Conference Going Top 10 List
Today, it's Friday. And you know, on Fridays I like to riff a little bit about different topics. I'm getting ready to go to vi and today I'm gonna do my conference prep top 10 list.
My name is Bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for our 16 hospital system and creator of this week Health. A set of channels dedicated to keeping health IT staff current and engaged. We want to thank our show sponsors who are investing in developing the next generation of health.
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All right. Getting ready to go to Vibe, and I decided to put this top 10 list together. I'm putting it together just to be clear. I'm putting it together. From the perspective of a cio, if I were sending out my team, some of the things I would say to them and some, some of this go, goes back and forth anyway, but just through this together this morning, thought I would share it with you.
Here's my conference top 10 list. If you're preparing to go number one, honor the investment. Someone is either paying for you to be there or has given you time away to attend the. Honor the investment. Represent your organization. Well. Know your role at the conference either to gather information, speak, make connections, find solutions.
I challenge people to create a five x return on the investment your company has made. In you attending the conference, think about how much they're investing. Find that five x return, either again, through, , networking, finding some people that are doing some interesting things, whatever it happens to be.
You never know. , when I used to send my managers, I used to say to them, , , I wanna see a list of new contacts that you essentially have made at the conference. I know I'm kind of, , , stickler this way, but I, I, it drove me nuts when my managers would say, I don't have, I, I need to hire a recruiting firm cause I don't know anyone to hire for this role.
And I'd be like, That's the reason we've been sending you to conferences for the last three years, so that you don't start from scratch every time you're trying to fill a role. You should be networking with the people that you're looking to hire anyway, that's not even one. I'll throw that in as a one a bonus anyway.
Number one, honor the investment. Number two, you really could have attended this conference virtually, so maximize the value that is created by being in. Talk to people, take notes, even record some discussions, look at the attendees prior to getting on the plane and see if there's someone that you'd like to speak with.
Is there a health system that's doing something that's really interesting that, that your health system might benefit from? Could you copy what they're doing? , I've made the case a bunch of times that we don't need to be wild with our innovation. A lot of times we just need to find the people who are already.
Really creative things in our space. That's the way you put all those incredible other health systems to work for you. They're trying to solve similar problems, what you're solving, find them, , , track 'em down, learn from them, talk to them, network with them. So, , maximize the in-person aspect of the event.
That's number two. Number three, there's like a hundred vendors in one place, and it's probably an understatement. There's probably 200 vendors in one. Don't hide. See the vendors. I see this as, , putting their staff to work for you. Again, , , each of these vendors represents, , , a whole bunch of people that, , get up every day and dream about how to, how to make healthcare better.
In fact, have that question ready. What are you doing to make healthcare better? It's a great question. When you go into the, , you know, I met a person at the last event I was at and he refused to tell me his name because he thought I was a vendor. , we finally talked a day later after he realized who I was, and my encouragement to you is don't do this.
Figure out how to handle the email thing, which you're trying to avoid. And talk to the vendor partners. In fact, stop calling 'em vendors and call them partners. They are partners in trying to solve the hardest problems we have in healthcare. So, , take advantage of the fact that , these partners are there and you're there.
Talk to him. Number four, know your health systems priorities before you get on the. Is it efficiency? Is it engagement? Is it automation? Know what it is and attend those sessions and speak with those partners. Number five, I'm gonna give you two don'ts here. Don't do these things under any circumstances.
One, don't get drunk. This reflects poorly on you and your organization, and this will likely lead to you not getting up on time or being your best for the meetings. Just don't. , I, I, I don't see a reason to do it. This is not spring break. It's a business trip. , don't get drunk. Number two, don't stay out late.
And I purposefully didn't put a time in there. , I try to be in bed by 10 o'clock, and my theory is that nothing good really happens after 10 o'clock. It's not like I'm doing great interviews after 10 o'clock. It's not like I'm at my best after 10 o'clock and I'm not gonna get drunk. So there's no reason for me to really be out after 10 o'clock.
I don't make. Wild new connections after 10 o'clock. So, , those are my two don'ts. Don't get drunk. Don't say stay out too late. I know I sound like a parent there. Sorry about that. Number six. Get your picture taken with Captain. , we're raising money for childhood cancer. That's the fundraiser we're doing If you get your picture taken with, , with Holly's, , service dog captain.
, we will give a dollar for everybody in the picture. To childhood cancer. So that's one thing, but there's other great causes being highlighted at the conference and I would challenge you to find them. I'm playing golf on Sunday morning to raise money for the opioid task force. And , it combines, , two great things.
I love to play golf, I love to network and meet new people, and we are gonna raise money in the process. So there's a lot of those opportunities. Take advantage of them, number. I, I mentioned recording a conversation earlier, and this one is probably out of your comfort zone, but , I think recording conversations is valuable.
It's valuable for two reasons. One is you can listen to it again over and over again. The second reason is you can share it with others, right? I have a simple setup that I use. I have an app called Backpack that is on my phone, and then I have two lovelier mics, which connect up to my iPhone. I use Backpack to take out the background.
And the mics to capture the conversation. There is great value in capturing some conversations, and you'll be surprised if you. People will be okay with you recording the conversation and you could say, look, my health system's doing these things. You've done these things . I'd like to ask you a couple questions about it and capture it and potentially share it with my team.
You could just as easily say, Hey, can I set up a call later? But if you're there with them, you're already talking, maybe it's easier to just capture it and, , record it and share it with people later. All right, number eight, couple silly things here. Time box your. , don't be calling back into the office for several teams meetings during the short conference, right?
They can get by without you. Get up early. Do some email. Check it at lunch for 15 minutes, and check it again 15 minutes before you start your night out. Don't be a conference martyr. No one's impressed by how busy you are. We are all really busy. Be present at the conference. All right, number nine. Hydrate and bring good shoes.
I know. Silly. , but I actually bought a new pair of shoes, , just prior to a hymns conference a while back cuz my shoes were at the end of their life. And I thought, well, I should have a good pair of shoes. It looks good. And by the end of that conference, I could barely walk. And it was kind of, it was awful.
And then hydrate goes without saying.
And before I get to number 10, let me just go through these one more time with you, just so you get 'em. Number one, honor the investment. Number two. , maximize the in-person aspect of the event. Number three, talk to the vendor partners. Number four, know your health system priorities before you get there and seek out the solutions.
, number five, A and B. Don't get drunk and don't stay out too late. Number six, get your picture taken with captain or support some other cause that's going on at the. , number seven, recorded conversation. Do it just once. , it might be odd the first time, but you'll get used to it. , number eight, time box your work.
Don't be a conference martyr. Number nine, hydrate and bring good shoes. And then number 10, finally say hi to us. I'd like to meet you if you're listening to this show, I want to hear your story. Why are you listening? What resonates? , how has your work been impacted? , we started this week Health with the Mission to amplify great thinking, to propel healthcare forward and develop the next generation of health leaders. And that's you. And we cherish your feedback.
So I look forward to seeing you at the conference. Come by and say hi, and, , let's have a great conference.
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