Monday, March 16, 2015

Consider the Physical Aspects of Attending the #HIMSS Conference

"It is better to look good than to feel good.” - Fernando Lamas on The Tonight Show

Conferences can be grueling: up early in the morning, moving around in a strange city – mostly under the power of your own two legs; eating like a prince at a 5-star restaurant one day and then like a pauper out of a hotel vending machine the next. Then up late responding to emails you should really be ignoring. Any way you look at it, addressing the physical aspects of attending a conference like the 2015 HIMSS Conference in Chicago can be, by far, one of the most important things you should do to maximize the benefits you’re get out of the conference.

Here are six considerations to address the physical aspects of attending the HIMSS Conference:

Comfortable Shoes
Conferences are usually synonymous with huge hotels or convention halls. You may have to walk close to a mile just to get to the location. Then there are the 1000’s and 1000’s of step around the exhibit floor and to/from the sessions. Comfortable shoes are a must, otherwise your feet will be crying by the end of the day. If you have to wear heels, slip some flats or flip-flops in your bag for the commute.

Dress for success. Dress smart. Look Mahvelous too!
Does anyone really need to be told how to dress for a HIMSS conference? Who’d be so presumptuous to suggest how someone should dress? While think Bill Crystal summed it up pretty good with his: “It’s always better to look good than to feel good,” you may want to just worry about how you look from the ankles up.

Keep Your Heart 
Warm  and Your Feet Cool

Conference halls are always either freezing cold or boiling hot, never much in the middle. Thus, wearing layers are probably the best way to stay comfortable. Make sure your underlayer is appropriate in case you have to lose your sweater. Ladies – and guys very comfortable with their masculinity - can keep a pashmina in their bag in case a room is cold.

Know Your Limits
Most who’ve gone before will agree: one day at HIMSS is much more physically intense than an average day at your regular job. Getting the most benefit from the conference dictates that you treat it as a marathon not a sprint. Be sure not to ruin the next day by cramming too much into the day before.

Snacks and Water
Plan ahead and bring a few good snacks with you. If you have the capacity, consider bringing a couple bottles of water with you. You’ll have it when you want it and save time and money too. Lines will be long – especially around the noon hour – so consider eating “off cycle” which should be easier if your from a different time zone. Keep snacks like nuts, a protein bar, and maybe even a few candy bars to slap that 2:30 feeling with when it comes along.

Plan for Feeling Lousy
No one ever expects to feel under the weather but it may happen. Make sure you have a few medicinal items handy so you can avoid wasting time trying to find them and hasten your return to feeling better. Some ibuprofen and antacid like Tums can work miracles on a headache, minor aches and pains from walking and/or that side dish you should have left on the side. Some swear by Emergen-C to get them through that post lunch slump. Consider bringing a supply of those few medicines we all know work for us.

More to Come!
The HIMSS Conference is a great opportunity to expand your network and sphere of knowledge. For more tips and information on the 2015 HIMSS Conference in Chicago, consider following me on Twitter.

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