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Air Travel Etiquette

IMG_7172Let me preface this post by saying I love my job and I am grateful for all of the experiences it affords me. I get to travel all over the country; eat in great restaurants; take in amazing sights; and meet interesting people. For example, yesterday I was in Chicago, speaking at the annual Pelvic Health Conference. I stayed at an amazing hotel and made the most of it, waking up early and walking the streets of Chicago – beginning with Michigan Avenue. It was such a pleasure.

Of course, the travel means being away from family more than I would like. It also means putting up with a lot of travel-related frustrations: cancelled and delayed flights, 3:30am wake up calls, cramped hotel rooms, bad airport food, etc.

foursquarephoto-2You’ve heard of the quantified self. Well, that extends beyond the fitness devices that one wears to track exercise and sleep. I use data from Foursquare to get a sense of my travel patterns. According to my check ins on Foursquare, in the past 60 days, I have visited 39 different airports and stayed in 31 different hotels. I’m currently in my 12th straight week of business travel. I’ve checked in at my home airport, RDU International, 51 times over the last 60 days (twice a day if it is just a day trip). That represents 26 distinct trips.  Here’s a graphic that shows some of the  airports that I have frequented over the last 2 months.

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It goes without saying that I have ample opportunity to observe the occasional misguided behaviors of other travelers. (Often I am exhausted and short on patience as I witness their misdeeds.) So I have put together this list of helpful air travel etiquette tips! (Feel free to add your own tips by submitting comments to this post.)

  • As you are sitting at the gate, preparing to board your flight, take a moment to organize yourself and your possessions. If there are items you will need to pull out of your carry-on luggage, do so at this time rather than when you are on the plane. Doing it on the plane means that you will block the aisle, impeding others who are trying to board.
  • If you are in Zone 3, 4 or 5 for boarding, please don’t crowd around the gate blocking other travelers from boarding the plane. Your seat on the plane isn’t going anywhere. (By the way, this behavior is similar to people at Starbucks waiting for the Barista to make their drink.)
  • If your carry-on luggage weighs so much that you can’t physically hoist it up into the overhead compartment on your own, check the bag!
  • If you are going to drink more than one beer on a flight, don’t reserve a window seat. An aisle seat will be far more convenient for everyone involved as you make your frequent trips to the bathroom.
  • When the flight attendant says that your smaller items should go under the seat in front of you, she means it. That includes you business travelers. Don’t put your carry-on luggage, briefcase and suit coat all in the overhead compartment. That’s bad form. And you’re slowing everything down because you’re using up all the overhead space and creating a nightmare for those who board after you.
  • If you need to get up and move around during the flight, don’t grab the seat in front of you for leverage as you attempt to pry yourself from your seat. It is unnecessary and rattles the person seated in front of you. I recommend using your arm rests for support.
  • If you feel the need to paint your nails during the flight, don’t! The fresh fingernail polish will gas out everyone on the plane. Be courteous. Your fellow travelers should not have to pay the price for your poor planning.
  • When the plane lands, don’t jump up from your seat and charge toward the front of the plane. Good travel etiquette means allowing those seating in front of you to precede you. Again, be courteous.
  • When you exit the jet bridge into the terminal, don’t stop. Keep walking. If you and your family all stop, you block everyone exiting the jet bridge.

I know that you don’t perpetrate any of this misdeed. So tell me, what annoys you about air travel? Time for me to go. I’ve got to catch a flight to Cincinnati; then on to Raleigh-Durham.

 

 

On October 29th, just two days before Halloween, I will be presenting in Chicago at Spirit Health Group’s annual Pelvic Health Conference. Based on my past experiences with Pelvic Health events and Spirit of Women, this should prove to be a rewarding experience. Both the audience and I always walk away with new insights. Below is a flier that Spirit Health Group produced to promote my participation in their event. Meanwhile, I hope to see you in Chicago!

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Dan Hinmon (Hive Strategies) and I will be hosting a webinar on November 12, 2014 at 1pm Eastern Time. The Webinar is titled “Look Before You Leap: 5 Things You Must Know Before You Launch an Online Patient Community.” To register for this free webinar, and to learn more, visit https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/672252017. Please help us spread the word!

To learn more about the partnership that Jennings, Hive Strategies and CareHubs have formed to build online patient communities, click here.  We’ve dedicated ourselves to developing communities where patients, family members and healthcare consumers can visit with one another and gather credible health information, share their stories, interact with others facing similar circumstances, access health resources, learn about hospital services and engage clinicians. We are committed to involving patients, their caregivers and families in ongoing conversations about health, wellness, prevention and lifestyle modifications. Ultimately, building consistent relationships between the patient and provider delivers real value to both the patients and the healthcare organization.

But how do you successfully launch an online patient support community? That’s what this webinar will address! (Click on the image below to enlarge.)

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The 2014 annual conference of the Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development of the American Hospital Association was an overwhelming success. Here’s my evaluation of the conference using a report card format:

  • Quality of Keynote Presentations & General Sessions: A-
  • Quality of Breakout Sessions: C+
  • Quality of Networking: A+
  • Quality of Activity in the Exhibit Hall: A
  • Quality of Events: A

Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 11.39.59 AMThese are good grades. The highlight of the conference, from my perspective, was Dr. Eric Topol’s presentation on Tuesday afternoon. He was phenomenal. After reading his book, The Creative Destruction of Medicine, it was a treat for me to meet him at #SHSMD14 and to hear him speak about the consumer-driven revolution in healthcare – and the importance of digital medical technology for the individual. It was an incredible experience.

