Many, if not all of you, have attended one of the great OHIMA Annual Meeting and Trade Shows over the years. 39 in-person extravaganzas have been planned and hosted by OHIMA Board Members and Staff. COVID-19 adjusted our plans for the 40th celebration we had planned for 2020 but, as Lauren shared in her recent blog article, we adjusted our sails and provided the excellent content via a virtual format. So what actually goes into planning the annual meeting and trade show? Unless you have served on the Board of Directors or worked for OHIMA, you likely have never thought about the behind-the-scenes action. As the Director of Professional HIM Development, I’ll share just a handful of tidbits that go into planning the wonderful Annual Meetings we’ve all come to love and look forward to...
dates are planned YEARS in advance.
Because we book all of the Hilton’s meeting/conference rooms and a big
block of hotel rooms, we are always looking to the future. Competing with weddings and other large
meetings means we are working 3 or more years out on booking the dates. The OHIMA Executive Director finalizes
contracts for the space and makes sure we’re all set.
*** Fun fact: Our conference is so large that the only two Columbus locations that can accommodate our size are the Easton Hilton and the Columbus Convention Center. The onsite rooms for attendees & speakers, free parking, nearby shopping & eating options, and hospitality of Hilton staff have kept us returning over the years but HIM Board & Staff have had to get creative with the conference schedule in order stay at this wonderful location.
speakers are booked in the summer – usually 8 or more months in advance. The daily highlight of the conference (other
than catching up with old friends, colleagues, classmates, etc) is an
exceptional keynote speaker who wakes us up and kicks off the day. Nationally acclaimed speakers are often scheduling
their arrangements 10+ months out so we must get on their calendars quickly.
- Speaking of the theme, the Board selects this at our summer transition meeting – typically held in June. Here, we all put on our thinking caps, consider hot topics in the HIM industry, and come up with a catchy tag line with accompanying theme. Then we move forward with graphic designs and color schemes.
Whew! I’m tired already just thinking about the work that needs to be done. Since I’m the Professional HIM Development Director again for the 2020-2021 association year, be on the lookout for a future blog post with more information on behind the scenes annual meeting planning!
Carol Barnes, MS, RHIA is currently a Director on the OHIMA FY19-20 Board in charge of the Professional HIM Development strategy. Carol is an adjunct faculty with The University of Cincinnati HIM program.