I’m one of those weird types who actually enjoys the HIMSS extravaganza—tired feet, information overload, endless hype and all. That’s because if you can get past the bright lights, monumental claims, and sheer bulk of the event, HIMSS assembles thousands of hospital and group practice executives who are actually doing the heavy lifting of the industry when it comes to I.T. Some of them even manage to get speaking opportunities. Hats off to you all.

Many attendees are drawn like moths to the bright lights (bring your sunglasses) of the vast exhibit hall—that endless landscape of vendor booths, vendor booths and more vendor booths. The vendor hall has its own magnetic appeal and while only a few meaningful educational sessions take place there, the hall serves as the heart and soul of the conference in many ways. It becomes this mini-city that is, frankly, great fun to roam. I try to explore every corner—and in New Orleans that entails walking major distances (bring your pedometers).

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