2. Establish Audience. Who will benefit
most by attending the conference? Who
are the people vendors want to see on
the exhibit floor? HIMSS looks at titles,
organization types and work sites, then
prioritizes based on its goals.
3. Gather Information. What are the
product offerings, sessions and events?
Who are the audiences for each? What
types of event sponsorships will be
sors and exhibitors — and, for unique
circumstances, telemarketing. Additionally, the marketing department works
with the communications and editorial
teams to ensure brand messaging is
reinforced and activities are promoted
in news releases, newsletter articles
and other media activities.
4. Determine Marketing Deliverables.
While each campaign is different, the
plan calls for a combination of print
and electronic marketing, social media
campaigns, third-party marketing —
through conference collaborators, spon-
5. Get Staff Involved. The HIMSS Oasis
is an online home for HTMLs and PDFs
that HIMSS staff can access. Staff have
thousands of connections through com-
mittees and networks, and the Oasis
makes it easy for them to pull materials
to e-mail to their networks or print for
handouts throughout the year. Integra-
tive marketing is essential for a project
of the scope and complexity of the
HIMSS Annual Conference. HIMSS has
found that if it establishes goals first
and gets early agreement on messaging
and branding, the plan flows smoothly.
However, as with any plan, there may
be bumps. Opportunities arise during
the execution phase that the associa-
tion attempts to take advantage of, or
problems occur that require quick
changes. If nothing else, the marketing
plan must be built on flexibility to
ensure that opportunities and chal-
lenges can be addressed.
Lynda Batchelor is senior manager, marketing,
at the Health Information Management Systems
Society. She may be reached at