It was a dark and stormy night…
October 24th was the date, to be exact. There was a foggy mist in the air and the driving conditions were subpar, but I knew what I had to do. I had one goal in mind and one goal only: to represent TypoDuctions, the premium healthcare digital marketing solution at the Healthcare Association of New Jersey Annual Conference. The New Jersey Garden State Parkway would be a treacherous drive, but alas, I had to make the journey.
I slid on my brown leather jacket over my black V-neck T-shirt, well aware that I was informally dressed for the event I was headed to. After the long drive, I headed into the parking lot of Harrah’s Hotel and Casino, as the valet was closed. They were experiencing staffing issues, a conundrum we’ve all seen in the skilled nursing industry. I made my way to the hotel registration desk. On my way there, I bumped into familiar faces and cohorts from years past—people who I missed spending time with.
Well, now that we got the prologue out of the way and I’ve got your attention, let me tell you about the absolute MONSTER of a conference that is HCANJ! HCANJ is the Health Care Association of New Jersey’s annual conference, which was held this year at Harrah’s in Atlantic City!
Wait, I’ll rewind. Hi, my name is Jonah Blumenthal and I am the CMO of an agency that handles digital marketing, video production, online reputation management and oh so much more, all geared towards the healthcare industry—primarily, senior living facilities.
As a company, we (myself usually included) attend about 15-20 healthcare conferences per year. Some are state specific, while others are national, and damn, do we know how to network! A question I get asked a lot is, “Hey, Jonah, should I go to this show? Is it worth my time / money/energy?” And this, my friends, is the purpose of this blog and recurring series: to inform you of the pros, cons, and benefits of attending the national conferences you’ve always heard about but have yet to attend.
HCANJ, I can honestly say, is one of my favorite state shows of the year, whether it’s the people, the lounge, the association or #TheChill (a little party I threw that has me banned from Harrah’s for the year, different story, for another time). I had the privilege of speaking at the keynote, having meaningful conversations with clients and vendors and spending quality time with my friends (who says you can’t have your cake and eat it, too?)
Here are our top five reasons to attend the HCANJ Conference:
- A HUGE Crowd. When you’re debating which conferences to attend, a key factor should be which show will get me the most bang for my buck. By going to a conference with a larger crowd, you’ll have more networking and advertising opportunities. I found the crowd at HCANJ to be super diverse, with people from different backgrounds and specialities joining together to create a really interesting dynamic. We all know attending a conference can be costly; make it worth your while by attending a show with a great attendance rate, and that’s HCANJ!
- Great Vendors: The vendors that “peddle their wares” at the HCANJ conference are really high-quality businesses. They bring their A-game with excellent offerings, great educational materials, fun booths and really cool people to speak to about how a partnership may benefit you both. I had an awesome time just chatting it up with nearby vendors and hearing about their offerings—and I don’t even work in an SNF! If you’re looking to discover great deals and amazing, quality partnerships, HCANJ is the perfect place to start.
- The Typo Lounge! Not to toot our own horn, but… toot toot! The Typo Lounge was THE place to be at HCANJ 74. We brought premium entertainment and networking opportunities in a super fun, relaxed atmosphere to conference attendees. From a 360 photo booth, to competitive rounds at the vintage game tables, to the premium stocked bar, #TheChill was a can’t-miss at the show this year. We only get bigger and better, so next year’s show is going to knock your socks off! You won’t want to miss it.
- Location, location, location. If you’re looking to cover as much ground as possible with your conference budget, you’ve got to find a show that brings together a big chunk of your demographic. If your target audience is the Tri-State Area / Northeast coast, Atlantic City is the perfect location for your goals. And if you’re local, it’s a no-brainer! Harrah’s is a fabulous venue that has something for everybody. Atlantic City is a super-doable drive and my team really enjoyed the proximity.
- Great Parties: Let’s be real—the educational opportunities are great, and so is the vendor floor, but the parties are where the REAL networking goes down. I’ve seen multi-million dollar deals go down over a friendly game of ice hockey or a shared drink at the bar. HCANJ doesn’t MISS when it comes to the party scene! (As my shut-down party can attest to :)) Bonus tip: even though you may be worn out after a whole day of education, networking, and walking the conference floor, don’t skip the evening soirees! You’ll get so much more value out of the conference by taking part in these events. At HCANJ especially, I found the parties to be not only super fun and high-energy, but great opportunities to expand my network and create more solid relationships.
All in all, HCANJ is a show to be at. From popping-off parties to high-value vendors, there’s a wealth of opportunity to be had at this can’t-miss conference. My team and I are lucky to call the association president and corporate team friends, so if you’d like a personal intro, reach out to me today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you all at HCANJ 75 in 2023!
Check out Jonah’s speech at HCANJ 74!