I’ve just returned from beautiful Sitges, just outside Barcelona, Spain where I gave the joint opening keynote with Fabian Bolin, Founder of War on Cancer, at the HIMSS Europe Conference.
I speak at and attend many, many conferences across the globe, but this was a stand-out experience for me. It wasn’t just because there were interesting sessions – let’s be honest, we could get a lot of this information from watching a webinar – it was those conversations that happen outside the main auditorium that interest me the most.
I met some amazing people who are passionate about digital transformation. I arrived with no great expectations – a little conferenced out even this early in the year – but I returned with renewed energy and hope for the future of healthcare. I made some really great connections in terms of future work collaborations, but more importantly to me, they are people whose vision for a better future for patients I share.
The location this year in Sitges was stunning. It’s a beautiful coastal town and I am already planning a return visit to explore it some more.
The fact that the conference took place in a purpose-built hotel was unique to me and it worked really well in making the experience more relaxed and intimate. Congregating in the delightful garden made it feel more like a gathering of friends than a sterile conference hall ever could. More conferences should do this and if I ruled the conference planning world, they would!
A shout-out to Pascal Lardier and Kim Mancha for being so accessible and approachable to new ideas throughout the planning process. Consummate professionals, I loved working with them and their hard-working behind the scenes team.
Finally, at the risk of this sounding like some kind of cheesy Oscars acceptance speech, I also want to send out a special mention to the wonderful patient advisory board, Shane, Pierre-Mikael, Mitch, Dee, Emilie, Victor, Fabian, and my two co-conspirators Mitch and Pablo.
I arrived at HIMSS to attend a conference, but I left with so much more. Here’s to new friendships, fruitful collaborations, and renewing acquaintances again next year.
See you in Helsinki!