With decision-makers from healthcare in some 98 Countries – including Russia, Israel etc – booked to attend; and around 172 Speakers, including 45+ keynote Speakers, including the WHO, the US ONC, and of course the key Partners from Finland (whose are supporting this Conference) – this five day event is as good as it gets in terms of bringing together where healthcare is going and needs to go.
It is an interesting comparison. This Conference is just a week or two after the Nordic more local VITALIS event in Goteborg, but whilst VITALIS is essentially inward looking, a focus for its local market – HIMSS Europe has always been an outreach for its Nordic contingent. Nothing has changed here.
When I spoke a few days ago with Sean Roberts, the VP EMEA of HIMSS, he told me that the clear focus of this year’s HIMSS Europe – is Innovation; the bringing together of the smaller and new vendors alongside their bigger and more established sponsor brothers, and taking new ways of doing things, into healthcare management.
Sean has decamped with his wife and his dog, from California to the leafy environment of Berkshire, just a 30 minute train ride into the UK capital. He is an anglophile who knows the restaurants of Chelsea even better than I. Despite the Finland original focus, the bedrock of this virtual event is a TV Studio in West London, and the biggest beneficiaries of this event may well be the domestic UK NHS. It is a journey for both of them.
What HIMSS says about itself is you can expect a “Powerful 5-day virtual experience facilitating partnerships and collaborations for digital healthcare transformation; a Unique combination of live, and “simulive” and on-demand sessions, with the opportunity to participate in live polling and Q&A throughout. Plus an Interactive, robust chat and networking capabilities that will allow you to connect with your peers and solution providers, with an unrivalled opportunity to pitch, profile and connect with key industry stakeholders”.
If there is a major and standout difference from earlier years or indeed other events organisations – it is the 3D Exhibit floor; the Lobby (see our image above) – and the virtual networking. HIMSS has been preparing for this sort of virtual reality for some years, even since the days of Steve Lieber – and you can say that COVID has been a wake up call – but looking back, it has been obvious that this is a way of interfacing that makes sense if done properly. The TV and “games” look and feel of the Lobby equals anything redolent of PS2 entertainment.
We are looking forward to the mix of protagonists as much as the Speaker advice. No doubt see you there.