CHIME, HLTH to host joint spring conference next year
The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives and HLTH, the organization behind the HLTH conference that launched in 2018, will co-host an annual joint conference dubbed ViVE, beginning March 2022, the organizations announced Thursday.
The inaugural event will take place March 6-9 in Miami Beach, Fla.
“They’re a great organization,” Russel Branzell, president and CEO of CHIME, said of HLTH. “We continue to look for great partnerships.”
CHIME recently has been retooling its events strategy. The group in February announced a three-part CHIME21 forum series, with a mix of virtual and in-person events in spring, summer and fall.
In an email to members in February, Branzell said a two-day virtual spring forum in April—which takes place this week, April 13-15—would take the place of the annual one-day CIO forum CHIME previously had co-hosted with the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society at the HIMSS trade show in years past.
It’s unclear what conferences will look like as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides. Healthcare executives have said they’re still weighing whether they plan to attend the HIMSS21 trade show in August amid the ongoing pandemic. HIMSS has said HIMSS21 will be a “hybrid” event with options to participate in-person or virtually.
“CHIME and HIMSS have enjoyed years of a beneficial partnership, but we have decided to explore different directions in how we serve and grow our memberships,” a CHIME spokesperson wrote in an emailed statement to Modern Healthcare in February.
Branzell said the decision to sunset the CHIME-HIMSS CIO Forum is unrelated to the new conference with HLTH.
ViVE is entering a crowded market. In addition to CHIME and HLTH’s other events, as well as HIMSS’ annual trade show, the conference targets a similar demographic as other technology shows—like the Consumer Electronics Show and South by Southwest—that have increased their digital health and medical technology programming in recent years.
Modern Healthcare’s annual Transformation Summit, which this year is slated virtually for May 18-19, also takes place in the spring.
Moving forward, CHIME’s annual spring forum for members will take place at ViVE. CHIME will continue to host its fall forum separately. The group is still evaluating whether its summer executive forum, a new 2021 event slated for June, will continue, but the idea is for it to remain as an annual event, Branzell said.
HLTH will continue to host its annual conference in the fall as a separate event.
ViVE “will be more of a business event,” said Rich Scarfo, president of HLTH. While HLTH’s fall event is an “innovation event with thought leadership (and) looking to the future, this will be people focused more immediately on how we can transform healthcare.”
He said he expects to see 4,500 to 5,500 attendees at ViVE’s first event in March.
ViVE builds on a collaboration from October 2020, when CHIME hosted a series of sessions at HLTH’s annual fall conference.
“As we exited the fall of last year, working with (HLTH) collaboratively on their virtual event, it really just seemed like a great fit,” Branzell said.
The vision for ViVE, which will focus on innovating with digital technologies, is to bring together CHIME’s membership—primarily senior and executive healthcare IT leaders—with HLTH’s audience of digital health leaders at providers and payers, as well as startups and other companies working on digital innovation, according to the two groups.
It’s too early to estimate how much funding CHIME will dedicate to ViVE, Branzell said, but CHIME and HLTH will work together to build a joint budget. Scarfo also said it’s too early to say how much HLTH would spend on the new event.
At least eighteen companies have signed on to sponsor the event, including Allscripts, Athenahealth and Cerner.
ViVE, while mainly an in-person event, will include some virtual components. That’s likely par for the course, as Branzell and Scarfo said CHIME and HLTH’s respective events also will continue to offer virtual content moving forward, even as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.
“That has to be a staple moving forward,” Scarfo said. “It expands your base.”