How Surgeons Operated in Basel

October 2, 2017

How Surgeons Operated in Basel

Basel was the host city for the 47th World Congress of Surgery – staged by the International Society of Surgery – which took place between 13 and 17 August 2017 at the Congress Center Basel (CCB). About 2000 participants from all over the world – including an estimated 200 students – came to the city in order to attend the central events held in the CCB as well as additional events held in attractive venues in the vicinity.

The event was organized on a short notice as it had originally been planned for Argentina and the decision to go to Basel was only taken about a year beforehand, on safety and security grounds. Basel’s geographical location offers political and economic stability and is easily accessible thanks to a highly developed public transport system.

September 29, 2017

Challenges for Associations up for Discussion

Members of ABPCO (Association of British Professional Conference Organisers) had the opportunity to participate in a round table at the KIA Oval in London exploring the challenges faced by their organisations.

Held under Chatham House Rules and titled “What Keeps You Awake at Night?”, the event highlighted – amongst other issues – how GDPR relates to membership organisations and their relationships with agencies and how no shows at free to attend events make it impossible to select the right sized venues. It also dealt with assessing risks and managing crisis in a blame and liability focused culture as well as the understanding of ‘Compliance’ and how to work with it.

The discussion even touched the issue of conflicting priorities and commitment amongst stakeholders and volunteers who don’t always value the importance of events or their role. Finally, it examined the management of engagement and retention, and workloads when key members of the team leave, particularly with the growth of transient staff.

After the end of the round table, a short EGM was held passing a motion to move the AGM and Conference from a set January time-slot to create a better balance of member events throughout the year, whilst fitting more closely with the association’s financial calendar.

Rose Padmore, joint chair of ABPCO, said: “The event highlighted the truth of the old adage that a problem shared is a problem halved. Every challenge was greeted by a host of thoughts and ideas from other people in the room who had either experienced the same or similar problems.”

September 27, 2017

Oncologists Select Madrid for a Second Time

Following the excellent rate of participation in 2014, ESMO chose to bring its congress, a meeting organised by the European Society for Medical Oncology in partnership with the European Association for Cancer Research (EACR), back to Madrid. The congress took place at Ifema from the 8th to 12th September.

With almost 24,000 delegates – 85% of which were from abroad – the congress broke its own record for participation, the previous one being 20,000. Spanish participation in sessions and speeches accounted for 5% of all the works presented, which made Spain the second most prolific contributor in terms of the number of studies disseminated, after the United States.

The Madrid Convention Bureau focuses on attracting such large-scale events  from the scientific sector and universities. This year alone Madrid has hosted six congresses with more than 7,000 participants each, always in the field of medicine.

September 26, 2017

UN World Tourism Organization to Travel to St. Petersburg

After a decision made earlier this month by participants of the current United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) General Assembly in Chengdu, the 23rd session of the Assembly will be held in St. Petersburg in 2019.

Holding the ‘Oscar’ for «World’s Leading Cultural City Destination 2016» and «Europe’s Leading Destination 2016» and with more than 7 million tourists per year, almost half of which are foreigners, the city actively develops cultural and MICE tourism as well as congress tourism, hence becoming more and more interesting for association conferences.

September 25, 2017

Education is Our Legacy for the Future

In a rapidly changing world with an increasingly uncertain future, education is probably the most important single thing any organization does, and that importance just keeps growing. There are three reasons for this, Rod Cameron, Executive Director AIPC and JMIC writes.

The first is that knowledge and the benefit of experience are probably the most valuable legacies we can pass on to those who will be following us into any discipline – and critical to delivering the kinds of specialized products and services that increasingly characterize a future workplace that may require skills not directly transferrable from other areas of employment. With a tight market for talent in many parts of the world today, employers often have to recruit from other specialties and then provide the additional required knowledge on-site. And while “on the job” experience will eventually provide a lot of what’s required, specialized training is a way to get new recruits up to speed more quickly.

But in times when almost everything about the product is changing so quickly, education is not just an investment in the future – it’s also about right now, and being able to put the very latest information, insights and strategies into immediate action. Even those with lots of experience in a particular business regularly find themselves facing new challenges, as everything from client needs and business methods to new technology and customer expectations change on what seems to be a daily basis. Invariably, the best ideas for how to address these come from others in the industry who are having similar challenges, and educational programs are an effective way of facilitating an exchange of such information and insights.

