Host a NHIT Week Event

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Hosting an event in your hometown that presents the newest information about health IT is another way your organization can celebrate National Health IT Week. Here are the steps to planning and implementing a successful event.

·Determine the type of event you want to host and the intent. Will this be an informational seminar to educate stakeholders, a networking event to drive awareness and show appreciation, or both?

Once date, location, and basic information are confirmed, submit the event to the official NHIT Week calendar at www.healthitweek.org by completing the Event Form or emailing Info@healthitweek.org. Please note whether it’s open to the public or by invitation only. Your event must be held during NHIT Week official dates for your event to be listed on the calendar.

Will your event be face-to-face or virtual? In-person events are a great opportunity for networking, creating dialogue, and sharing experiences. A virtual webinar may be easier depending on timing and resources. Similar to face-to-face events, your organization is responsible for selecting a platform and any fees associated with the webinar.

If hosting an educational seminar….

·Identify experts. Before taking the first step in hosting your seminar, you need to determine who will deliver the seminar. Will it be delivered by a panel of experts or one person? Is your company’s CEO or CIO the best person to deliver the seminar?  Or maybe the author of a book about health IT is the best person to present the information? Once you determine who will present the seminar, you can decide on the seminar topic. You may want to partner with other organizations or academics in your community. A panel of diverse participants might include an IT specialist, a clinician, a patient, and/or a policy expert.

·Choose a topic. The topic of the seminar needs to be focused on healthcare IT and appeal to a wide audience. Whatever your organization’s particular niche or expertise, that’s the topic you should discuss at your seminar. Perhaps your organization can talk about the newest software or demonstrate how EHRs work. A seminar will not only succeed in positioning your organization as an expert in healthcare IT, but also provide relevant information to the public, the media and other stakeholders.

·Create an invitation list. Determine the people you will invite to the seminar. Some of those you might want to include are state policy experts, health IT professionals, board of directors’ members, related professional organizations, the press, and other stakeholders. Invite more people than you think will come and be sure to invite those in your own organization.

·Develop the seminar presentation. The first step in developing your presentation is to create an outline that reflects the information in your seminar. Once refined, the outline can be turned into a PowerPoint presentation. Slides make it easy for the seminar participants to follow the seminar’s main ideas without having to take copious notes. Today, most organizations post their slide presentations on their websites after the seminar so that interested individuals can view it.

·Practice the presentation. While your organization may have experts delivering the seminar, it’s always helpful to practice. This is particularly true when there is more than one person involved. Practice will polish even the most experienced presenter.

· Appoint a professional to handle logistics. Appoint one person to handle the seminar logistics including finding an appropriate room, branding, sending out the invitations, etc. The main coordinator can be supplemented with communication experts to make sure you get the word out to your targeted audiences.

·Brand the seminar. Be sure that you have appropriate signage with both your organization and NHIT Week logos. These branding elements should appear on signs directing the attendees to the room, the welcome table, the podium, and on a backdrop. (NHIT Week logos are available at www.healthitweek.org.)

·Welcome participants. Whether you have a sign in table, or people at the door of the room, make sure you greet attendees so everyone knows they are at the right place and feels welcomed.

·Follow-up with participants. After the seminar, make sure that you follow up with the participants thanking them for attending. If there are reporters attending your seminar, contact them following the seminar to be sure they have what they need to write a story.