Live from San Antonio — It’s SHSMD Connections 2021!
// By Jane Weber Brubaker //
Since the first major industry conference was canceled back in March 2020, we’ve missed out on the energy and vitality that a live conference generates. The 2021 fall conference season kicks off with SHSMD’s annual conference in September, with the option of attending virtually in October for those who can’t travel.
As COVID indicators in the U.S. continue on a positive trend and we ease back into normal life, the opportunity for industry colleagues to gather in person again has finally arrived with the Society for Health Care Strategy & Market Development (SHSMD) annual conference.
This year, conference attendees have two options. SHSMD Connections will convene on September 19-21 in San Antonio as a live event, followed by a two-day virtual conference on October 20-21. The virtual event will include 10 additional sessions and two new keynotes. “Anyone who registers for in person automatically gets full access to virtual,” says Lisa Hinkle, SHSMD’s deputy director of education, “but we have members who cannot travel so they can also just register for the virtual conference.”
We spoke about the two conferences with Hinkle and conference co-chairs Jennifer Weiss Wilkerson, vice president and chief strategy officer at Sheppard Pratt and this year’s SHSMD board president, and board member Alan Shoebridge, director of marketing and communication at Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System.
“It’s really the best of both worlds,” Wilkerson says. “You can come in person, or you could do the virtual and see much of what was in person and also have access to totally new things that are just for the virtual conference.”
Shoebridge is looking forward to moving beyond COVID crisis communications. “Now we’re entering a space where we can do more thinking and planning,” he says. “A conference coming in September and October — when you’re building out what your next year is going to look like — creates lots of energy to go into that planning cycle.”