Finally, it’s about reputation – and an ability to create a comfort level amongst clients who need the confidence that things are being done properly and professionally. Education is primarily about building the kinds of competencies needed to demonstrate capability – and the more visible this capability is, the more likely it is to support being taken seriously by other disciplines. In a world where “second best” gains little respect, an investment in good education can not only produce better results, but more visibly better results – and that is perhaps the most valuable commodity in the market today.

What is changing is delivery. This is a product of technology and a matter of what is possible today that might not have been a few years ago – but it’s also about changing expectations around how information can and should be communicated by those on the receiving end. Online and remote learning, for example are very attractive in that they let students set their own pace and don’t require actual attendance in a central setting. At the same time, they enable participants to access speakers and resources that would be difficult if not impossible to bring together for a smaller group.

On the other hand, in a way, the method of delivery is in itself a part of the lesson, since it reflects on what we know about how to convey information most effectively and demonstrate the additional values – network development, for example – that reinforce the value of face to face encounters in validating both content and relationships. In the end – as with remote meetings generally – the most effective approach will likely be a combination of both, depending on the kinds of materials to be covered and the need for direct interaction as a component of the learning process.

The bottom line: training and education are both critical and evolving quickly. The challenge for everyone is not just to keep pace with current norms but to also prepare new arrivals for dealing with what may be a range of possibilities in the future. That is a more creative exercise than simply passing on existing information – but the only realistic approach to a world that is evolving as quickly as ours is today.

AIPC, the International Association of Convention Centres, represents a global network of over 180 leading centres in 57 countries with the active involvement of more than 900 management-level professionals worldwide. marianne.de.raay@aipc.org / www.aipc.org

September 25, 2017

Edinburgh’s Leaders Help Attract Association Conferences

Over 75 representatives from Edinburgh’s business, scientific and academic elite got together last Wednesday during the Edinburgh Ambassador Dinner. Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, congratulated them on the significant role they had played in boosting the local economy in the last 21 years.  In the last 12 months alone this had included confirming events such as Eurocities 2018 and the European Association of Neurosurgical Societies Workshop 2018.

Taking place at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange, the annual dinner was also attended by world recognised leaders in their field, including the University of Edinburgh, Moredun Research Institute, NHS Research Scotland and The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

Amanda Ferguson, Head of Business Tourism at Marketing Edinburgh said: This month, Edinburgh will launch a new integrated marketing campaign that aims to build business tourism through creative collaboration across the city. The Edinburgh Ambassador Programme is testament to that collective approach in winning new conferences. ”

September 22, 2017

Alzheimer’s Conference to Be Remembered in Wales

Alzheimer’s Research UK Conference – the UK’s largest dementia research conference – will be hosted at ICC Wales in March 2020, an announcement made even before the completion of the construction of the Centre.

The two-day annual conference will welcome dementia experts from across the UK and internationally, featuring presentations from researchers and clinicians as well as opportunities to network and forge collaborations. A forum for researchers to hear the latest investigative findings into Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias – from discoveries in the laboratory to clinical perspectives – will also be provided.

Once complete in 2019, ICC Wales will provide total floor space for meetings, conferences, exhibitions and events of 26,000sqm. Sponsored by Celtic Manor and Welsh Government, the Centre will accommodate 5,000 delegates and include a 4,000sqm pillar-free main hall, a 1,500-seated auditorium, 12 flexible meeting rooms, a double-height glass atrium and a 2,500sqm outdoor plaza.

 

September 20, 2017

Associations to Choose Among Swiss Convention Centres

When it comes to choosing a venue for their next event in Switzerland, associations are dizzy with choice.

The alliance Swiss Convention Centres takes in the ten largest congress centres in Switzerland. The capacity these partners are able to offer for congresses and events ranges from 500 to 5000 participants. The individual locations offer an exhibition area of at least 1,000 m2, always making sustainable investments in infrastructure and technical systems.

One example of this is the Congress Centre Kursaal Bern which expanded the total number of rooms it has on offer to 30; Kongresshaus Zürich and the Tonhalle are also scheduled to reopen with a new look in August 2020.

