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Are CIOs putting conferences on the back burner?

March 3, 2009
by kate
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Last week, HCI posted a poll asking CIOs if attending next month’s HIMSS conference holds the same value as it has in past years, in light of the current operating environment. The results were as follows:

· 66.67% said no

· 19.05% weren’t sure yet

· 14.29% said yes

That’s some pretty definitive data.

A few days after the poll was posted, I got an email with the subject line “19 Billion reasons why you can’t miss HIMSS09.” The catchy line was referring to the $19.2 billion dollars the federal government is investing in the healthcare industry to advance EHR adoption. HIMSS is wisely focusing a large portion of its educational sessions on the implications of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, along with other topics relating to the economic downturn.

I think it’s safe to say that other conferences and events are going to follow suit and make the economy/stimulus package a key focus. Judging by how interested our readers are in the topic, it just might get a few more bodies in the door.

If that doesn’t work, then the conference circuit could be looking at a very grim 2009.

What do you think? Are economy-focused sessions enough motivation to get CIOs and other executives to the shows, or is it just not feasible in these tough times?



I think CIO's need to attend HIMSS this year for a number of reasons including:

1. The education opportunities to learn more about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (as you pointed out Kate).
2. To network with others in this space. Let's face it HIMSS is "The Best" conference for networking. Period.
3. Attend other tracks to maintain your thought leadership position for your healthcare organization.
4. There is NO way you will get tickets to the Masters in Augusta this year - so you will not miss a thing!
5. It may NOT snow that week in Chicago!

I hope to see everyone at HIMSS!

Kate. As we have discussed internally, the interest in the Stimulus package is so high we are taking steps to better inform our readers about it (especially those that can't attend HIMSS). Keep an eye out for a new blog by contributing editor David Raths. David has been in charge of our Policy department for over a year. Now, we're bringing his talents onto the Web and into our Blogosphere. The goal is for David to serve as an online Stimulus Plan Guru, who readers can learn from and ask questions of.

Thank you both for your comments! Tim, I agree that there are some great educational and networking opportunities at HIMSS. Hopefully the conference won't take too much of a hit (and hopefully the Chicago weather will cooperate!).

I'll definitely be following David's blog - I love the idea of having our own Stimulus Plan Guru. The topic is huge and it's number one on pretty much everyone's priority list.