We’re two weeks away from the 2020 HIMSS Global Health Conference & Exhibition, this year taking place in sunny Orlando, Fla. Dubbed the Super Bowl for our industry, thousands of health information and technology professionals will soon gather for a week of education, innovation and collaboration – all with the goal of reimagining health and wellness for individuals across the globe. 

Each year the annual HIMSS Conference has an overarching theme. In a time of unprecedented healthcare disruption, it’s no surprise that this year, HIMSS20 is calling our industry to take action: Be the change.

As healthIT marketers, we know the only thing constant is change, but how often are you truly changing, revamping and enhancing your event marketing strategy? To fully capitalize on HIMSS20 and take advantage of new PR and marketing opportunities, refer to our five tips below. 

5 PR TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL #HIMSS20

Be Selective in Pitching Media Briefings: Companies outnumber media at HIMSS by a landslide. As such, unless you are unveiling something truly innovative, you must think about ways you can elevate your brand message instead of simply pitching media briefings with little news. To put this in perspective, last year I was talking to a healthIT journalist who told our team he had received 100+ emails being invited to come to a company’s booth for a demo and/or to meet with an executive during the show. Of those 100+ requests, he only responded to and booked 20 meetings. While the odds are certainly against you, you can slightly change the approach and achieve success in securing media interviews. For example, package up a story that includes time with customers or partners. Reporters actually prefer to hear from third-party sources about how your technology enabled them to achieve success. 

When Engaging Press, Use Your Time Wisely: Let’s say you do have news to release at the show and a media contact has agreed to a briefing. Great! Make sure you use this time wisely. Speak not just about your company, product or solution, but also hit on larger industry trends and issues. For example, provide context about how your company plays a role in solving some of healthcare’s biggest challenges. Be bold and share your vision. Also, be sure to name drop a few customers that the reporter can reach out to for further insights. 

Keep an Out Eye for Media Friendlies: Registered press typically receive and wear a designated ‘Media Badge’ at the show, so it’s easy to identify them. If you do see a journalist on the show floor, don’t be afraid to introduce yourself. In doing so, however, remember to use common sense and basic manners. Don’t interrupt a journalist in the middle of a conversation. Rather, be polite, say hello, and engage in professional conversation about the show, major trends they are covering, etc. 

Enhance Your Social Presence: Amidst all the activity at HIMSS, it may be easy to forget about your social presence. But social media is key to reaching key audiences during the show. Instead of simply pushing out pre-drafted social content, personalize and amplify your social presence. Engage in conversations through hashtags and by joining LinkedIn Groups. Create live videos from the show providing influencers with a “behind-the-scenes” look at your team and technology in action. Trust us on this one — social media can be key for cutting through the clutter and driving breakthrough results

Follow Up and Follow Through: The most common mistake we see companies make is not following up with key contacts post-show. Keep a list of media or other influencers you met during the show and reach out to them after-the-fact. If you promised to send more information about your company’s innovation, send it along with a personalized note. If a reporter asked to speak with the CEO after the show, send him or her dates and times the interview can take place. If you provided a reporter with marketing collateral, assume it was misplaced and send it again via email (the last thing anyone wants to do is return home with more paper, so these documents are often trashed!) These extra touchpoints are crucial for further building key relationships and ensuring contacts have the information they need on your company. Heading to Orlando for HIMSS20? Message me for more tips on how to make your healthIT company stand out. And for live coverage from the show floor, follow me on Twitter.

ARPR Health IT

As ARPR’s health IT senior account director, Cortney brings her strategic vision, media relations chops and hunger to the forefront to PRopel What's Possible for all of her clients.

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