Boy oh boy. What a difference a year can make. Finally we are all starting to realize that we are on the cusp of something REALLY cool and REALLY big! But – let’s not forget where we’ve been. The last few years have been different for me at HIMSS. Really different.
Let’s take a quick look back at where we’ve been.
In 2009 most of us were salivating over what was about to happen in our industry yet it still seemed so far away. Companies had the chance to start building their talent bench but most failed to do so. I walked the Exhibition Hall at HIMSS that year and many vendors were just standing around. Lots of companies pulled the plug on travel in 2009 and it was obvious. It was cold in more than one way – it snowed in Chicago that year. Many HCIT candidates also felt the cold pain of the economic situation – despite all of the upside that was on the horizon. Really good people that I know and met thru my practice experienced hardship and while I wanted to help – hiring was not robust. In fact search assignments were few and far between and many of my search brethren had to call it quits in an effort to survive. It was not good. At all. Nope.
In 2010 HIMSS was good – but not great. In 2010 – companies were anticipating all of the changes that were taking place in our industry but yet very tentative in their hiring approach. Companies across the US (all sectors) were (and still are) sitting on trillions of dollars of cash on their balance sheets. Just waiting to deploy those dollars by re-investing in their businesses. There was certainly some thawing that most of us could feel from the hiring freeze – it did feel much better. Companies started to hire and peek out of the foxhole to test the temperature on talent. We had a good year – but it was not the watershed moment and breakout year we were all looking for. But I am not complaining! Nope.
Fast forward to 2011 and HIMSS in Orlando. Somehow it just feels different. It feels better and there is a certain BUZZ in the air and I can feel everywhere on International Drive. The sun is out and the weather is AWESOME (80 degrees in February) and somehow I sense that this year will be different. Much different. From a personal point of view – my dance card this year has never been better. Back to back to back meetings. All good. Yes this year is the year we all begin to realize the potential in our space and how lucky we are to serve this wonderful industry we all call healthcare IT.
Welcome to Orlando and welcome to HIMSS 2011!