Last year at this time, I was getting pretty excited about our upcoming Healthcare Design Forum. It was our first one, scheduled for early September in Santa Rosa, Calif., the heart of Sonoma wine country. This was something different for Healthcare Design—an exclusive networking and educational event that both went outside the normal scope of CEU-type sessions (covering more off-center topics and unique perspectives) and also dug deeply into issues at the heart of what healthcare designers face every day. It was designed to be intimate and reasonably paced, a lively and thoughtful mix of conversation and inspiration and fun. Also: wine tasting. And vineyard tours.

Six months in advance I visited the venue, toured the potential sites for the HCD 10 Awards dinner (another fun highlight of this new event), and worked with our operations team to shape each day’s agenda. I researched and secured our keynote speakers. The sales team secured our sponsors. We booked all the venues and planned the team-building exercises, opened registration, and signed up our editorial advisory board members—the heart of this endeavor—to attend. And we invited others to apply to attend, as well; as I mentioned, this was to be an exclusive event, centered on high-level healthcare design professionals ready to roll up their sleeves and contribute as much as they’d take away from our two-and-a-half days together.

By July, I was eager—and anxious—to see how it would all play out. And in September, when it finally came, I was not disappointed. Our attendees and sponsors got it immediately. Everything we hoped would come out of the event, did. And everyone said they couldn’t wait to do it again next year.

And here we are! Planning the 2017 Healthcare Design Forum was even more fun this time around, because we had something concrete to build on and great suggestions from those involved. Everything is in place: Sept. 6-8, at the gorgeous Cliff House Resort on the southeastern tip of Maine, our editorial advisory board will once again convene with our generous sponsors and other qualified attendees to learn, play, and be inspired. Also: Lobster. And more wine.

Interested in joining us? You can find all the details—the full agenda, site specifics, etc.—at HCDforum.com. Attendance is by invitation only, so if you'd like to be invited, just send me an email (kristin.zeit@emeraldexpo.com) with your name, title, organization, and a couple of sentences about the role you play in designing healthcare spaces. I’d like to give a special thanks to our HCD Forum sponsors at press time, which make this event possible: KI, Kwalu, Mannington, Mohawk, OFS Brands, Porcelanosa, Shaw Contract, Sunbrella, and Whitehall Manufacturing. We do have a few more sponsorship spots open, as well; contact me for details.