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Coronavirus: medical association takes annual congress on the road

A medical association took its annual congress on the road to avoid a mass gathering of its members.

The Italian Society of Anaesthesia, Analgesia, Intensive Care and Resuscitation’s (SIAARTI) tour of Italy began in Turin on 21 September and finished in Bari on 4 October, visiting major hospitals along the way.

Stops included Milan, Brescia, Padua, Bologna, Rome and Naples.

With the help of congress organisers AIM Group, the Travelling with ICARE  event meant society members didn’t have to convene under one roof and risk the spread of the coronavirus Covid-19.

Italy was one of the worst hit countries during the first wave of Covid-19, but conferences and events reopened in June with no limit on capacity, although social distancing and mask wearing is compulsory.

“For the first time, the congress left its physical location and travelled to major hospitals,” AIM Group International project manager and head of sponsorship, Gaia Santoro said.

The aim of the tour was to create in-person engagement between society members in a knowledge exchange event without members having to travel en masse to one central point for the congress.

“Anaesthesiologists and resuscitators, still dealing with the pandemic, had the opportunity to participate in the live events, held close to where they work rather than travelling to a congress. It was a courageous event, but one that combines safety, knowledge exchange, innovation and ability to react”.

Participants engaged with health managers, local administrators and sponsors in outdoor meeting areas, attend round table discussion, listen to interviews and participate in meet-the-expert sessions.

Those who were unable to join the travelling tour could enjoy all the content collected during the tour on a web platform.

“We are very satisfied with the results obtained since the event took place during the Covid-19 emergency, it required a good dose of courage. It also provided an example of how we can return to in-person events in a safe and effective way,” AIM Group International’s congress division managing direction Rosangela Quieti said.

“Such an innovative project would not have been possible without the close collaboration of SIAARTI which inspired us to dare and to innovate together, as we did for example in the past with the Academy Lampedusa event”.