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HIMSS Annual Conference on Track for a Healthy Turnout in Las Vegas

Analysis  |  By Mandy Roth  
   February 03, 2021

The organization will offer a hybrid event, combining the in-person experience with digital opportunities. HIMSS commits to keeping stakeholders abreast of unanticipated changes as the pandemic evolves.

The largest healthcare IT conference in the nation is making a comeback this summer in Las Vegas, and signs are pointing to a healthy turnout, with 10,000 hotel rooms already booked for the HIMSS21 Global Healthcare Conference & Exhibition, which takes place August 9‒13.

More than 40,000 attendees were expected at last year's annual gathering, hosted by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). That event was one of the first major conference casualties of the pandemic.

During 2020, the organization pivoted, providing new ways for members to connect and learn online. As options expanded, so did global membership, which recently exceeded 100,000 members. As a result, this year's conference will be a "completely reimagined hybrid event that bridges the in-person experience with new digital opportunities," according to a notice HIMSS sent to exhibitors yesterday.

"The last year taught us all the value of choices, collaboration, and appreciation for community. In anticipation of the opportunities (and the challenges) ahead, HIMSS is preparing several paths for delivering world-class education, cutting-edge products and solutions, and unique networking opportunities," the announcement said.

HIMSS cited the approval and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines as a key factor in deciding to host an in-person event, but cautioned that adjustments may be necessary as information about the virus and the global pandemic evolves.

"The safety of the global health community is our first priority," the statement said. "In coming months, we will better understand the global vaccine distribution rates, infection rates, and the status of government regulations and advice on how best to proceed with a substantial convening." HIMSS is committed to advising stakeholders on a timely basis regarding decisions impacting the conference, according to the announcement.

In related news, HIMSS indicated:

  • Registration for more than 11,000 professionals who paid for the 2020 conference will be transferred to the 2021 event.
  • More than 700 people submitted proposals to speak, and HIMSS has received more than 300 applications for reviewers—trends that are on track with past events.
  • More than 400 exhibitors have committed to HIMSS21, a rate which is about 65% compared a similar timeframe in past years.

“[This year's conference will be a] completely reimagined hybrid event that bridges the in-person experience with new digital opportunities.”

Mandy Roth is the innovations editor at HealthLeaders.

Photo credit: Randy Andy


Hotel bookings, registration, and speaking proposals are on track with past events; exhibitor commitment rates are at about 65%, compared to similar timeframes in prior years.

The organization is poised to make adjustments as information about COVID-19 and pandemic precautions evolve.

The development of new digital opportunities to learn and connect drove global HIMSS membership to surpass 100,000 members.

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