February 28, 2019

HIMSS, aka the Super Bowl of the healthcare IT world, has come and gone, and with it some very typical HIMSS moments—one’s that Scott Collins, our president, dubbed #ThatsSoHIMSS.  These are the things that, after 15+ years attending the conference, our team comes to expect, and actually even looks forward to each year.  So, instead of posting another traditional HIMSS round-up, we are taking a deep dive into those quintessential HIMSS moments. Read more below to find out the #ThatsSoHIMSS moments that captured our team’s attention this year:


From Ross Homer, Senior Vice President:

For me, one of the highlights of HIMSS is checking out (and helping myself to) the vendor giveaways. By now, I’ve collected enough pens, flashlight keychains, sticky notes and luggage tags to set me up for life. But I always get a kick out of the really unique tchotchkes. Some standouts over the years include a headset that turns your phone into a virtual reality viewer, an all-in-one multi-use tool, and a bunch of funky socks. But, this year’s #ThatsSoHIMSS moment for me was sorting through my swag after the show to find two items that had me baffled. You know you are at HIMSS when the vendor giveaways are just as confusing as their company value propositions! Now, can anyone tell me what these things are?


 ross photo


From Jessica Cohen, Executive Vice President:

As far back as we can remember, each year at HIMSS there is breaking news—whether that be vendor-driven or regulatory—that completely takes over the news cycles at the show. This year was no exception. While the industry has been anticipating CMS and ONC’s interoperability rules for a while now (it was originally supposed to be released over the summer!) of course it revealed itself on the first day of HIMSS (which is SO HIMSS). From a PR perspective, this was both a blessing and a curse. We had many clients attending the show that focus on helping provider organizations achieve interoperability via various technologies and services, so we had lots of resources available to speak with journalists trying to wrap their heads around this rule. But, at the same time, many of our clients already had prepared talking points, thought leadership and news they wanted to share at the show, and with this rule front and center, it was a challenge to pivot the conversation back to our clients’ initial intention. All in all, this breaking news ultimately yielded additional press opportunities for our clients and fostered an important dialogue in the industry, so while it did catch some of us by surprise, we were able to turn it into lemonade for our clients… #ThatsSoHIMSS!


From Danielle Johns, Senior Account Executive:

“Would you like to do an interview on the unicorn?” is a question I never thought I’d hear asked. We get a unique view of HIMSS as we run from press meeting to press meeting, which often means we spend a lot of time in boring meeting rooms. So when you show up to an interview and there is a UNICORN there, you know that’s going to be a conversation starter. When we visited Matthew Holt of The Health Care Blog in his booth on the last day of HIMSS with our client, Kim Labow, CEO of Medfusion, and we saw the unicorn, we knew this was going to be a different type of HIMSS meeting. Kim jumped at the chance to take up Matthew on his request and ended up doing the whole (on-camera) interview while sitting on a unicorn, making it one of the most memorable meetings Aria has ever staffed at HIMSS. Don’t believe us that this #ThatsSoHIMSS unicorn meeting happened? We have the proof:


file 3


From Ashley Owen, Senior Account Executive

As I prepared for my very first HIMSS, everyone kept saying, “Make sure you have comfortable shoes.” Following this ominous advice, I brought one pair of shoes for each day I’d be on the show floor—a pair of low booties I tested out at another massive conference (RSNA), and a pair of ultra-comfortable flats I bought specifically for HIMSS. The booties were workable, though the soles felt hard and unsupportive by happy hour, but the flats were a complete godsend, light and comfortable with memory foam-like soles that allowed me to dart across the exhibit hall in between meetings. My biggest #ThatsSoHIMSS moment was noticing which people had prioritized comfortable shoes—like flats, sandals, and even sneakers and Ugg boots—and which unlucky folks didn’t get the #HIMSShoes memo and had mistakenly worn heels, new shoes needing to be broken in, or other non-HIMSS-friendly footwear. Why are shoes so crucial? Between the five members of the Aria team that attended HIMSS, we walked a total of 71 miles over four days at the show. I personally walked 10 miles in five days, and with every step I thanked my lucky stars I had good shoes.


We’d love to hear what your #ThatsSoHIMSS moments were this year. Share your photos or thoughts with us on Twitter @AriaMarketing with the hashtag #ThatsSoHIMSS and we’ll share our favorites!


Want to learn more about Aria Marketing’s work at HIMSS for our health IT clients? Be sure to check out our recent press release recapping our efforts for nearly a dozen clients in attendance. 


Blog post written by:
Danielle Johns
Author: Danielle Johns
Account Director