Summertime Super Bowl

By Anna Hansen

HFMA’s ANI is often referred to as the Super Bowl of the Patientco marketing calendar, and 2017 was no exception.

ANI is the most targeted and well-fit show of the year for our ICP (ideal customer profile), but also is considered the last chance to gain new leads that could close by the end of the calendar year. It is our final push for 2017 – and it is always a big one.

Trade show season is definitely my favorite part of the year. It is the most stressful part of my job and yet the most fun by far. The day after ANI we start planning for the next year’s show and it is truly a year long effort and only possible because of our awesome sales and marketing team.  The cool thing about a trade show is you can have decision makers from all around the country in one room where you can meet face-to-face and build relationships. We are no longer just a logo, a signature on an email, or a name from a blog. Patientco has a face. A face connected to people that truly want to make your hospital better.

So, what exactly happens at ANI? What makes it so important? And what were the results of this past show? Hopefully this helps shed a little light and explains why we spend so much time planning 72 short hours of our year.

For those of you who have not been to a trade show, it looks a little like this…a bunch of people in the healthcare industry run around a warehouse to look at a ton different vendors that are squished together like cattle and stand in the aisles to grab every person that walks by to convince them that their product is THE BEST EVER and to sign the dotted line of a contract immediately (said with tons of sarcasm, but really, that’s what some vendors think). Meanwhile, these healthcare providers are simply walking around trying to see which booths have some type of swag they can bring back to their kids so that they don’t to buy an extremely overpriced plush Mickey Mouse from their hotel gift shop.

Okay,…… I might be slightly over-exaggerating. It isn’t that bad. In fact, this year I would have to say has been the best yet. Patientco strives to be relevant, exciting, and innovative so people actually WANT to come by our booth and I can confidently say we did that.

Throughout the show, other vendors would come up to us and say “How is it that you have meeting after meeting in your booth?” We decided to go for quality rather than quantity this year. Instead of blasting every person on the attendee list with emails that they would inevitably delete without even opening, we targeted specific people on the list. We personalized a campaign just for them based on their key metrics resulting in 21 demos and countless quality conversations. People were excited to finally hear about a product that can truly help make a difference for their staff AND their patients.

However, the exhibit hall was not the only place we interacted with providers. We have an ANI tradition of hosting a margarita party in our booth, but this year we took it outside of the exhibit hall to Disney’s Grand Floridian.

With about 50 guests, the party consisted of a private viewing of Disney’s Magic Kingdom’s fireworks, a dessert spread that could satisfy any sugar craving you could possibly have, and of course a full bar with the signature Patientco margarita on the rocks. It was definitely a magical night!

So, what happens next? The sales and marketing team is feverishly working on following up with each account we talked with to build relationships and continuing to move them along in the sales cycle. And of course, we have already started planning for ANI 2018!