If you’re involved in the business of healthcare IT, you pretty much have to attend the HIMSS conference. I think it may actually be the law. And since LRS partners with all of the major Electronic Medical Record (EMR) software vendors, the leaders in healthcare print hardware technology, and even an RFID hardware provider, we have been steadily increasing our presence at HIMSS for years.

As it turns out, this was the year people finally noticed.

More than twice as many people visited our booth this year as last. Some were probably there as a result of our lunch and learn session, others to discuss a pressing output management challenge. Perhaps a few even dropped by on their way to use the, ahem, facilities (which, due to a late choice of booth locations at this year’s show, were just around the corner).

HIMSS Conference LRS Booth 1

But what probably brought most people to see us was the ice. According to the famous Dr. Jayne over at the HIStalk blog, “Best Booth Décor” goes to LRS Output Management with this phenomenal ice sculpture. They have a different one every day.”

Another blogger said “This ice sculpture literally stopped me in my tracks. I didn’t even think it was ice at first, until I noticed the dripping bottom. LRS provides document output management services for Cerner, Epic, GE, and Siemens.”

HIMSS Conference LRS Booth 2

We’re proud of our booth, even when the location isn’t the best, but something a certain HIStalk blogger said got me thinking. Here’s the quote (emphasis mine):

“Another great ice sculpture, provided that you see the point of making ice sculptures (and I admit I kind of don’t, especially when they are made like a giant, shaped ice cube instead of hacked from a block).”

That’s probably a fair comment, given the particular ice carving this writer mentioned. So in case he or she happens to read this Blog, let me back up and explain how the whole “LRS ice sculpture” thing started.

LRS develops software to handle print management and secure document delivery for some of the world’s largest companies. Which is great, except a lot of people — particularly in the field of healthcare — don’t care about documents or printing. That is, they don’t care until their print servers stop working and there is a room full of unhappy patients because staff can’t generate an intake form. Or a patient wristband. Or printed discharge instructions so the patients can finally return home.

Healthcare IT staff rarely think of print problems, and when they do, they usually focus on the obvious challenges. Paper jams, empty toner cartridges, and stuff like that. But print problems can be far larger than they initially appear. Kind of like an iceberg floating around a busy shipping lane. The portion the crew can see is only a small fraction of the total. In fact, around 90% of the problem is hidden underwater.

Back in 2016, when LRS returned to HIMSS, we debuted our ice sculpture booth and challenged attendees to ask the question “What’s below the surface?”

HIMSS Conference LRS Booth 3

It’s a simple question, but one that gets people talking about the challenges of printing in their own environment. A conversation starter. Some might even call it an icebreaker. (I personally wouldn’t think to call it that, but some others might…)

So to that anonymous blogger over at HIStalk, thanks for the feedback. I hope you now understand the point we were trying to get across. For next year, we’ve requested a better location for the booth, and we may need to re-think the designs we use at the show. But until we can think of a better way to explain our value proposition, or until crowds of people stop showing up for the live ice carving shows in our booth, you can count on seeing hundreds of polar bear and penguin give-aways at HIMSS. And tons and tons of ice.

With that, here’s some video from the show: