At the risk of sounding too cliché, I’m going to say that HIMSS is a marathon, not a sprint. (Actually, I said it twice, if you count the headline.) And I’m exhausted already.
Planning for the annual madness, which starts this weekend here in Chicago, is almost as grueling as the conference itself, and I got a late start because I didn’t know until a couple weeks ago who I would be covering the event for. In case you were still wondering, I’m now a full-time staffer for MedCity News, so you can read my work there. In less than a week on the job, I’m already feeling a better vibe than I ever did with the last attempt at full-time work.
I have a feeling others are as exhausted as I am, or at least can empathize with all the scheduling that has to go into HIMSS for a journalist. I need to find stories, but I also need to leave myself time to, you know, actually write the stories. We shall see if I succeed, because I feel overscheduled already.
How do I know it’s a common feeling? This semi-exasperated tweet I sent out a few days ago has gotten favorited a dozen times, which is just about a record for me.
No more phone calls about vendor meetings at #HIMSS15 please. Remember, 1400 of you, one of me.
— Neil Versel (@nversel) April 6, 2015
The “1,400 of you, one of me” line has kind of become a mantra for me when dealing with people who are begging for a bit of my time. I did not violate my Rule #2 of HIMSS, which is never schedule back-to-back meetings in different locations. (Rule No. 1, of course, is wear comfortable shoes.)
I just hope I can get all my work done, and that I can get a solid six hours of sleep a night next week, even though it’s a home game for me this year. I’m not terribly far from McCormick Place, but it’s a pain to get to from where I am on the North Side. It’s either an hour-plus on public transit, with one transfer, or $21 per day to park. I’d ride my bike down there, but you probably don’t want to see me in spandex. I still may do that on Saturday before most of you are in town. Be warned.
I probably won’t be blogging on this site during HIMSS, though I may have some multimedia to post at some point. If you want to read my coverage, head over to MedCity News. My HIMSS preview should be up by the time you get to town this weekend. And if you haven’t done so already, click on the above tweet and follow me on Twitter.
Welcome to Chicago.