Throughout the conference I maintained a Storify: #SHSMD14 Curated. Within my Storify, the archived Tweets tell the story (a story) of the conference and much of what went on. Check it out by clicking here.

Speaking of Twitter, here are the final Twitter stats for the conference as documented by Symplur. You can click on the images below to enlarge them.

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For me, conferences like this are about learning and fellowship. There was a time, before LinkedIn Groups and Twitter, when the learning was the more important of the two. Today, because I am accessing leading innovations in the field everyday through my contacts on social media, the revelations at conferences happen less frequently. But, the opportunities for fellowship, particularly with peers I’ve come to know and interact with through social media, are immense. Conference represent an amazing opportunity for connecting with these people in real life (IRL). This year I was able to connect with some amazing friends including Jason Wolf (Beryl Institute) and Colin Hung (Healthcare Leaders Twitter Chat Co-Founder). There were many others! Here are a few photos that represent some of the fellowship I experienced.

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My friend John Novack, who works for Inspire.com, sent me a link to this awesome video from the SCAD Alliance. The Scad Alliance exists to facilitate collaborations among specialists to improve the diagnosis, care and outcomes of Spontaneous Coronary Artery Disease. Years ago I met some of the amazing women behind the SCAD Alliance at a Mayo Clinic Social Media Summit. The women I met were Katherine Leon and Laura Haywood-Cory, and the story of how they came together and organized a movement on behalf of SCAD patients was truly remarkable. Their efforts led to “patient-initiated research” at Mayo Clinic. (You can read more in a report by Inspire titled “SCAD Ladies Stand Up.”) Today, Katherine Leon serves on the board of directors of the organization. When I met them I was so moved by all that they had accomplished, I wrote a blog post in an attempt to share their story within the healthcare marketing community. Here’s a link to that post.

The SCAD ladies have come a long way since I first met them in 2o11. They have their Alliance with a Board of Directors, a Scientific Advisory Board and even a  Tweet-Chat. Now they’ve produced this fun video that educates people about the symptoms of SCAD. The reality is that the symptoms are overlooked and SCAD patients are often misdiagnosed. I invited you to watch the video and share the SCAD story with friends!

I’ve posted a number of photos from my experience #SHSMD14 below, but wanted to start this post (midway through Tuesday) with some Twitter analytics from Symplur. One thing to remember when looking at the Twitter activity is that the conversation has been somewhat fragmented because people have been able to have conversations online via the SHSMD mobile App, rather than Twitter. That has surely diminished these numbers, to some degree.

In short, 412 unique individuals have Tweeted over the last three days; there have been 2,286 Tweets; for a total of 2,996,564 potential impressions on Twitter. (You have to be careful when you talk about impressions on Twitter.)

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Now for a few photos from my time at SHSMD (so far):

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Earlier today I published a blog post highlighting 10 people you should meet at SHSMD14. Truthfully, there are hundreds of interesting people attending this conference. Because I do everything in excess, here’s a list of 10 more healthcare marketing professionals you should meet at the show.

  1. Colin Hung – One of the co-founders of the #HCLDR healthcare leaders Tweet Chat (Tuesday evening at 8:30 ET). If you’ve never sat in on this Twitter Chat, you should!  @Colin_Hung
  2. Dean Browell – Dean is one of the smartest guys I know. A Principal at Feedback. @Dbrowell
  3. Moses Hohman – Principal of Human Practice. Moses is an entrepreneur and digital health innovator. Most importantly, he’s a friend. Visit his booth. @humanpractice
  4. Carla Bryant  – Corrigan Partners – Carla is a marketing specialist/strategist and principal at Corrigan. I am fond of the entire team at Corrigan. (You’ll also want to meet Lisa Burris!) @cjbryant
  5. Lisa Schiller – Vice President, Marketing & PR, Rex Healthcare. For several years now Lisa has been doing amazing work with her team at Rex Healthcare in Raleigh, NC. This is one of the brands that is near and dear to my heart. A former client.
  6. Guy McClurkan – Chief Operating Officer, Spirit Health Group – Guy will be facilitating a session at 4pm today. He’s a sharp dresser and has a wealth of healthcare experience. Don’t let his youthful good looks fool you!
  7. Jeff Steblea – VP, Market Street Research – Jeff runs  a market research firm based in Northampton, MA. They know healthcare and deal with some of the top brands in the industry. Together, we just completed a comprehensive brand assessment for a health system in Massachusetts. Market Street’s work was exceptional.
  8. Chad Campbell – Chad does digital strategy and business development for Silvertech – a digital lifecycle agency. You’ll have to ask Chad what that means! I just know that they build websites. @ChadCampbell119
  9. Mike Dowd – Manager of Business Development at Jennings (my firm). Mike just joined our firm about a month ago. He worked previously with Press Ganey. He is a lover of craft beer and that’s enough for me. @MichaelPDowd
  10. Brian Bierbaum – Vice President of Strategy, Bluespire Strategic Marketing – Brian is an author (The Thought Leaders Project: Hospital Marketing) and solid strategic thinker. He’s on the attendees list, but I have yet to run into him. Check out the BlueSpire booth and ask if Brian’s around.
  11. Robin Goldsmith – Manager Strategic Partnerships, Everyday Health. I’m a fan of Everyday Health and have gotten to know Robin over the years. If you aren’t familiar with the company, you should check them out. @RobinEDH

Okay, that’s list #2. I couldn’t keep it to just 10 people. Now it’s up to you to seek them out and start making those connections!

Enjoy.

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