Behind the Scenes: Setting the Stage for the AAHPM & HPNA Annual Assembly

Over the next few days, more than 2,400 physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals will be descending upon “The Big Easy.” This doesn’t include exhibitors, guests and staff members who will also join us for all or some of the program.

Preparations for this conference starts more than a year in advance and onsite staging at the convention center begins days before the first attendees arrive.

So what goes on behind the scenes of the Annual Assembly? For the first time this year, a handful of AAHPM staff members will be snapping photos, sharing insights and perhaps revealing some “secrets” about how everything comes together.

I arrived on Monday afternoon with two of our exceptional “meeting planners” – Vanessa Mobley and Kelly Rostine – who plan, coordinate and oversee all of the logistics associated with the conference. This includes coordination with the hotels, convention center, caterers, registration management, a/v technicians decorators (that pipe, drape, stage and signage doesn’t just get there on its own!), hotel accommodations, receptions, concurrent and plenary rooms, exhibit hall set up and much more. The document that details all of the specification for the four day program is nearly 200 pages long. I often describe it as a “three ring circus” although truthfully, it’s more like a 12 ring circus since that’s how many educational sessions are taking place simultaneously most of the day.

Monday and Tuesday are mostly set-up days when staff begin arriving and unpack, along with the laborers, a/v and computer technicians and others responsible for setting up and supporting the conference. Here are some “behind the scene” photos of what things look like before everyone arrives. See you soon and travel safe!

Steve Smith, CAE
Executive Director/CEO
American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM)

Follow me at @ssmithaahpm

Have you ever seen an exhibit hall before the booth and carpets are put into place? Not pretty. But it will be by Wednesday night!
The Great Hall of the New Orleans Earnest N. Morial Convention Center before it is transformed into the space that will host four dynamic plenary sessions.

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