Healthcare and IT
Marketing Conference

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Thoughts on the Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference (HITMC) from a Newbie

The following is a guest blog post by Sarah Bennight, Product Marketing Manager at iPeople.

Sarah Bennight

I had the amazing pleasure of attending the Health IT Marketing and PR conference (HITMC) in Las Vegas this year as a first time attendee. I had met some of the core group of folks at HIMSS, but other than that, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. After a series of multiple flight delays and reroutes due to Dallas storms, I finally arrived at the SLS full of anticipation and nerves. One of my #HITsm buddies, Ryan, ran in to me at the check in desk and I was immediately at ease.

 

Dinner was casual with just a few folks attending. I met several new people including major rockstars in the Health It Marketing world. John was kind enough to introduce me, and I was immediately on fire networking and socializing into the wee hours of the morning. But there was more? Just the conversations and contacts made that night were well worth my flight alone (delays included). We were sharing challenges and triumphs and following each other on Twitter and LinkedIn (because that’s what Marketing people do).

 

Then, drumroll, the conference started the next morning. Have you ever walked into a room of people that you just get? It’s like putting on your favorite pair of jeans. I think I had a sore neck the whole first panel from just nodding in agreement. What a way to kick off the show with the amazing Stacey G from Studio North! Her energy set the pace for the rest of the two days. I was so inspired by her energy and enthusiasm it made me want to go plan a show with her…right now. The rest of the discussions of the morning were a perfect complement to my challenges: marketing on a budget, getting customers to give case studies, being creative and bold in a crowded industry so you can cut through the noise, and successful product launches. Every speaker spoke to me. Every session gave me at least one thing I could take back to my company and persuade, adjust, or implement.

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The messaging from all the speakers was consistent and helpful with strategies to get started. One of my favorite sessions by Colin Hung (dubbed at the show as #ColinGosling) was about implementing a customer loyalty program. We have been trying to do this for a while now, so the timing couldn’t be more perfect. He gave me enough to get my company excited about trying this out. I’ll let you all know how it goes over time.

 

The evening and lunches were filled with conversations and networking that turned into friendships. As exhausted as I was on Friday evening, I sadly thought “I won’t see these folks until HIMSS” and it wasn’t enough, thus the #HITFallbreak discussions started. I think that was the most powerful asset of #HITMC, the community. People who care about healthcare and want to tell the world about it in their own special ways. Their energy and support will be so beneficial to me over the next year as my company launches a new blog, a new web, and new product branding strategy. This is what #HITMC will give you. A toolbox of experts that are a tweet or text away. So if you were on the fence, check out the early bird rate next year and get yourself to the conference. You won’t regret it. Next year at this time when you hit a roadblock, you will ask yourself…”what would #HITMC do?”