The EAU is on course for its first online-only Annual Congress: the EAU20 Virtual Congress and Theme Week. Coming up with a suitable scientific programme based on the physical EAU20 was a Herculean task for Scientific Congress Office (SCO) chair Prof. Peter Albers (Düsseldorf, DE) and his team. We spoke with him about the challenges they faced and how they arrived at a programme which still meets EAU20’s quality standards of being the place to be for the latest developments and clinical innovations in urology.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board and Executive of the European Association of Urology communicated on 1 April 2020 that the 35th Annual EAU Congress would be converted from a physical congress into a virtual one. The EAU20 Virtual Congress is taking place from 17 to 19 July and will be followed by the EAU20 Theme Week from Monday to Sunday, 20-26 July.
Prof. Albers: “There were different thoughts on how to best organise a virtual meeting. We agreed to cut down the programme of the plenary and thematic sessions to a three-day virtual meeting. The EAU decided to go ahead with a mixture of short lectures, pro/con discussions and question-and-answer sessions.”
“As we wanted the best abstracts to still be presented and discussed, we thereafter decided to present the ten best abstracts per track (topic) during a live event with moderators. As a result, we settled on a three-day EAU20 Virtual Congress followed by a seven-day EAU20 Theme Week. This result fulfils the main objective of the Annual EAU Congress to provide state-of-the-art urological science and education.”
The packed programme of both the EAU20 Virtual Congress and Theme Week comprises hot topics in plenary sessions, interactive moderation, live panel discussions and much more. Prof. Albers: “The programme shows that delegates of our virtual activities can still expect that we will be presenting the most important topics of EAU20 as initially envisioned. We have a rich mix of oncology and non-oncology sessions.”
“In the course of compiling the planning, we also shortened the time for lectures to leave more opportunity for discussion. The virtual meeting should become a very vivid and interesting discussion event. The online platform that we will be using will have a chat feature that allows all participants to submit their questions.” This online platform is going live on 17 July.
Not to be missed
The SCO designed the EAU20 Theme Week to broaden the scientific programme of the Virtual Congress and let delegates easily make a selection of their preferred topics. Combined with the selection of UROwebinars by the European School of Urology, the Annual EAU Congress experience will be replicated as a not-to-be-missed multiday online event.
Participate wherever you are
Prof. Albers points out a significant advantage of a virtual meeting. “It is easier to participate. It doesn’t matter where you are. You can log in and out on our virtual platform whenever you want, and you can catch up on any sessions that you might have missed later. We have already started welcoming new delegates who were unable to attend EAU20 in Amsterdam but who can now take part in the Virtual Congress. The threshold for access to the latest and best in urological science has never been lower.”
For the full interview with Prof. Peter Albers about the conversion from a physical into a virtual EAU20, check out the special EAU20 Virtual Congress edition of European Urology Today, which will be available online on 6 July through this page.
Register now for the EAU20 Virtual Congress and Theme Week to not miss out on state-of-the-art urological science!