An Interesting MGMA Observation

Lately I’ve been traveling to more and more EMR and Healthcare IT related conferences. The past couple days I’ve been enjoying my time at the MGMA conference in Las Vegas (although, I didn’t have to travel to this one since I live in Las Vegas). This is my first time attending the MGMA conference. From what I can tell the attendance and exhibit hall have done very well. In fact, I just asked and they’ve had 3500 conference attendees and a total of 5700 people in Las Vegas for the MGMA conference. They tell me that’s a 19% growth over last year.

What I’ve found most interesting is that unlike many conferences I’ve been at, the sessions at MGMA have been incredibly full. In fact, many of them have been standing room only. This is in contrast to the exhibit floor which has felt rather empty. There are a few short periods that were busy in the exhibit hall, but overall it seems like MGMA attendees prefer to go to the educational session as opposed to being in the exhibit hall.

I asked professional conference attender (otherwise known as Healthcare IT journalist) Neil Versel who blogs at Meaningful Health IT News why this might be the case. He said that maybe those attending MGMA have already made their EHR selection, so they’re more interested in hearing from experts as opposed to browsing products. Of course, he did highlight that it was those that attended had already implemented an EHR since we know that the majority have not yet implemented an EHR.

While I think this could be part of the reason, I wonder if there’s not something more at work. If I’d done better at taking notes during the Marcus Buckingham keynote, I could maybe look at the profiles he found in the MGMA audience to explain it. A part of me wonders how many of the MGMA attendees are decision makers as opposed to operational leaders. I’m sure they’re all over the spectrum, but sessions are likely more interesting for operations and compliance people.

As a first time attendee, I’ve been really impressed with MGMA. They’re well organized and brought together a lot of interesting vendors and attendees.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • John – I envy your travel schedule for MGMA and HIMSS 12. I assume the new media meetup for HIMMS will be at your house, right šŸ™‚

    How does the size of the exhibit hall for MGMA compare to last years HIMSS?

  • Steve,
    Yes, the travel for MGMA and HIMSS this year is fantastic for me. Although, it has the same effect on my wife (I’m not around).

    I’m not sure you’d want the meetup at my house with my kids around. We’ll find somewhere great to hold it.

    CES is bigger than HIMSS last year, but MGMA isn’t close. Although, they did have 400+ exhibitors and only 15 hours of exhibit time. So, more than you could see in the allotted time.

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