Each centre is unique in its own way. Some, like the Congress Centre Kursaal Interlaken, the Congress Centre Kursaal Bern, the 2m2c Montreux Music & Convention Centre and the Palazzo Congressi Lugano offer wonderful views and picturesque accommodation. Others, such as the Congress Centre Davos and the Kongresshaus Zürich, offer free transportation and easy access. Congress Center Basel is an architectural delight. The multifunctional KKL Luzern as well as the SwissTech Convention Center Lausanne STCC offer advanced technologies, such as WLAN network and modular spaces. Last but not least is the Centre International de Conférences Genève (CICG) in the heart of diplomacy, helping the city’s biodiversity.

 

 

September 18, 2017

European Calcified Tissue Society – Building a Sustainable Future

Founded in 1963 with the aim of bringing together scientists and researchers in the field of calcified tissues to interact, learn from each other and create new alliances to advance research, the European Calcified Tissue Society (ECTS) have, since 1963, been acting as a forum to promote scientific excellence and education in the musculoskeletal field.  Roberta Mugnai, Executive Director, who Boardroom met at the last European Association Summit, shares her insights as an association professional and explains how the organization operates. Interview Rémi Dévé

Can you briefly explain what ECTS is about?

With an Annual Congress, PhD Training Courses and many research funding instruments, the European Calcified Tissue Society acts as a forum for the dissemination of scientific excellence and education. ECTS represents today more than 600 members, including basic researchers, clinicians, students and health allied professionals working in the musculoskeletal field. It has a network of over 30 national and international societies.

Since its inception until the late nineties, our main activity was the organization of a bi-annual congress. The society and congress were run by a number of volunteers. But at a certain point, we found ourselves with a desire to create a stronger community: the frequencies of the congresses were increased to annual events and the first staff members were hired. That’s when ECTS started to become a truly professional membership organization.

Can you elaborate about the events you organize and you relate to Education, the main theme of this edition of Boardroom?

Like many learned societies, we organize a number of training courses and e-learning aimed to support all stages of career development, from PhD Students to established clinicians and basic scientists.

Education is at the very heart of ECTS. In 2016 we established the ECTS Academy, whose mission is to form a scientific network on musculoskeletal diseases to promote scientific excellence and the training of young scientists and doctors in Europe. It works as a kind of spinoff society of ECTS whose 10 members are elected for 5 years after a strict selection based on scientific excellence and cooperative engagement.

The ECTS Academy organizes a number of events and learning opportunities for the young generation. It is still rather new but since 2016 the ECTS Academy has successfully organized a number of activities, including special sessions during the ECTS Congress or quarterly webinars for instance, for what we call New Investigators to gain career advice, support and guidance by experienced professionals. This initiative is much more than a ‘school’ and prepares the next generation to truly become the new leaders of researchers in the musculoskeletal field.

Have you ever worked with a Professional Congress Organizer? Do you see the added value of it?

With the exception of the ECTS congress, all the activities that I just mentioned are organized in-house. We are a small team of four but the ECTS members are dedicated and committed to the ECTS mission and they take a large number of operational activities in their hands, which we are deeply grateful for. For the ECTS congress, we use the services of a PCO, but we keep the leadership of the strategic decisions, scientific programme and relations with our corporate supporters.

The size of our congress doesn’t justify the hiring of dedicated congress staff and the hiring of a PCO is the most appropriate solution for us at the moment. We selected our PCO very carefully based on a number of elements: first and foremost they needed to embrace our mission and vision and had to be ready to be a member of the ECTS family! Our PCO is now really part of the team. I believe collaboration and transparency are keys to success.

Read the rest of Roberta’s interview in Boardroom#4 – September 2017 available here.

September 15, 2017

Architects to Draw their Way to Copenhagen in 2023

Copenhagen will be the city to welcome the world’s largest architectural congress in 2023. 10,000 of the world’s leading architects will travel to the Danish capital to discuss how architecture can contribute to the achievement of the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals. The congress, which is held every three years, is organized by the International Union of Architects (UIA) and the discussions will take place at the World Congress of Architects.

Copenhagen’s official DMO, Wonderful Copenhagen and Realdania, the Danish Architects Association, were instrumental in bringing the congress to the Nordic city, having presented an ambitious bid that focused on ‘Sustainable futures’ at this year’s congress in Seoul.