Experience the forum

The newly designed Free Paper Forum will allow delegates to attend parallel sessions and represents an evolutionary step for the ESCRS

Colin Kerr

Posted: Saturday, September 22, 2018

In Ancient Rome, the forum was a public square and a gathering place for discussions, debates and meetings where some of the great thinkers of the day would exchange views and disseminate knowledge.

This year in Vienna, the ESCRS brought the forum into a modern setting with the first ever Free Paper Forum.

In a specially designed room, delegates were able to attend parallel sessions staged at a number of pods around the room.

“The idea is really to provide a platform for informative, productive and relaxed interaction to enable delegates to experience free papers in a more stimulating way,” says Béatrice Cochener, President of the ESCRS.

“As a Society, we are always looking at ways to evolve,” said Dr Cochener, “and as the president of ESCRS, I believe that the Free Paper Forum was be one of the highlights of this year’s meeting.”

As in previous congresses, another major attraction for delegates in Vienna was the Poster Village, which was first launched at the XXXII Congress of the ESCRS in London in 2014. A highly interactive area where particularly interesting posters are presented by the authors in an informal atmosphere, there were three different formats of poster presentation on offer at the Village: ePoster terminals, presented poster sessions and moderated poster sessions.

The ePoster terminals gave delegates access to the posters in electronic form to be browsed at leisure, while the presented poster sessions enable small groups to discuss with the authors and obtain more detail on their research in an informal setting.

For the moderated poster sessions, a designated moderator presented a thematic summary of the posters contained in that session, followed by a question-and-answer session with the authors and audience debate. The focus was firmly on audience participation and interaction to derive the maximum benefit from the presentation.

First, second and third prizes of €2,000, €1,000 and €500 were awarded to the best cataract and refractive posters at the Congress. Posters were judged based on: Originality, scientific quality, relevance to clinical practice and presentation.

Bursaries were also awarded to ESCRS trainee members with a high scoring accepted free paper or poster.

The bursary grant included free registration to the congress and an allowance of €1,000 to cover flight and hotel costs.