One night this week I decided to take a look at some of the various research, conferences, etc that were being done by HIMSS. While visiting their site I came across an HIMSS virtual conference. You can imagine my intrigue since I’ve wanted to attend the HIMSS annual conference for a while and just haven’t been able to manage the scheduling or expense for the conference. That’s the great part of the HIMSS virtual conference: it’s free and I can watch it from the comfort of my office.
Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely some drawbacks to an online conference. There is something nice about seeing someone face to face and experiencing a live demo of a product. Not to mention the free conference giveaways and free dinners with vendors. However, there are also some great advantages to a completely virtual conference also. Take for example, the networking with colleagues. I think almost all of us are familiar with the feeling that we should be networking with those around us. Yet, there’s kind of this uncomfortable feeling of how to start a conversation with those around you. One nice thing about the internet is that it helps to take down those barriers and allows people to feel more comfortable interacting. It’s worked really well for guys meeting girls online and so I don’t see why a virtual conference couldn’t offer the same benefits to its attendees.
I applaud HIMSS for this move into the virtual conference world. I’m excited to see how it plays out this Wednesday, November 19th and Thursday, November 20th. There are a number of HIT sessions that look interesting along with some EHR, e-prescribing and even an opening keynote about healthcare and politics. You can see the full list of sessions here. I’d like to see a broader range of sessions and a larger “vendor floor” (albeit virtual), but for a first offering I think that HIMSS has done a great job.
I have a meeting here and there throughout the virtual conference that I have to attend, but I’m sure I’ll be active in the conference chat rooms when I am attending. Also, I’ll be posting updates to my Twitter account if you want to follow me there. You can also follow HIMSS on twitter now too.
Here’s a link to register for the HIMSS virtual conference. If you’re planning on attending also, let me know. I’d love to see what other bloggers plan on attending.