Post Con

When Rheumatologists Meet

ACR’s Annual Meeting draws up to 15,000 physicians, scientists, and health professionals who research or care for patients with autoimmune, rheumatic, and musculoskeletal diseases.

EVENT DETAILS

Nov. 14–19, 2014
Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC)

OVERVIEW

ACR’s Annual Meeting draws up to 15,000 physicians, scientists, and health professionals who research or care for patients with autoimmune, rheumatic, and musculoskeletal diseases.

CHALLENGES

Because the BCEC is in Boston’s hotel-light seaport area, many attendees had to be bussed through the city’s sometimes congested streets. “It turned out to be a nonissue,” said Ron Olejko, ACR’s senior director of meeting services. It was a 180-degree turnaround from an earlier ACR meeting — during Boston’s notorious Big Dig — where traffic raised problems. “It restored my faith in Boston.” More challenging was the BCEC’s Wi-Fi availability. “We may have come in with expectations that weren’t realistic. It was kind of struggle, particularly the first day or so,” Olejko said. “The good news is [Boston] has just announced a $2.5-million upgrade, which will help considerably.”

INITIATIVES

ACR’s first-ever event app enabled attendees to tweet easily about the meeting. “We did some of our sessions on social media,” Olejko said, “and people who are heavy tweeters could talk amongst themselves.”

RESULTS

2014 attendee numbers were up: 2,661 compared to 2,524 in 2013
2014 exhibitor numbers also were up:  40 in 2014, compared to 31 in 2013
 
Convene’s Pre-Con/Post-Con series asks meeting planners about their challenges and how they intend to address them (Pre-Con), and then circles back around after the meeting has occurred (Post-Con) to see how well they worked out.

Corin Hirsch

Corin Hirsch is associate editor of Convene.