An HIT Moment With … is a quick interview with someone we find interesting. Steve Shihadeh is founder of Get-to-Market Health of Malvern, PA.
What advice are you giving clients about participating in HIMSS21 and HIMSS22?
I am very hopeful that HIMSS22 will return to a more normal trade show to meet the pent-up demand on both the vendor and provider side.
With all of the COVID churn, mask debates, and travel challenges, we are advising clients who want to go to HIMSS21 to be surgical about their investment. By this, I mean that they should have a narrow list of who they want to visit and what they want to accomplish and generally be in and out in a day or so to keep expenses to a minimum.
I get the sense that vendors are being cautious about investing, and a quick look at signups bear that out. If vendor attendance is light, I would have to guess that provider participation will be down significantly as well.
How are companies changing their marketing strategy?
With in-person trade shows effectively non-existent since March 2020 — by the way, every client we have talked to has felt that the virtual shows were a bust — companies have adapted marketing significantly to keep their businesses vital.
A few clients have upped their webinar game with real thought leadership and way more nuanced selling than in the past.
I continue to be impressed by how much mileage our clients are getting out of social. They are making use of multiple channels and keeping it edgy and interesting. The really sophisticated companies are getting participation across their employee base, which is greatly amplifying their messaging.
We have participated with our clients in a number of focus groups, and while you don’t get the reach of large-scale events, you certainly get to go way deeper. It seems like picking the right attendees and having a solid structure to the events reaps the most reward.,
How has the sales process changed post-pandemic?
Value prop, value prop, value prop. With in-person meetings dramatically reduced in both number and time allowed on site, companies need to more than ever translate their bells and whistles into things that matter to the client. How exactly does it save money? How exactly does it positively impact clinical workflow and outcomes? How exactly does my taking a meeting with you help my organization dig out of this COVID hole?
What are the most important things you look at when asked to perform due diligence for a potential health IT investment or acquisition?
Value prop, value prop, value prop. Just kidding, but not really. Investors get this more than anyone and want to deeply understand a company’s storyline and associated ROI. Investors at different stages – seed, venture, growth equity, private equity, strategic — will have different expectations, but they all need to understand how you truly differentiate and how you truly help a provider with a key challenge.
What clues will the HIMSS21 exhibit hall provide about the direction of the health IT market and the companies in it?
The health tech market is coming back red hot, in my opinion. The pandemic has broken the status quo and providers are finding new ways to use technology and new problems it can solve. Hopefully HIMSS21, albeit with a lighter attendance than in the past, gives us a glimpse at how companies have responded to the many opportunities presented by the COVID crisis.