ViVE vs HIMSS…What is the Difference?

Florida will be hosting two of the largest Healthcare IT conventions back to back next month.  I’ve written many times about HIMSS in the past, and what consulting firms hope to get out of the event.  But this time I am writing because there is a new convention directly competing again HIMSS, and for the first time firms and vendors are having to make difficult decisions between the two events in terms of exhibiting, attending, sponsoring and overall investment dollars. 

It’s important to understand the difference, the history of the two and why your firm’s investment means they are likely participating in one or the other…or both.  ViVE is a brand new event, so there is a lot to unpack here.  Before understanding the two events, let’s first talk about the two organizations that are collaborating to create ViVE, HLTH and CHiME.    

Taking directly from the HLTH (pronounced “health”)  website, they describe their organization as a community of leaders, innovators, and pioneers of the health industry and span across the entire health ecosystem; payers, providers, employers, investors, startups, life sciences, policymakers, and the patient community to discuss the trends and strategies needed to create health’s future.  They are truly an events services company that has been hosting a series of healthcare related events for just the last 5 years. 

On the other hand is a very well-known organization, CHIME, who has been around for 30 years providing education, networking, and various global events to support Healthcare IT executives.  Taken directly from their website, The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving chief information officers (CIOs), chief medical information officers (CMIOs), chief nursing information officers (CNIOs), chief innovation officers (CIOs), chief digital officers (CDOs) and other senior digital health leaders. CHIME includes more than 5,000 members in 56 countries and two U.S. territories and partners with over 150 healthcare IT businesses and professional services firms. CHIME and its three associations provide a highly interactive, trusted environment that enables senior industry leaders to collaborate, exchange best practices, address professional development needs and advocate for effective use of information management to improve health and care in their communities.

For several years, CHiME has partnered directly with HIMSS for their annual event in the Spring.  CHiME would start a couple days prior to HIMSS, but both would overlap and share common convention space.  It has always been convenient to executives attending both events, as well as for firms and vendors who sponsor CHiME while also exhibiting and HIMSS giant show floor.  Before Covid, HIMSS would attracts some 40,000 attendees from around the world and would be hosted in either Las Vegas or Orlando (although they tried Chicago and New Orleans once as well).  Speculations of the separation of the two is likely around Covid-19 and the last minute poorly executed cancelation of HIMSS in 2020.  The 2021 HIMSS was held in Vegas, but attendance was down by over 80%.  2022 HIMSS event is still down with only 1400 attendees and around 400 vendors. 

Now that we understand the organizations behind the events, let’s look at the marketing and positioning of the two events.  ViVE, being held at the Miami Beach Convention Center March 6th – 9th has positioned itself as a Digital Health event.  “With rapid digital health adoption and accelerated readiness to accept new modes of care delivery and engagement, there’s a pressing need to convene health IT executives around digital transformation,” said Jonathan Weiner, founder, chairman and CEO of HLTH in a recently posted article on HealthTech.com. He also went on to say, “ViVE was created to respond to the demand for a reimagined health technology event during this exciting and tumultuous time for healthcare and provides a complement to HLTH’s digital health innovation ecosystem event in the fall.”

The ViVE 2022 event will feature Expo programming and special events with thought leaders addressing key issues in digital health innovation. CHIME’s Spring Forum, which will provide education and networking opportunities for CHIME members and will be integrated directly into the ViVE event.  I should mentioned that CHIME and HLTH have worked together in the past as CHIME was a partner during HLTH 2019 and also participated in the organization’s 2020 virtual conference.

HIMSS22 is being held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL March 14th – 18th.  The HIMSS Global Health Conference & Exhibition is a gathering of healthcare professionals from around the world that take advantage of education sessions, demonstrations, and an exhibition hall with over 400 vendors on display.  It’s positioned for HIMSS members and healthcare professionals, CIOs and senior executives to providers and payers to IT consultants and entrepreneurs…a true trade show if you will.

The questions your company is likely asking themselves when considering investing in these events are simple.  What is the reason they want to attend and what are the outcomes they hope to leave with?  If you work for a technology vendor they are likely there to showcase and demo your product(s) in hopes to create a pipeline of new business.  If you work for a new company, they might be there for market awareness and brand recognition.  Hospital executives may be attending in hopes to network and hear how others are tackling areas in Covid data management, telehealth, and/or Digital investments.  The point is, what do you hope your firm will get out of attending? 

I’m seeing two very different views on the events.  Some believe HIMSS22 will be a lack luster event with minimal attendance and almost no return on investment.  With a ratio of 1:8 for hospital to vendor attendees, that view makes sense to many.  On the other hand, ViVE is brand new with a narrow focus on Digital transformation of the market.  Not everyone sees HLTH as a solid enough event to make major investment in, being it’s first year…it is a bit of a gamble.  Many not attending are surprising to me. I noticed that Epic has their usual huge booth at HIMSS, but is not attending ViVE.  So many customers I’ve talked to know HIMSS, and believe that is where the value is.  Vendor views vs client views on these events are no doubt, different and will be more clear after the events.  I’m eager to read and write about them both.

What is your firm’s decision regarding attendance and/or sponsorship of these events?  Share your thoughts and comment below.

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