Virtual Congress is a huge success

Strength on display in every session as 38th Congress of the ESCRS goes online amid difficult circumstances

Dermot McGrath

Posted: Monday, November 2, 2020

The 38th Congress of the ESCRS was a congress like no other congress, in a year like no other year.
Over three days, the ESCRS convened virtually on a digital platform that allowed delegates who were prevented from travelling to Amsterdam for a live congress to enjoy a first-class educational programme.
In his address to delegates at the Opening Ceremony of the Congress, the society’s President Professor Rudy MMA Nuijts reflected that delegates should have been in Amsterdam enjoying scientific contributions from all over the world at the RAI congress centre, exchanging ideas and enjoying social interaction.
“However,” he said, “in March the ESCRS took the difficult decision to move to a hybrid virtual meeting, with speakers and moderators presenting live in Amsterdam to an online audience. Unfortunately, with the number of COVID cases rising rapidly again in many countries, we took another difficult decision to convert to a fully virtual format,” he said.
“Certainly, this is not the ESCRS Congress we have become accustomed to, but many of the elements that always make this meeting so special still remain.”
On the final day of the Congress, in his closing remarks to delegates, the Prof Nuijts paid tribute to all the participants that had made the virtual event such a resounding success.
“The ESCRS is only as strong as the world class speakers and audience that we attract, and this strength was on display in every session these past few days,” he said.
Prof Nuijts said that a huge amount of effort had gone into organising the virtual congress and he hoped that all the delegates had found it a worthwhile experience.
“We hope that you have enjoyed your time and will take the knowledge you have gained over the past few days back to your hospitals and clinics to ultimately benefit your patients,” he said.
Prof Nuijts expressed gratitude to the many industry partners who had supported the move to a virtual platform and to all the speakers, moderators and chairpersons who provided the backbone of the scientific programme.
Prof Nuijts reminded delegates that all the main sessions, presentations and posters of the past weekend would be available on the online platform for viewing until the end of the year.
“You can log in any time and review everything you might have missed the first time around or watch any session again that you found particularly enjoyable,” he said.
Prof Nuijts ended by expressing his fervent wish that next year’s Congress will be able to return to the usual format of an in-person event.
“We will meet again next year and this time hopefully in person. Although this meeting was, I think, a tremendous success as a virtual meeting, this can never replace the charm of a physical meeting. So please stay safe, stay healthy, and thank you very much for your support,” he concluded.