James Gibson over at Gibson Consultants (a specialized executive search firm targeting healthcare solutions providers and the payor market) saw my recent posting about John Moore’s tips for HIT vendors presenting to us analysts at HIMSS and sent me a note about guest posting on his blog that talks about a similar subject.
I wanted to thank James for pointing me to his Tips from a media coach: how to do a trade show right article. It is a little high-level and doesn’t give specific advice specific to healthcare IT but it’s a good read for general tips on tradeshows. I especially liked the following snippet:
Be real – too many emerging growth company executives try to project an image greater than their current reality. They exaggerate their current customer count and/or market impact. Worst of all is the claim that no one has a product quite like theirs; hence they don’t really have any true competitors. At that point, you also won’t have an audience. The most common feedback reporters and analysts give to PR people is to make sure their clients don’t claim to be the “one and only” and be willing to engage in buzzword-free conversations.
The “be real” sentiment resonates for me since I hear PR people, marketing folks, and company presenters often talk about how their products will “change healthcare” or “solve the healthcare problem”. The healthcare industry in the USA is over 2.2 trillion dollars — yes, trillion. No IT product that you can come up with will make a noticeable dent in the industry so focus on what you’ll do for your customers, not how you’ll solve the healthcare crisis in America. Like John Moran says, be real. Oh, and by the way, if you don’t have any true competitors then the market you’re in doesn’t matter to anyone.
If you’ve got any more advice to share with HIMSS vendors so that they can more easily present their wares to you, let us know here or write me a guest posting. I’ve been in my share of vendor presentations and booths doing demos in my career and it’s really, really hard work. Be nice to them, they’re just trying to make an honest buck.