses and HIE colleagues and to see demonstrations on the latest in health IT innovation and integration, workshops for local HIMSS chapter leaders, the latest in wearables in the HealthTech Demo Zone  and how to improve hospital data security at the Cybersecurity Command Center.

Excel like a female executive. In their session “Shattering the Glass Ceiling: Lessons Learned for Aspiring Female Executives,” University Hospitals Health System Interim CIO Sue Schade and EVP/Chief Information Officer for Dignity Health Deanna Wise want attendees to walk away with an understanding of the advancement strategies needed for female executives to succeed in health IT and their impact on an organization.

Hear a Super Bowl-winning quarterback speak. Find it hard to stay at a conference through the closing keynote? You won’t have trouble when you listen in on the fireside chat/closing keynote presentation with Denver Broncos Super Bowl 50-winning quarterback Peyton Manning and Robert A Heyer, M.D., president of the NFL Physicians Society and team physician for the Carolina Panthers (the team the Broncos defeated during the Super Bowl), as they discuss leadership, football, philanthropy, healthcare and more. Let the games begin!