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Planning a global healthcare conference isn’t easy even under the best of circumstances, so when it became clear that AHIMA would need to navigate the complexities of the COVID-19 pandemic, our staff geared up to tackle the challenge. As AHIMA prepares to bring its members an annual conference virtual event like never before, we’re taking you behind the scenes to learn how staff and volunteers are working to create this unique and interactive show. You’ll also learn helpful navigation tips and uncover the “hidden gems” behind AHIMA20!

In this behind the scenes spotlight, we’re talking to Monica Linders, marketing manager at AHIMA.

Question: What is your role at AHIMA and AHIMA20?

Monica Linders: I am a marketing manager for AHIMA. I strategize and build comprehensive marketing and communication plans to reach our members and the healthcare ecosystem at large to showcase the benefits of attending the AHIMA conference. I work cross-functionally throughout the process to ensure the AHIMA brand and organizational strategy are reflected throughout the course of the event and all materials.

Q: How has planning for this year’s conference differed from previous AHIMA conferences?

Linders: Some of the biggest challenges were planning for the uncertainty. We were about six months from the conference when things really started changing, so planning for the best course of action that far out, with having zero idea what the coming months would bring, was very difficult. Once we converted into a fully virtual event, the biggest challenge became time. Many things needed to be turned around quickly, while focusing on a high quality and interactive experience for our attendees.

This year has been very unique and not just for planning the conference. In previous years, I worked closely with our host city to showcase the location, such as through on-site video shoots with the board chair, highlighting popular attractions with ticket raffles, and incorporating some city flare into the conference. This year we’ve also had to focus more on understanding the needs of our members and the actions of our competitors. This global pandemic has caused a wave of new challenges for our professionals. This is my fifth year working on the AHIMA conference. Each year brings new insights and lessons learned to help improve the next.

Q: What should attendees be most excited about in your area of the conference?

Linders: Attendees should be excited for it all! I think they will be pleasantly surprised with how interactive and engaging our conference platform is and the opportunities to network and connect with the health data and information community. We are also offering complimentary access to all on-demand sessions for full registrants after the event for the first time ever. Attendees can earn more than 100 CEUs.

“This year has been very unique and not just for planning the conference. …This global pandemic has caused a wave of new challenges for our professionals. This is my fifth year working on the AHIMA conference. Each year brings new insights and lessons learned to help improve the next. ”

—Monica Linders, AHIMA marketing manager

Q: What are some of the hidden gems of AHIMA20 that attendees may overlook?

Linders: Due to the pandemic, we decided to postpone our celebratory week, Health Information Professionals (HIP) Week, to coincide with the annual conference. We are planning special events that week of October 11, so make sure to watch for those events so you can participate and celebrate your profession.

Q: What advice do you have for people who may be attending a virtual conference for the first time?

Linders: Take advantage of the networking opportunities. Many attendees who have been [to the conference] multiple times can speak to the number of tips, solutions, and lessons learned they’ve been able to take back to their colleagues and successfully implemented in their organizations. Many attendees even build life-long connections and friends at the conference they look forward to meeting up with again the next year.

Register for AHIMA20

The AHIMA20 Virtual Conference is the premier educational, exhibition, and networking event for health information professionals. Whether you are seeking cutting-edge education, evaluating the latest market innovations, or are seeking new professional connections, the AHIMA20 Virtual Conference is the place to be. Register today.

Hear from past attendees why they attend the AHIMA conference every year.

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