It’s a well-known fact: True learning requires a period of relaxation after a day of intense study. So when the educational sessions and exhibitor floor demonstrations at HIMSS come to an end, you can be forgiven if you want to seek a more casual setting for talk, refreshment and fun.
This guide will help you find places to make that happen and alert you to some special events. Many will require advance planning so be sure to inquire about reservations, as necessary.
Local restaurants and nightlife
Orlando covers a big geographic area and the Orange County Convention Center is a good distance from downtown. Most attendees will stay within a few miles of the convention center thanks to the proximity of many good restaurants and pubs.
Pointe Orlando. A number of lively restaurants are within walking distance of the convention center in the area called Pointe Orlando. Bordered by International Drive and Pointe Plaza Avenue, the district is packed with restaurants and pubs. For good food, some of the more popular places are Cuba Libre, Oceanaire Seafood Room, and Capital Grille. Reservations are recommended. For a more casual setting, there’s BB King’s Blues Club, Marlow’s Tavern and Blue Martini. Click here for more details and other options.
Hotel map. The many hotel restaurants and bars in the area will be a popular option for dining and private get-togethers. If you need to find one of the nearby hotels, this map can help.
Conference activities on-site
These networking options are affiliated with the conference and will be taking place at the convention center.
HIMSS17 Opening Reception. Your first chance to mingle with fellow attendees. It is scheduled to start as the Sunday educational sessions finish. Free wine and cheese. Orange County Conference Center, Valencia Ballroom. Sun., Feb. 19, 7 to 8 p.m.
Meet the social media ambassadors. No one is more social than a social media ambassador. Remove multiple degrees of separation from your social circles by mingling with this crowd. Twitter handles not required. Lobby C, HIMSS Spot. Mon. Feb. 20, 11:00 to 11:45 a.m. Click for more details.
Local chapter receptions. Regional chapters are run by HIMSS members with the goal of providing opportunities for professional development and networking throughout the year. Chapter receptions have been scheduled from Sunday through Wednesday; some require advance registration. A full schedule is posted here.
Exhibit Hall Social Hour. Drinks and light refreshment will be served on the exhibit hall floor on Monday, Feb. 20 at 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. Click for more details.
Education Social Hour. This reception is an opportunity to meet with speakers and fellow education session attendees in an informal atmosphere and to continue the topical discussions. The reception takes place outside rooms where the education sessions were: W204, W206, W207, W208, W230, W300, W303, W304, W307, W308, W311, W320, W331 and in Lobby E/F. Wed., Feb. 22 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. Click for more details.
Interoperability and HIE Community Reception. A networking reception for health IT and medical professionals to learn about the I&HIE Community’s opportunities for peer-to-peer networking and problem solving. Sun., Feb. 19, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Tangerine Ballroom. Registration recommended.
Special interest activities. Many groups are sponsoring breakfasts, lunches and meetings to bring together people around specific topics like longterm care, security and interoperability. Visit the networking events on the HIMSS conference website to find meetings that match your interests.
Evening activities, off-site
Salesforce Trailblazer Party. The best party at HIMSS17? This is a chance to unwind with free food and cocktails at the popular BB Kings Blues Club located in nearby Pointe Orlando. Fitz and the Tantrums will perform live. Tues. Feb. 21 7:00 – 11:00. Advance registration required.
Women in HIT Networking Reception. This networking event has been growing in popularity. It brings together women interested in leadership and innovation within the healthcare technology community in a convivial setting. Blue Martini Lounge at Pointe Orlando. Mon. Feb. 20, 2017 from 05:30 to 07:00 p.m. Advance registration required.
Millennials Reception. Cocktails, giveaways and a photo booth will help create a fun setting for the future leaders and innovators to network. A portion of the $45 will go to support scholarships through the HIMSS Foundation. Club 39 in the Rosen Plaza Hotel. Mon. Feb. 20 at 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. Advance registration required.
HIMSS Award Gala. This semi-formal affair honors members who have made significant contributions to healthcare IT and the HIMSS mission. Black tie optional; $150/person. Tues., Feb. 21, 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Loews Portofino Hotel, Tuscan Ballroom. Registration required.
Wednesday Night Special Event at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This event carries on the tradition of a large-scale fun activity on the last night of HIMSS. Advance registration required; $65 which includes round-trip shuttle bus. Wed. Feb. 22; 7:30 – 11:00 p.m. Reserve early; a sellout is expected.
Entertainment in the Orlando area
The Orlando area is of course home to many entertainment options thanks to the theme parks and its resort setting. The following list is a partial guide to some of the entertainment options taking place in the evening. These activities are not affiliated with HIMSS. Advance planning is recommended for tickets and travel.
The Spinners. Motown R&B vocal group. Sun., Feb. 19, 7 p.m., King Center, Melbourne
Joe Bonamassa. Blues rock singer. Mon. Feb. 20, 8 p.m., Dr. Phillips Center
Phoenix Jazz Orchestra. Big band. Mon. Feb. 20, 8 p.m., Blue Bamboo Center
Justin Hayward. The voice of the original Moody Blues. Tues. Feb. 21, 7:30 p.m., The Plaza Live Orlando
Jane Bunnett and Maqueque. Best jazz album winner. Tues. Feb. 22, 8 p.m., Blue Bamboo Center
Polyphia. Progressive metal band from Texas. Wed. Feb 23, 6 p.m., BackBooth
Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. Rock and roll. Wed. Feb. 23, 8 p.m. King Center for the Performing Arts.
HIMSS17 runs from Feb. 19-23, 2017 at the Orange County Convention Center.
This article is part of our ongoing coverage of HIMSS17. Visit Destination HIMSS17 for previews, reporting live from the show floor and after the conference.