Cleveland Clinic Drives Innovation at the Huntington Convention Center

Author: Sarah Beauchamp       

The Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland

The Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland is home to the annual Medical Innovation Summit.

At a time when the future of healthcare is at the center of debate over public policy in the United States, “it’s essential that innovation remain at the core in the delivery of medical care,” Susan Bernat, general manager of strategic marketing at the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic told Convene. Each year, Cleveland Clinic hosts a Medical Innovation Summit “as a way to bring together all stakeholders in healthcare to build the relationships and ignite the technologies that will advance patient care,” Bernat said.

In October, more than 2,600 medical professionals convened at the Huntington Convention Center in Cleveland, where the Cleveland Clinic has hosted the event since 2013. “The Convention Center has allowed us to grow our audience, build out more content, and improve the attendee experience by offering various spaces that can house any combination of general sessions, breakouts, receptions, and meals,” said Bernat. The event previously was held in a smaller venue on the clinic’s campus.

The convention center’s downtown location “is also ideal, in that many of Cleveland’s popular venues, like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the House of Blues, and the bars on East 4th Street, are just a few blocks away,” Bernat says, “which reduces the need for shuttling large groups of people to our off-site events.”

The Huntington Convention Center offers 225,000 square feet of exhibit space, with more than more than 140,000 square feet of meeting and event space, 30 breakout rooms, and a 32,000-square-foot Grand Ballroom, which is divisible into three spaces. Its connected campus includes the Hilton Cleveland Downtown, which is enormously convenient for both attendees and meeting organizers, Bernat said. “The ability to keep attendees close by has also enabled a more vibrant nightly networking scene throughout the conference.”

The convention center is within walking distance of 5,000 hotel rooms, along with some of the Cleveland’s best food and entertainment districts. And the Huntington Convention Center’s services will expand in 2018: the center’s Au Bon Pain will complete a major addition, and the Global Center for Health Innovation, which is adjacent to the convention center and showcases the latest in healthcare technology, education, and commerce, will add a UPS Store and a Starbucks.

“Every year we have found creative ways to collaborate with the attached Global Center for Health Innovation,” Bernat says, “which gives attendees an opportunity to explore new spaces via self-guided tours and host intimate meetings in state-of-the-art meeting spaces. The Summit also partners with HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) to host breakout sessions on their expansive and interactive space on the 4th floor of the Global Center, which gives our attendees a nice change of scenery, including impressive views of downtown and Lake Erie.”

The convention center is the ideal location to bring medical professionals together to “discuss the latest trends and technologies and the challenges that we are faced with,” Bernat says. Some of the topics covered at this year’s Innovation Summit include genomics and the future of medicine, national healthcare transformation, and the top 10 medical innovations of 2018, which includes a cutting-edge insulin delivery system and new targeted breast cancer therapies. “[They’re] the disruptors for next year,” Michael Roizen, Cleveland Clinic’s chief wellness officer, said in a video for the summit. “You’ll want to build them into your practices.”

Neel Sarker, managing director at Sarkar Butler Capital Partners, explained why he attendees the Innovation Summit every year. “So many people from so many disciplines coming together to approach really hard problems from so many directions,” he said, “I think is very invigorating to be around.”