Many of us in the U.S. started going back to in-person conferences last year. And things were looking good for 2022 until Omicron started spreading.
Despite that, some of you may be wondering if you should budget for one or two people (or perhaps a team) to go to at least one healthcare or senior living conference this year. Or perhaps you're a vendor trying to decide which conferences to be an exhibitor.
Going to conferences is a great way to recharge your batteries, learn new things, network with colleagues and clients, and have fun. Covid-19 forced many conferences to go virtual the past two years, but most of us are ready to go back to in-person events.
Speaking at Conferences
And of course, speaking at conferences allows you to share your ideas and promote your company or organization.
While most of the 2022 speaking proposal deadlines have passed, it's never too late to attend or exhibit at a conference, as long as you feel it is safe to do so. If they end up being cancelled or postponed because of Covid-19, you'll likely get a refund. Or the conference may go virtual.
If the company or organization you work for doesn't have any travel or budget restrictions, here's a monthly breakdown of some conferences you might want put in your calendar for 2022:
20-23: American Society of Healthcare Engineers (ASHE) International Summit & Exhibition on Healthcare Planning, Design, & Construction, New Orleans, La. This one typically kicks off the healthcare facility design conference circuit for the year and claims to be the only event with an integrated attendance of C-level, design, construction, and operations professionals -- with more than two-thirds returning each year in pre-Covid days.
28-30: Beryl Institute's Elevate PX -- Patient Experience Conference, Indianapolis, Ind. Not a design conference, but if you're interested in learning what the current thinking is about transforming the human experience in healthcare, this is the conference for you. Virtual option available.
2-5: Environments for Aging Expo & Conference, Milwaukee, Wis. This is the only conference dedicated to senior living design. Attended by senior living owners/operators and design professionals, this small conference is not to be missed if you want to keep up on best practices and get new ideas. Co-founded and produced by The Center for Health Design and Emerald Expositions.
13-15: NeoCon, Chicago, Ill. Held at The Merchandise Mart since 1969, this is the commercial furniture and furnishing industry's showcase for product innovation. While the bulk of exhibitors focus on office design, every major (and some minor) healthcare and senior living product manufacturers also have showrooms or temporary exhibit booths. Pre-Covid attendance has topped 50,000 (if you count everyone who comes to town for the show), but likely will be half than this year.
Interested in speaking at NeoCon? Call for Presentations deadline is January 17, 2022.
13-15: European Healthcare Design 2022 Congress, London, England. The only healthcare design conference I know of in Europe, this an international forum for researchers, practitioners, and policy-thinkers to share knowledge and research on how to plan and design health systems and infrastructure and achieve fiscal balance, equality of access, greater efficiency, net-zero, quality improvement, and better health outcomes. Almost 25% of attendees are from North America. Organized by SALUS Global Knowledge Exchange and Architects for Health. Virtual option available.
27-29: Healthcare Facilities Symposium and Expo, Long Beach, Calif. Originally founded in 1988 by Wayne Ruga as the National Symposium on Health Care Interior Design, this conference has changed ownership and evolved to focus more on facility planning and operations. Produced by JD Events.
Interested in speaking at HFSE? Proposal Submission deadline is February 18, 2022.
8-11: Healthcare Design Expo & Conference, San Antonio, Tex. Many consider this one to be the premier healthcare facility design conference in the U.S., maybe the world. Has a similar audience profile as ASHE PDC, but usually attracts slightly more attendees. Co-founded and produced by The Center for Health Design and Emerald Expositions.
Interested in speaking at HCD? Call for Presentations deadline is January 13, 2022.
16-19: LeadingAge Annual Meeting & EXPO, Denver, Col. LeadingAge's members and partners are made up of more than 6,000 not-for-profit providers representing the entire field of aging services, including 38 state partners, hundreds of businesses, consumer groups, foundations, and research partners. Not a design conference, but a great place for senior living designers and product manufacturers to network and learn about trends impacting the industry.
The International WELL Building Institute, American Society of Interior Designers, and Emerald Expositions launched the WELL Conference in 2020. Intended to be a curation of information and inspiration from thought leaders, experts, and innovators representing multiple sectors of the wellness movement, the conference fell victim to Covid and was cancelled.
As far as I can tell, there are no plans for a WELL Conference in 2022, which is disappointing, because what they were planning for the first conference felt new and different. But keep your eyes open for future announcements.
Are there any conferences not listed here that you feel are important? Leave a comment in the box below or contact me.
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