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Covering AHIMA’s annual conference is almost an event unto itself. AHIMA’s editors, public relations professionals, and communications experts begin story planning early, curating content that help attendees navigate the complexities of one of the world’s largest health information management conferences.

This year is a particular challenge because of AHIMA20’s transition to a virtual platform. These are uncharted waters for all attendees and AHIMA staff. We truly are “all in this together.”

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 Mary Butler, senior editor, Journal of AHIMA.

Question: What is your role at AHIMA and AHIMA20?

Mary Butler: I’m the senior editor of the Journal of AHIMA. Every year the Journal is responsible for creating the conference’s daily newspaper, which features articles about general session, House of Delegates meetings, noteworthy speakers and educational sessions, and stories about the host city. We also publish articles on the Journal website leading up to conference and afterwards to help members who couldn’t attend catch up on all the news and announcements coming out of the event.

Q: What have been some of the challenges of converting a massive in-person conference into a virtual event? How has planning for this year’s conference differed from previous AHIMA conferences that you’ve prepared for in the past?

Butler: In some ways, nothing has changed except for where and how readers consume our stories. Because the conference is virtual and attendees might not know what to expect, we are trying really hard to help our members get as much out of it as possible by telling them what they can expect through stories like this one and all of the content on the News & Announcements page of the AHIMA20 conference website.

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

Butler: As an AHIMA staff member who does not have a HIM background I am thrilled that all of the education sessions will be available on-demand after the conference is concluded. I always use these sessions for future article ideas and to learn more about the industry. It’s often hard to choose which sessions to attend, so I’m delighted to be able to listen to as many as I want.

“As an AHIMA staff member who does not have a HIM background I am thrilled that all of the education sessions will be available on-demand after the conference is concluded. I always use these sessions for future article ideas and to learn more about the industry. It’s often hard to choose which sessions to attend, so I’m delighted to be able to listen to as many as I want.”

—Mary Butler, senior editor, Journal of AHIMA

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

Butler: There’s a session in the Organizational Management and Dynamic Leadership domain called Using Your Superpower at Work, and it’s all about using kindness as a superpower. I have a feeling that at a live conference that would be a standing-room-only session, but now it’s open to all comers. I’m also really looking forward to the pitch competition, which I had to miss last year.

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

Butler: Practice those dance moves ahead of time so that you’ll be prepared for the dance breaks between sessions.

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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