EANS ups the ante with increased digitalisation and sponsorship

More than 1,500 international physicians have met in Brussels for the EANS2018 Congress, with the association setting powerful learning, digitalisation, increased sponsorships and networking as benchmarks for success.

The European Congress of Neurosurgery, organised by AIM Group International for the fourth consecutive year, is a key event for the European Association of Neurosurgical Societies. Taking place at Square Brussels Convention Centre (21-25 October), the 2018 edition was focused on improving congress effectiveness and participant engagement.

Areas earmarked for improvement included powerful learning. The three-day programme included 99 Scientific Sessions , based on 1,100 selected abstracts. More space was given to small interactive sessions with 23 Masterclasses, where a small audience could freely interact with well-known surgeons discussing clinical cases. A new communication format of Science Slams saw young physicians have a short time to present their research projects in an effective and appealing way, to be evaluated and voted for by the public.

Increased digitalisation was another major factor. Several scanning stations were provided for attendees to complete the evaluation for CME credits in a quick, easy, all-digital procedure. In addition, the poster area comprised touch screens with user-friendly, interactive e-posters.

One of the objectives of the congress was to create more valuable partnerships, to attract new and more sponsors and increase sponsorship revenues. After a working with the sponsor community – which has been strengthened in the previous congresses organised by AIM Group – more sponsorship opportunities were found. This resulted in a 26 per cent increase in sponsorship and exhibition revenue, and a 30 per cent increase in the sold exhibit area, with 49 sponsors in all.

The opportunity to informally network with other international colleagues is deemed increasingly important for medical congresses, so a social programme was established with some ad hoc events with a mix of traditional and modern attractions. Theses included the Autoworld Brussels Museum for the networking dinner, the prestigious Palais D’Egmont for the Presidential Dinner, and the iconic Brussels City Hall for the international closing dinner.