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HIMSS11 or Bust-The Darling Journal Begins

February 21, 2011
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Healthcare IT recruiter Gwen Darling set to take HIMSS by storm

Last year I had a great deal of fun blogging about my HIMSS experience for Healthcare Informatics, and received quite a lot of positive feedback from those who were unable to go, so I’ll attempt to do the same this year. If you’re unable to make it to HIMSS this year – shoot me an email if there’s something you’d like to experience vicariously – I’ll do my best to check it out!

Let me begin by saying that 50lb. weight limit on the checked baggage rule is designed to suit only women traveling to a nudist colony (do they still call them that?) Come on airline people! Do you seriously expect a female heading to a business conference for 5+ days to restrict all her necessary accoutrements to 50 lbs? The “what if?!” rule applies here, and there’s just no getting around it. “What if it rains?” “What if those slightly ugly but comfy exhibit hall shoes suddenly turn on me and I need a back up pair?” “What if I’m just not feeling that _______ (insert any item of clothing) when I wake up and I need a second-runner up?” You “one-suit-five-shirts” guys probably don’t understand this dilemma, but you metrosexuals out there certainly know what I’m talking about. At any rate – my bag was 54 pounds at weigh in. I’d already paid $23 online for this bag, and now it would be an additional $60 if I couldn’t find a way to shave off a few pounds. “Pull out a pair of jeans and stuff it in your purse,” the oh-so-helpful Delta girl advised. Trying not to take offense at her implication that my jeans would weigh 4 pounds, I yanked a handful of something or other out, shoved it in my purse, and weighed again – 52 pounds. Close enough, thankfully.

Once in Orlando, I stood at the baggage claim carousel and struck up a conversation with another HIMSS-bound female, the lovely Jennifer Allen from Cumberland Consulting Group. Sure enough, her suitcase was a bit overweight, too, so we instantly bonded and shared a cab (actually a van, once
the skycap saw the size of our luggage) to begin our HIMSS journey. That’s the thing about HIMSS – the networking opportunities are everywhere from the moment you arrive – this is no place to be a wallflower!

A hotel check-in and a quick change later, I was headed to Café Tu Tu Tango to meet up for a pre-HIMSS Girls’ Night Out with several colleagues who I have the pleasure of working with, including my new friend Jennifer! If you’re looking for a loud, fun, tapas restaurant complete with Flamenco dancers, working artists, and a Tammy Faye Baker lookalike photographer who assures you that her services are free (“but I work for tips”), you might want to check this place out.

Looking forward to the educational sessions and the exhibit hall, and of course, the social events, too! Stay tuned!

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