Dear Diary… ENGAGE18 was fabulous!
A few of us from Greenway Health were asked to keep a running diary to take you behind the scenes at our huge customer conference, ENGAGE, which was held August 10-13 in National Harbor, Maryland, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center.
With so many rewarding activities and knowledge sessions going on at the same time, there was no way to cover every moment of this incredible event, but we came pretty close, and had fun doing it. We’re thrilled by the opportunities we had to meet, converse, and learn from an amazing group of people — our customers.
Let’s begin …
WEDNESDAY, August 8
How is it August 8 already? It seems like just yesterday ENGAGE was 47 days away … not that we had a running countdown or anything.
There is lots of buzz at Greenway HQ in Tampa — and lots of nervous excitement, too. We are hyper-focused and ready.
The Greenway Health Events Team is already on-site in National Harbor, moving with precision, setting up, and fine-tuning every detail. They’re like Navy SEALS, but with better hair.
The Events Team has organized more than 35 customer events in 2018 — a mix of User Exchanges and guest-speaker dinners — but they’ve spent nearly a year planning ENGAGE. For them, this is the big enchilada.
In the next six days, they’ll repeatedly walk every inch of the roughly 38 million square feet of plush Gaylord carpeting to make sure every single attendee has a positive, memorable experience. After that, they’ll high-five … and perhaps crumble to the ground in a heap of exhaustion.
For now, though, it’s green-and-blue go time! Attendees will see those colors everywhere — a sea of bright green shirts one day, then a sea of ocean blue the next.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 9
Our early morning flight from Tampa International to D.C. has nearly 20 Greenway staffers, all excited to get to ENGAGE.
For those of us who haven’t been to D.C., it’s very cool to see the monuments as our flight is landing. Apologies to those sitting nearby who had to endure squeals of excitement and “Ohhh, look at that!” and “Wow, that’s so much better than seeing it on TV!” comments.
Margaret Cashill is one of Greenway’s marketing team writers, and she got here yesterday. She’s covering the Greenway Health Customer Advisory Board (CAB) and has been since its inception in May. She has this to share about the CAB’s meeting at ENGAGE: “They’re meeting all day today and half of tomorrow. Topics include care plans, patient communications, and price transparency. We expect CAB members and representatives will ask lots of questions, offer insight, and collaborate with other attendees. Seventeen participants traveled from around the United States to be here.”
The CAB is a big part of Greenway’s plan moving forward, and our customers will enjoy the solutions that come from the CAB’s suggestions on products, services, and future innovations.
We eat, then we head over to the Greenway Team room and crack open our laptops to fine-tune presentations. We want everything to be as perfect as possible, because we really love our customers!
Later, we walk back toward towards the hotel side of the resort, and along the way we bump into Customer Experience guru on the Events Team, Sam Bassett. She’s leading another group of Greenway folks as they go over seating details for the next few mornings.
It’s pretty incredible to see the before-and-after transformation of the main ballroom. Check out this cool time-lapse video.
When we ask one of the production designers if he enjoys setting up a huge room like this, he says, “It comes down to the clients. If they’re easy to work with, the job is fun. But if they’re not …” Before he can finish, he’s called away. So, what was he going to say? The nominees are:
“… I mess with the audio so the microphone only works part of the time.”
“… I keep moving the spotlight so the presenters have to chase it around the stage.”
“… I turn up the heat in here so it feels like a session of hot yoga.”
Fortunately, the ENGAGE Team, led by Amanda Johnson and Lauren Buffalo, are incredibly talented and easy to work with. So, no hot yoga.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 10
Holy neon lights, Batman, these new Greenway shirts are bright! Here’s how customers described them:
“Visible from the moon”
We eat quickly and jump into a short team meeting with Lauren Buffalo and our Chief Marketing Officer Amanda Johnson to get pumped up — like we need any extra encouragement — and we head out toward the registration area to welcome our guests.
Bring on the attendees!
Lisa Pearce with Greenway is helping out at registration this morning, and she’s “blown away” by the high energy and smiling faces. “Our customers are so pumped up. All I’ve heard is how excited everyone is for ENGAGE, for the resort, the trip here, basically everything.”
Today’s schedule consists of registration, morning and afternoon workshops, the opening of the Knowledge Center, and the opening reception.
The pace will pick up as the day moves along and more people arrive. It’s already starting to get busy, and the Events Team is buzzing from place to place. They’re no longer just Navy SEALS … they’re more like Navy SEALS-Ninja-Magicians.
Today, we’re also kicking off our attendee interviews. They’re a great way for customers to share their story of all the great things their practices are doing. We hear from office administrators, physicians, billing specialists … basically anyone working with ambulatory healthcare practices.
The stories we hear are typically an entertaining blend of passion, eloquence, nervousness, and laughter. These interactions with our customers — many of whom become friends — are what motivate us to continue designing solutions that delight, with the goal of putting more joy in caring for patients.
To anyone who participates in Share Your Story, written interviews, or Facebook Live … Greenway thanks you!
It’s a little after 4:30 p.m., and people are making their way toward the Knowledge Center, which opens at 5.
Overheard outside the Knowledge Center doors: “I’ve been waiting for this moment since we became a Greenway customer earlier this year.”
In addition to Greenway Central, the Knowledge Center has the Help Center, service tables, Ask the Expert areas, the Greenway Health store, and all our sponsor booths. It’s also where the breakfast and evening receptions are held. Knowledge, free swag, and good eats … that’s a conference trifecta!
What a great day and fun night. In the elevator at the end of the evening, Greenway Team member Ryan Dawson caps the experience with one final observation. “Everyone is settling in, they’ve got their badges and bags, and they’re excited for the morning sessions. All the attendees I talked to are ready to start learning. What a great way to get ENGAGE started!”
