The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and exhibition organizer Informa Markets announced the pair had signed an agreement for Informa to take over management of the HIMSS Health Global Conference & Exhibition, with HIMSS continuing to oversee expert content and event programming.
HIMSS Global Conference & Exhibition drew over 40,000 healthcare and technology professionals, people from various government organizations and more than 1,200 exhibitors in Chicago this year.
“We began talking about a year ago internally. If we could find the right partner, we could be able to bring the best of operations, we could focus on the level of content and programming, and think about the thought leadership that HIMSS is so well known for that we bring to the Global Conference,” said Hal Wolf, president and CEO of HIMSS, during a HIMSS TV interview.
U.K.-based Informa Markets works to improve event experiences, provide media and marketing services, supply online marketplaces for B2B industries and garner data insights. It’s a global company with a presence in the U.S., Middle East, China and Europe and oversees more than 400 events in various industries.
Wolf said that once Informa walked through the door, and it was evident the exhibition organizer understood how HIMSS society worked, and HIMSS discovered the attributes Informa could bring to the table, “it became a no-brainer.”
The agreement, signed this week, will bring together the resources of Informa with the thought leadership in health technology at HIMSS to the Global Conference, which is slated to take place in March 2024 in Orlando.
Ken McAvoy, president of South Florida Ventures at Informa Markets, said that thanks to the partnership, attendees and exhibitors would see enhanced registration processes, digital features, product discovery applications and marketing tools.
“With the trade show, they’ve done an outstanding job,” said McAvoy. “But our relationship with the association, how we mesh everything together and we take the advantages of their team and our teams, that’s what really enthused us. Our goal is not just to improve or expand the trade show; it’s more to expand the association’s reach on a global basis.”
Approximately 30 HIMSS employees focusing on curating the Global Conference were transferred to Informa. Attendees and exhibitors will deal with the same individuals to provide continuity, but will have more tools to work with, McAvoy said.
The partners have formed an advisory board with members from each company. Ultimately the name of the conference will remain unchanged, and the majority of what attendees experience will not alter much.
“We don’t really want to change anything. Why would you change something that’s not broken? Where can we go to improve it? And what can we do on not only a one-year plan, but a three-year plan of improving the entire event and the experience – the experience for the attendee and the exhibitor,” McAvoy said.
“I’d be surprised if, in Orlando, people don’t see the difference because I guarantee you, the fire that they have in the HIMSS organization and the fire that we have in Informa, we’re going to want to make it better.”
Wolf reiterated that sentiment to MobiHealthNews and added that the partnership is not just about the exhibition to either company, but about the betterment of the global healthcare ecosystem.
“It’s not just about a show. That’s the big difference. It’s not about, ‘Oh, we’re going to take this and make a lot of money off of it.’ That’s not the issue,” Wolf said. “Where it really matters is that we have a common vision for the betterment of a global health ecosystem, and if that remains our focus, the rest will take care of itself.”