BREAKING: London-based Informa PLC Plans to Acquire HIMSS Conference

July 27, 2023
On July 27, as part of its half-year report, the London-based Informa, a B2B publisher and events management company, announced its plans to acquire the annual HIMSS Conference

A London-based international business-to-business company that already has extensive investments in U.S. business-to-business ventures, has announced that it is ready to acquire the HIMSS Conference, the annual conference presented by the 120,000-member, Chicago-based Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).

On page 5 of its 76-page “Half-Year Results” report, Informa, a $2.8-billion (£2.4 billion) operator of B2B events, wrote this on Thursday, July 27, under the heading “Market Specialisation: Further depth in Healthcare Technology”: “Today we have also announced exclusivity to acquire the HIMSS Global Health Exhibition/Conference, the leading international trade show for Healthcare technology and information management systems. HIMSS Global Health Exhibition/Conference, a TSNN Top 30 US Trade Show which will next take place in March 2024, attracts 35k+ healthcare professionals from more than 90 countries each year, including physicians, nurses, analysts, government officials, investors and technology partners. It is a major B2B trade show, combining 1200+ exhibitors and more than 200 specialist education sessions to provide specialist market access and rich content and insights into the latest trends and innovations in Healthcare information and technology.”

On its website, Informa describes itself thus, under the heading, “What We Do”: “Our leading brands connect people with knowledge, helping businesses and professionals in dozens of specialist markets to learn more, know more and do more. Informa works in two main markets: in Academic Markets, where we serve knowledge makers and research institutions worldwide, and in Business-to-Business Markets, where we champion businesses and professionals. We have a broad range of products and services, all of which are based on connecting people, knowledge and ideas. They include live and on-demand events, digital content and media, advanced research and research services, accredited training, digital marketing and audience development services, and digital lead and demand generation solutions.”

Elsewhere in its half-year report, the company describes its financial situation thus, quoting Stephen A. Carter, Group Chief Executive, Informa PLC: “We are focused on building a better, broader and more scalable business, which is reflected in a very strong first half performance, putting us on track to meet or beat our guidance for 2023, with further momentum visible into 2024 and 2025. As The Leading and Largest Owner/Operator of B2B Events, Specialist Data and Digital Services Internationally, we see continuing strong demand from B2B customers, giving us confidence in further growth.” Carter wrote in the report that the company’s half-year results are thus: “Further strong growth in Revenue (+53.0% to £1,520.5m), Adjusted Operating Profit (+102.9% to £413.5m) and Free Cash Flow (+62.8% to £224.6m),” with “Underlying revenue growth of 31.9% and an increase in underlying adjusted operating profit of 56.5% in H1 2023, reflecting an improved performance in Academic Markets, strong growth in B2B Events and further progress in B2B Digital Services”; and “Increased Operating Margin: Significant increase in adjusted operating margin (+670bpts to 27.2 percent), ahead of full year guidance, driven by higher underlying revenues and strong operating leverage.”

The article on HIMSS in Clinowiki notes the following: “HIMSS was founded at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1961. Initially, it was known as the HMSS (Hospital Management Systems Society). It was formed as an attempt to exchange experience among members to improve hospital management systems. In 1966, the HMSS became affiliated with the AHA (American Hospital Association). HMSS became HIMSS in 1986, with over 80 percent of its membership voting for the change, after the realization there was no organization for healthcare information systems professionals. In 1993, following years of rapid growth and with the AHA restructuring, HIMSS became an independent organization. The keynote speech at the 1993 HIMSS conference was given by Steve Jobs. In 2001, HIMSS merged with the Center for Healthcare Information Management (CHIM), which itself was established originally within the AHA using financial support from vendors and consultants. Since then, HIMSS has continued to grow, with a 44-percent increase in individual membership from 2011 to 2014.”

According to a history of the organization and its conference published online in 2013, attendance at the annual HIMSS Conference grew steadily from a first annual convention held in Baltimore in 1962, through to the organization’s first annual conference as an entity independent of the AHA in 1993, when 4,400 attendees gathered in San Diego. As Healthcare Innovation reported, at its peak, in 2017, more than 40,000 professionals attended HIMSS17 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. The COVID-19 pandemic shut HIMSS20 down, but the conference gradually regained attendance, and HIMSS23, held in Chicago in April, saw attendance of an estimated 35,000 attendees. HIMSS24 is scheduled to take place March 11-15, 2024, in Orlando.

Healthcare Innovation has reached out to HIMSS leaders for comment. This is a developing story, and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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