For those of us who sell to payers, AHIP’s big annual blowout is perhaps the largest, best single opportunity of the year. It’s an ideal confluence of customers, industry news and a glimpse into the fomenting trends(e.g., new reimbursement models, interpretation of HCR), and the chance to catch up with friends, colleagues and contemporaries. (Plus, it’ s in Vegas.)
By now, you should have already figured out who’s attending and set up appointments, made people aware of your attendance, wrangled invitations to the best parties, and otherwise set the stage for three busy days. Don’t wait to make restaurant reservations, and make sure you have the LV lay-of-the-land for last minute coffee and cocktail rendezvous sites. Fill your case with business cards and pertinent collateral and make your list of thescheduled/unscheduled meetings and visits you want to make, both personal and professional. Pack pain relievers, antacid and melatonin. Bring a book, but it’s unlikely that you’ll have time to read it. Instead, use the time to write emails thanking/reconfirming/summarizing/scheduling.
As for the conference itself, plan on lots of Clinton-era speakers throughout the General sessions(Shalala, Reich, Culter, Gergen… and Bill himself for the Keynote!) and vendor-centric topics in the Concurrent sessions. The vendor list seems thin compared to past years, a byproduct of a tumultuous economy and the prospect of all sorts of potential dis-intermediation forces at work.
So, make the most of these next three days. Get up early, stay sharp, and toil away. If you need to raise hell and feel compelled to do it in Sin City, stay the weekend or book another trip. And remember…“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Make your last minute preparations, fine tune your materials, and fill up your dance card. Because while this Vegas excursion may be dressed up to party, it’s your opportunity to make things happen.
UPDATE – After posting this, a good friend lectured me on the timeliness of this post: Basically, the point was that it would have been more useful a week or two ago. My excuse was that events conspired to delay me, but…GUILTY AS CHARGED.