Booth City: A Picture Tour Down “Main Street” at HIMSS14

A sociologist should write a book called “Booth City” about exhibit floors such at the almost half-million square feet at HIMSS14. They spring up overnight, just like in a gold rush. The sound of construction fills the air. Opening day, everyone is so excited. The streets and thoroughfares are crowded. Proprietors proudly man and woman their posts. Then, as time goes on, folks begin to think about moving on. Finally, when everything is torn down, the sound of tape (which held everything together!) fills the air with shrieks, as if the jungle has come to reclaim its space.


So I walked “Main Street” all the way from 100 to 8600, snapping Google Glass photos as I went. I’d compare it to Lewis and Clark, except that would be mixing metaphors. Ultimately, I’ll embed the tweeted photos here. But for now, this post is just a bit of explanatory context, as to why is @wareFLO tweeting those photos?!

P.S. One more thing. Every year I scour HIMSS exhibitor websites, looking for evidence of diffusion of workflow technology into healthcare. I tweet about it and sometimes folks tweet back. That cannot but help influence who’s booths I feature in this series….

Graph Predicting Daily #HIMSS14 Tweet Volume Leading Up to HIMSS14

Last year I compared #HIMSS12 and #HIMSS13 daily tweet volume by overlaying graphs from simplur. That graphic appears at the bottom of this post. See #HIMSS13 Social Media Through the Roof for commentary.

This year I wanted to get a sense of likely relative #HIMSS14 tweet volume heading into HIMSS14. So I simply grabbed the #HIMSS13 simplur graph for the same days and labeled it.


As you can see, it looks a bit like some of those fuzzy photos of the legendary Loch Ness monster! A couple of things to note. First, there’s a period of quiescence the weekend before the weekend before HIMSS14. This makes sense, since so much activity on the #HIMSS13 hashtag is driven by vendor and professional twepes: weekends are their days off!

Then there is the daily up and nightly down. Not surprising. Folks gotta sleep sometime!

Finally, there’s that interesting build up on the Saturday and Sunday immediately before the conference. Saturday before HIMSS, well, I don’t think many attendees think of this as a day off. They may be traveling, preparing presentations, or (heaven forbid) still packing up booth-related materials. Look at those tweets in the middle of the night! Then, vroom, a big uptick on the Sunday before HIMSS. Of course, there’s also great content to tweet the weekend before HIMSS, at the weekend symposia.

Personally, I just think of this buildup the weekend before #HIMSS14 as a form of psychology “tetany”, a medical term meaning increased excitability.

Also of course, tweets REALLY take off on Monday, the first day of HIMSS. Take a look at this overlay of #HIMSS13 on HIMSS12 daily tweet volume. Look at the massive increase from #HIMSS12 Monday to #HIMSS13 Monday: TRIPLE! Note that #HIMSS13 Sunday is already 50% higher than #HIMSS12 Monday.


Now, extrapolate: #HIMSS14?

All in all, I found this to be an interesting exercise trying to read the #HIMSS14 twea leaves! Hope you did too!

I’ll be tweeting lots at #HIMSS14, mostly about healthcare workflow, but other stuff as well. I’ve lots of degrees (Accountancy, Industrial Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine) and lots of experience (designed first undergrad medical informatics program, hospital MIS developer, CMIO for EHR vendor). While I’m a big proponent for health IT, I’m also not afraid to make fun of prominent sacred cows. I’ve been around too long to be an “unabashed” supporter for IT in healthcare. I guess you could say I’m an “abashed” supporter. Anyhoo, I hope you’ll follow me!


Your roving #HIMSS14 Social Media Ambassador,


AKA Chuck