These are some of the changes and improvements you can expect at the 2018 Health:Further Festival.
[bctt tweet=”Better sound. Better layout. Tighter programming. More networking. These are some of the changes and improvements you can expect at the 2018 Health:Further Festival.” username=”healthfurther”]
I’m writing this post because we want you to know how seriously we take your experience at Health:Further, and how much we value your involvement in our community. The short version is this: the Health:Further community came away from last year’s festival with a lot of excitement and positive feedback. There was also constructive criticism. We heard it all. (I think we did, anyway. I mean, if you told us, we heard you.) This post is a very public way of acknowledging that and letting you know what we’re doing differently to make 2018 even better. If you have questions or concerns, send the team a note at HFTeam@healthfurther.com (didn’t see that email address coming, did you?)
- New team: We are very excited to be working with Destination Musick City (DMC) for the 2018 Festival. Don’t worry too much about the details here. Just know that their long history and expertise have added a lot of depth to our planning, and will provide a streamlined onsite experience for us as a team, which in turn means a smooth overall experience for you as speakers and attendees. It’s the sort of thing where if you never know they’re there, it’ll be a win.
- Better sound: Ok, so this is really the elephant in the room. The number one piece of negative feedback, the biggest detractor from last year’s attendee experience, was poor sound design. In short, the stages weren’t insulated from each other as much as they needed to be so it was hard – for speakers and their audiences – to hear. That is…um, not great for an event built around onstage programming. Our new setup includes heavy curtains surrounding each stage that absorb sound and limit echo. Think about the last time you moved into a new house. If you’re like me and mumble to yourself all the time, you noticed the closet was pretty echo-y when you first walked in, but then sucked up the sound once you got your clothes put away. It’s kinda like that. In addition, stages will be separated and oriented so that the speakers will be projecting away from other stages. Furthermore, we will not be having music on any stage while speakers are on the other stages.
- Better layout: We have completely reconceived how you will move through the hall from the moment you walk in. The design we’ve created will bring you into the hall, engage you from the beginning, and provide easy, clear access to everything you want to check out – stages, Entrepreneur’s Alley, networking areas, exhibitor’s booths, and more.
- Tighter programming: We all love a good talk. We all love lots of good talks. Eventually, though, the day wears down and it’s time to go meet people, or have a drink, or meet people while having a drink. Or send a few emails (I do it too). We want you to get the actionable, educational and inspirational information you need, and then we want you to go off and do your thing. With that in mind, we’re running fewer stages this year and ending the onstage programming earlier. Once 3:00 hits, it’ll be time to move on to networking and all the rest. So be prepared to listen to a roster of fantastic speakers from 9-12, have lunch and catch up on those texts and emails, then come back for a few more talks from 1-3. None of this 7:30-5:00, with a 90-minute keynote starting after dinner at 7:00 (if you haven’t been to one of those conferences, be grateful. I’m still recovering and the last one was five years ago.)
- More networking: Related to the above. The team watched how the crowd moved and interacted last year, and combined that with how we all operate at events. Again, we all love great talks, they’re the anchor for any good conference. But it’s meeting and starting – or building – relationships where things shift from education to action. We are intentionally building in more time for you to network with your fellow attendees. Whether that’s wandering around and meeting new people, or setting up time in advance to huddle with colleagues and collaborators, we’re working to provide you the time and space to get things done. And speaking of “space,” there will be plenty of places for you to park your team and work.
- Better website & agenda: If you’re reading this, you’ve seen our new website. We like it, hope you do too. Better design, easier to navigate. In addition, the system we have on the backend for publishing and managing our agenda is a massive improvement on last year. Specifically, it’s integrated with the site in such a way so that as new speakers and sessions are announced, they’ll update on the site in real time and synchronize in multiple places. Some of that matters more for us than for you, but just know that the end result will be a more accurate, easier to use agenda.
- Easier onsite registration: This year you’ll be able to print your badges onsite, we won’t go shuffling through a box to find your name. If you register late (please don’t, please just register now), that’ll be easier too. Also, registration will be just inside the hall so that the flow of traffic will be more streamlined and you’ll be right there in all the action almost as soon as you walk in.
We spend our time pushing the healthcare system to get better. Our team, like our community, is committed to seeing innovation that leads to better outcomes and more efficient care. So while we’re doing that, we have to be willing to do the same for our small part of it. That means constantly evaluating our own performance and finding ways to get better. That, in turn, will provide you with an even better experience so you can be more prepared and energized when you leave the Music City Center on August 29 and go do your thing.
Again, send any questions or comments to HFTeam@healthfurther.com
Can’t wait to see you there, be sure to get your ticket today!