Game Plan For Navigating A Conference (Even If You’re Not Going)
Tomorrow is the first day of November, and for me, that calendar flip also flips a switch in my head—the one that lights a neon sign proclaiming “Healthcare Design Conference.” That 100-foot mental reminder will blaze uninterrupted until November 20. But I’m good with that.
My editorial team will convene next week to officially divvy up the sessions and tours we’ll cover, and I’m excited about all the options. I wish there were more of us. Happily, we will have a couple of new faces at the conference this year, with senior editor Anne DiNardo making her in-person brand debut, along with our new associate editor for reader development, Megan Rozsa, who will be joining us in an official social butterfly capacity.
At the conference, Megan will be our chief tweetmaster, Facebook feeder, and LinkedIn lobbyist. The rest of us will be tweeting, too, throughout our four-day stay in Orlando. We encourage all attendees to share their conference experiences via social media, as well—and to use #HCDCon, if you please, because (1) all that content will stream from a special booth on-site, and (2) your colleagues and friends who can’t make the conference this year can still learn a lot by playing along at home.
For them (and for you, since you can’t make all the sessions, either), the editors will be writing and posting articles with takeaways from the tours, sessions, keynote speeches, and more, every day. Rumor has it that sessions are going to be recorded, as well, for later listening. Stay tuned for more on that.
But while you can indeed learn a lot from the conference even without being there, being there is better. As I said, my team’s conference approach is to divide and conquer to make sure we’re getting a full taste of all the tracks, and we’ll compare notes later. If you can get in a day early, on Saturday, the facility tours are always worthwhile, and there are pre-conference workshops on some meaty topics.
Last year I got to see only a bit of the Patient Experience Simulation Lab, and I wish I’d had time to hang out longer. This year, I will. And, having talked to MASS Design Group’s Michael Murphy at length about his firm’s mission, I’m eager to hear more during his conversation with Roz Cama for the Center for Health Design’s Changemaker Award keynote presentation.
The most fun part of a conference, of course, is catching up with colleagues and meeting new people. I’m looking forward to seeing our Editorial Advisory Board, contributing writers, winners of various Healthcare Design awards over the past year, and other industry friends. That’s where the real learning happens—the conversations over cocktails or standing in an exhibitor’s booth, getting the true insight into “how’s business?” and where the industry is headed.
To stay on top of all the happenings November 15-19, follow (and use) the #HCDCon hashtag, watch the Healthcare Design website, and follow us directly on Twitter: @HCDMagazine, @HCD_KZeit, @HCD_JKSilvis, @HCD_ADiNardo, and @HCD_ShandiM.