A New, Collaborative Approach to Conferences at Health IT Expo

The following is an introduction to Health IT Expo by Brian G. Rosenberg, Chairperson of HITExpo 2018.
I have been working in healthcare technology for over 16 years, and during that time have attended countless conferences as an attendee, speaker, or vendor.  Some of these events have grown so large that they have become overwhelming and impersonal.  Others are so sales-oriented that attendees face a series of thinly-veiled pitches with numerous competitive products are fighting for attendee attention.  I have always been interested in being part of something different.
As a regular contributor to, and a fellow resident of Las Vegas, I have been working with John Lynn for the past several years.   I attended one of his other conferences, the Health IT Marketing Conference where I participated in a fascinating panel discussion by providing the customer point of view of common marketing techniques.   When he came to me with a new idea to create a healthcare IT conference that was truly innovative and collaborative – where healthcare technology providers and technology consumers directly collaborated with each other to share ideas and experiences, I was immediately interested in working with him to create the kind of conference that I would want to participate in as an attendee or as a vendor.
As an attendee to a conference what I would want is a truly educational and collaborative environment.  I want to talk to other people in the industry not just at “networking cocktail hours” – where you spend more time talking about the weather than about anything truly interesting – but instead right in the sessions sharing ideas, asking questions, and hearing first-hand what has and has not worked for others.  I don’t want to hear presentations that talk about why I need to buy a particular product.  I want to hear panel discussions from a variety of solution providers and healthcare providers to get different perspectives of how to solve industry issues.  I want to hear first-hand what people have done not just by getting a snore-inducing power-point but by interacting with them during presentations – asking them how they would have addressed my challenges, and debating how they went about the path that they chose.
As a vendor to a conference, I don’t want to spend a small fortune to sponsor, build a booth, pay a union to install it, and create endless giveaway items that most people just leave in their hotel room at the end of the trip.  I don’t want to be shoved in a room that no one goes into as part of a sea of similar booths selling similar products to the same audience while I stand there and hope someone comes by.  As a conference sponsor, I want to be part of the conference. I want to go to sessions and interact with other service and software providers and with hospital attendees.  I want to participate in panel discussions not to pitch my products – but rather to share my ideas and learn from others not just about what is available today – but what technology companies should be creating for tomorrow.
As a speaker, I want an audience that appreciates being challenged and challenges me.  I want to share vision, big ideas, successes and failures – and engage the audience in live discussion and debate. I want the audience to ask me a question I did not anticipate.  Throw me a curveball that takes me away from my prepared slides.  Challenges my thinking – gives me a better idea – or let’s find a better one together.
That’s the conference that I want to be a part of – and this is the conference we’re creating at Health IT Expo.  Come join us and be a part of this experience.
Reach out to us to hear all the details or to share your ideas on other ways we can make Health IT Expo unique and useful to you as an attendee or sponsor.