Why I’m wearing flats at #HIMSS17

HIMSS Hyland 2016

I remember the first trade show I attended as a public relations professional. It was a little over 10 years ago, which is exactly why I can’t immediately recall the name of it.

Ah, yes. It was the American Academy of Ophthalmology annual meeting, held in Las Vegas. If there was ever a way to prep someone for a future in healthcare PR, an ophthalmic trade show is the answer.

Everywhere the eye could see – pun intended? – there were graphic images and videos of lens replacement surgeries, intravitreal injections, corneal scraping and more. (Some of which I may be blocking out and is perhaps the root of why I’ve refused to get LASIK up until this point.)

Some of my peers may have hung up their lanyards and badges after that show, but I was hooked.

The value of HIMSS: Learning and networking like crazy

At that show, I had the opportunity to meet with trade journalists to discuss new data that my clients debuted and subsequently heard firsthand how impactful their findings would be for the industry. I sat next to world-renowned ophthalmologists and learned the very same concepts in real time that could potentially help improve the care of their patients.

Even when I was in line for coffee or waiting for a cab, I found myself networking and fully engaged in conversations about all of the interesting things we had heard at the show. But standing in a cab line for an hour at the Sands Expo, following a long first day, is the moment I regretted only packing high heels.

I have never repeated that mistake again.

Now, in my role at Hyland, I support all things healthcare PR. Everything I learned at that initial trade show in 2006 – and the many since – has not only prepared me, but also built up a sense of excitement for our biggest healthcare technology event of the year: #HIMSS17.

Everyone I talk to has guaranteed that HIMSS17 will not disappoint. In between meetings with our media contacts, you won’t find me at the pool in Orlando – though it is tempting, as it will likely to be a balmy 30 degrees or less back in Cleveland at that time.

Instead, I’ll be seeking out more info about the following significant industry topics. My goal is to further enhance the ways we communicate how we can – and do – help healthcare organizations to proactively manage the main themes at this year’s conference:

  1. Cybersecurity
  2. Interoperability
  3. Revenue cycle
  4. Federal healthcare
  5. Payer

So, if you’ll also be at #HIMSS17, please stop by the Hyland booth (shout out to #1379!) and say hi. I’ll be the one in flats with the notebook ready to learn more. See you in Orlando!

Laura Pegg

Laura Pegg

Laura M. Pegg is a public relations specialist at Hyland where she primarily supports healthcare, higher education and product. She has more than a decade of experience in public relations, corporate communications and public affairs. Laura earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations with concentrations in history and political science from Kent State University. She currently resides in downtown Cleveland where she is active in the DCA City Advocates Program and pursues her passions in photography, travel and culinary exploration.

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