HIMSS conference attendance dropped 5%
The 2009 annual Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Conference & Exhibition in Chicago last week had an estimated 27,500 attendees, which represents a 5 percent decrease from last year's 29,100 attendees.

Stephen Lieber, CAE, president & CEO of HIMSS, said that the society attributes not losing more attendance to a combination of employment growth in the healthcare sector, the $19.2 billion designated for health IT in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, Chicago's central location and the educational programming and networking opportunities. 

The HIMSS conference also hosted 905 companies on the exhibit floor--15 less than last year. Also, the conference hosted more than 300 education sessions, including 11 that addressed the health IT provisions in the ARRA of 2009.

The next HIMSS Conference & Exhibition will be March 1-4, 2010, in Atlanta.