Agreed. Bring on Saturday … but first, bring on sleep.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 11
Our emcee for the event, John Ayers, is Greenway’s vice president, customer support, and he’s the ideal person to keep things moving. He’s got a genuine good nature that keeps people smiling and laughing. He also possesses an unrelenting desire to have his team make the customer support experience the best in the industry.
After a quick welcome and itinerary rundown, John introduces Richard Atkin. Greenway’s new CEO hit the ground running a couple of months ago, and he has the entire company excited about our vast potential as we move forward.
Richard brings more than 25 years of experience as an executive in healthcare technology and software companies. As a team, we’re excited to learn from him and see the positive results for our customer partnerships. He spoke during Saturday’s general session on the topics our customers are excited to learn more about.
Another highlight from our day 1 session, our first keynote speaker of the weekend, Dr. Robert Carr. We’d list his accomplishments, but that would take up the rest of this diary.
Staying focused despite a whirlwind of changes around us. That’s the overarching theme of Dr. Carr’s presentation, and it hit home with much of the packed ballroom. Changes in the healthcare landscape are an unavoidable burden, but finding ways to stay on task can make a huge difference. Dr. Carr was a speaker at several Greenway Health dinners throughout the year, and his expertise with physician burnout has been incredibly popular and helpful.
When the dust settles from our time here in National Harbor, the breakout sessions are what attendees will remember most. The networking is a huge bonus, but this conference is about acquiring skills to make your practice better, more successful, more compliant, and more efficient. These sessions are the foundation of this event, and this year we’re offering more than 100 educational opportunities, many of which filled up quickly and had to be moved to larger rooms. Our dedicated presenters are truly passionate about their work, and they revel in the chance to share with our customers.
There are three breakout sessions, held concurrently this afternoon, that cover the Project Polaris experience for users of Intergy, Prime Suite, and SuccessEHS. Session leaders talk about deployment models, microservices architecture, migration, and more. Wildly popular.
How did we not mention the ENGAGE app until now? Our mobile app is hugely popular. It’s easy to use, interactive, and beneficial for attendees who have questions about sessions, schedules, speakers, and so much more. Plus, it has Raffle Quest, which attendees are having a blast playing.
Many team members and customers attended Saturday night’s Silent Disco at the hotel, followed by dancing at the rooftop lounge. Due to the embarrassing nature of our dance moves, we have unfortunately “lost” many of the photos from these incredibly entertaining events.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 12
Pass the tissues, because today’s morning session is like a ride on the Emotions Train, and we don’t want to get off.
It started with a thought-provoking presentation from Kimberly O’Loughlin, Greenway’s chief operating officer. Kimberly’s talk is yet another reason why people are energized this morning.
Then, through our Greenway Customer Awards, we recognize five practices that exemplify the highest values of leadership in healthcare, exceptional community engagement, and an ongoing commitment to exploring new possibilities in quality care for patients and communities. Could these awards been handed out to nearly every customer we have? Probably. But there are always those that rise to the top. This year we honor:
- Practice Transformation Award: Roswell Pediatric Center
- Caregiver Excellence Award: New Era Medicine
- Greenway Healthy Practice Award: Colorado Springs Pulmonary Consultants
- Value-Based Care Award: HealthLinc Community Health Centers
- Community Hero award: Corporation de Servicios Medicos de Hatillo
Today’s keynote speaker, Kevin Brown, just left the stage, and we’re all goose-bumpy. And standing. And clapping. Sometimes you meet someone and you know right away what that person’s purpose is … why he or she is here among us. For Kevin, his purpose is to use his wisdom and experiences to inspire others to be the best version of themselves. His ability to present his stories and scenarios in a way that’s relevant to a room packed with more than a thousand people is staggering. Everyone in this room is a few steps closer to being “everyday heroes,” now that we’ve heard Kevin speak.
The slate for today is filled with more knowledge sessions, which are packed again.
We’ve mentioned the networking… Customers tell us it’s simply the best. ENGAGE attendees have so many moments to “engage” with people they’re meeting for the first time, or maybe people they’ve met briefly at previous Greenway events. They trade stories, ideas, laughs and, ultimately, phone numbers and emails.
One of the coolest perks of this year’s ENGAGE is the Headshot Lounge. The photographers are crazy talented, and the photos are gorgeous … from LinkedIn to Skype to Match.com, there are going to be some new beautiful faces across the internet after this event!
It’s going to be a great night. The Customer Celebration has a fun nautical them. The band is sound-checking and we’re already starting to dance. We’ve been told the food is delish … and the conversation with customers even better. Even though an unexpected rain storm changed our original plans, we still made the best of it and had an amazing time.
The pictures say it all:
MONDAY, AUGUST 13
We’re wrapping things up today. Most attendees are packing up and checking out. Plenty of hugs and handshakes. And of course, smiling.
We’re seeing lots of customers heading out wearing Greenway shirts and pullovers. The Greenway Health store had a long line every time we walked past.
It’s nearly 1 p.m., and the Gaylord is finally quiet as we begin the process of taking down signs, boxing up our equipment.
In the next couple of weeks, we’ll be meeting, debriefing, going through notes and comments, and planning to make the next ENGAGE even better.
We can’t thank everyone enough … the staff at the Gaylord, our Marketplace Partners, everyone on the Greenway Health team (including those who didn’t attend the event), and, most of all, our customers … We value your partnership, your stories, and your belief in what we can discover together as we strive toward better, smarter, more innovative patient care.
Goodbye from National Harbor!
(Photo credits: Tim Shelby and Greenway staffers)