The Annual Congress is the EAU’s flagship scientific meeting, and therefore it’s the place for innovations in how this information is communicated to its delegates. We spoke to Prof. Arnulf Stenzl (Tübingen, DE), Chairman of the Scientific Congress Office, about the changes to the scientific programme for EAU19 in Barcelona.
This year introduces a new kind of session, which will be held prior to the Plenary Sessions: the Game-Changing Session. What can delegates expect from these?
The Game-Changing Session will include “hot of the press” new data from studies or from basic research, as previously seen in the “Late Breaking Abstracts” sessions.
The sessions can also be used to highlight exciting data from the poster sessions. There may be several posters to the same new topic which may, altogether, underline a change for urologic practice.
Speaking of Poster Sessions, this coming congress has a higher acceptance rate for posters, and will feature more of the poster-guided tours that were introduced in at EAU18 in Copenhagen. Presumably the poster-guided tours were a successful addition to the programme?
Yes, there were unanimously positive comments. We saw very good interaction between moderators, authors and the attendees. We hope that more posters can be discussed per session with the same (or even better) quality of discussion.
In the past few years, we saw an increase in the number of poster submissions. Because we couldn’t offer any more regular poster sessions, we initiated the Expert-Guided Poster tours. This allowed us to increase the acceptance rate which had fallen below 30% in the last few years, to around 35%. I must stress that these are all high-quality and interesting contributions!
EAU19 will feature so-called ‘Tracks’: certain suggested routes through the scientific programme based on topics. Last year, there was a special track for Office Urologists. How will it work this year? What are some benefits?
These tracks will guide delegates through the vast amount of contributions, including now 7 Plenary Sessions, 20 Thematic sessions, more than 90 Poster Sessions, Video and Semi-Live sessions, the Live Surgery day, and so on. The tracks are created according to common topics like prostate cancer, renal tumours, paediatrics, imaging, research, etc. They give delegates a suggested schedule for their congress day, based on their interests.
What are some of the other changes to the scientific programme for EAU19?
We are expanding our hybrid (combined poster and video) sessions and semi-live sessions. In these semi-live sessions a panel discusses surgical techniques with the presenting surgeon based on his video clips, which are raw material without additional graphics or editing.
The Guidelines sessions now feature more cases and case-based discussion. On the Friday, we will see a new case-based session on bladder cancer, featuring a pro/con discussion by experts in the field.
And finally, we will see more industry short symposia during the lunch break, in addition to the pre-existing longer symposia in the afternoons. These sessions fall outside of the regular scientific programme but always have the latest in healthcare or tech.