12 Takeaways From HIMSS'Successful, Fully Vaxxed Conference

Source : PCMA

Author: Jennifer N. Dienst

In late June, Convene spoke with Karen Malone, vice president of meeting services and sales for HIMSS North America, to learn how the organization put together a proof-of-vaccination policy in advance of its 2021 Global Health Conference & Exhibition, held in Las Vegas, Aug. 9-13.

A lot has changed since then. In late July, the Delta variant caused a dramatic spike in COVID cases nationwide, prompting the HIMSS21 team to make last-minute adjustments. That included instating a mask mandate for the entire event campus — which spanned CAESARS FORUM, Venetian-Sands Expo Center, and Wynn Las Vegas — in accordance with local guidelines. The team also saw close to 200 exhibitors drop out.

In the end, the conference drew more than 700 exhibitors and close to 19,000 in-person attendees, with almost as many attending online. Recent feedback has been overwhelmingly positive — 95 percent of

exhibitors said they were very happy with the experience, even with the reduced numbers. “They overlooked quantity for quality,” said Malone. “I know it’s a cliche, but it was so true in this case. They said the quality of the conversations was outstanding — they felt they were just stronger… they felt that people were genuinely looking for solutions.”

From a health and safety perspective, the outcome was also a success. As of Aug. 23, only six out of the 19,000 in attendance reported positive test results since the conference — or .03 percent. It is estimated that the rate of breakthrough infections nationwide is .02 percent.


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