HIMSS to Chicago in ’09

I just heard that the annual HIMSS conference is making its way to the organization’s home town (and mine) of Chicago in April 2009. Read the press release from the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau here.

In fact, Chicago is joining the regular rotation of HIMSS cities, along with New Orleans (nice to have the Big Easy back!), Las Vegas and Orlando.

As much as I like going to a warm-weather destination for the conference, it’s going to be nice having it in a real city on a more regular basis. San Diego this past February was great, but the conference got so big this year that hotel rooms were scarce. I stayed at a Super 8. I understand exhibit space was at a premium, too, even in a huge hall like that one.

Dallas last year didn’t do it for me, either, and the convention center in Orlando really is in the middle of nowhere if you don’t rent a car. Vegas I’m good with.

OK, OK, I know there aren’t too many hotels within walking distance of McCormick Place—a complaint I had with Dallas—but there are now dedicated bus lanes that make the trip from the convention hall to all the North Michigan Avenue hotels a very quick one. If the weather’s lousy in April, oh well. I promise you will find plenty of ways to enjoy yourselves here.

Register now if you want to crash on my couch.