Day 2. Usually I spend this day in client meetings, reserving the evening for my two favorite social events of the conference - Healthcare Informatics magazine's Innovator Awards reception, and the famous HIStalk party. I began the day thinking this would most decidedly be the plan, and started off on track, happy to see several clients who also appeared happy to see me - that's always nice. Even nicer was the fact that I shared a lunch table with three guys from MedSys who recognized me from my LinkedIn posts (hopefully the more intelligent ones). I don't think there's any question that social media is playing an increasingly vital role in healthcare - it certainly has made a huge impact on my business, as all day today I ran into people that I originally "met" on Twitter or LinkedIn. And I guess HIMSS shares my assessment, considering that the founder of Twitter, Biz Stone, was this morning's keynote speaker. HIMSS has also set up a social media meeting area, where all of the Tweets from attendees are shown scrolling down a large screen, and Twitterers can come to mix and mingle and then Tweet some more.
Today marked the grand opening of the Exhibit Hall(s), and I did a cursory walk-through to see what I could see in between client meetings. Since I plan to hit the Halls hard Wednesday and Thursday, I didn't cover much territory, but I covered enough to be blown away several times by the mammoth size and obvious expense of some of the big players' exhibits. It's ridiculous and fabulous all at the same time. (I'll try to get some good shots tomorrow). The other thing that is simultaneously ridiculous and fabulous is the fact that many female exhibitors defy all wisdom and stand perched for hours at a time on 4-6 inch heels. Even more amazing are the attendees who strut around on stilettos as they peruse the literally miles of booth real estate. More power to them - I opted for sensible this morning, thinking I'd save the sexy for tonight at the parties.
But before I tell you why I didn't make it to sexy, I must share a conversation I overheard on the shuttle back to the hotel late this afternoon. A gentleman who was sitting in front of me was talking to a friend on the phone about his new job, and the fact that he was in Las Vegas working his new company's exhibit booth. His friend must have said something to the effect of how lucky he was to be in Vegas, because the next thing I heard was, "I guess so man. But they've got me sharing a room with another new guy, and we only have one bed. I hate sleeping with some guy I don't even know, you know man?" Seriously? I about fell over the seat trying to read his badge to see what company he worked for, but then as I thought about it I concluded that he just didn't feel comfortable complaining since he was new, and his company probably didn't know they had put two big guys together in the same bed. Let's hope that's the case!
So back to the hotel to rally for the big events this evening. Before I got dressed, I called to check on a colleague who has become a good friend - she's staying in the same hotel and when I saw her last evening, she mentioned she wasn't feeling well. Unfortunately for her, she had become very ill overnight, and had spent the day by herself in her hotel room, trying to get the strength to get herself to a doctor. If you've ever been sick away from home, you know how absolutely miserable that is. So, drastic change of plans - guess where the parties were this evening? Forget the Bellagio and the Venetian - let's hear it for Urgent Care and Walgreens - whoohoo! Three hours later we got her checked out, drugged up, and tucked in - and managed to see Batman, Robin, and a Transformer along the way - only in Vegas! Until tomorrow. . .