Stephanie Burton

SHSMD: 5 Tips for Getting Bang for Your Buck

By Stephanie Burton on September 13, 2012

Since 2001, Core Creative has attended the Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development Annual Conference. In the 11 years since, we’ve learned a few tips and tricks for surviving this healthcare marketing tornado. We recently gathered to swap stories, share some laughs and offer some advice to conference newbies and veterans.

Here are our top five tips for getting the most bang for your buck during this year’s annual conference.

1. Take a “no excuses” approach. “I often ask people what they think as a breakout session wraps up,” said Saige Smith, assistant account executive. “Often, I hear responses like, ‘It was great, but it would never work at my health system,’ or ‘I liked the idea, but we don’t have the resources.’” Smith challenges people to ask how, instead of jumping to “but.” You’d be surprised what can happen if you keep an open mind.

2. Log-out, and tune in. “As marketers, it’s difficult for us to disconnect, but it is so important we do,” said Angi Krueger, director of marketing. “While you’re at the conference, take time to reflect and refresh.” She encourages conference attendees to take just an hour at the end of every day to think about what they learned and find just one thing they can implement back “at home.”

3. Take a lap before you commit to a location. We’re talking food here, folks. Anyone who has ever been SHSMD knows it’s a smorgasbord of, well … everything. “Last year, I didn’t hear about the churros con chocolate until I was too full,” one of our team members said. While we laughed, we all nodded. Pace yourself with the food options!

4. Don’t take a pack-animal approach. You know that person sitting next to you? Yeah, that one. Chances are, you’ll get to see them every other work day of the year, too. Senior Art Director, Tom Ketterhagen, takes advantage of the opportunities to meet new people, instead of traveling in a pack. “We’re not always asking for something,” he said. “Sometimes, it’s just nice to have a conversation.”

5. Remember, it’s OK to mix business with pleasure. This tip came from our top boss, Ward Alles. “It’s fun to learn and it’s fun to travel, but go with quality versus quantity,” he said. “If you don’t,” he warned, “you’ll just burn yourself out.”

What is your top tip for getting the most out of SHSMD?


Stephanie Hungerford, APR, is Core Creative’s health care marketing director.