EAU Secretary General Prof. Chris Chapple welcomed delegates to the 36th Annual EAU Congress, EAU21. Speaking from a studio in Hilversum, the traditional broadcast capital of the Netherlands, Prof. Chapple (GB) and Profs. Stenzl and Albers (DE) hailed the miracles of technology for making a long-distance congress possible, while hopefully still maintaining high levels of interactivity between participants and speakers.
The Virtual Congress represents the culmination of months of effort by the EAU’s Scientific Congress Office, its Executive, Board and Central Office, and all of the speakers and faculty who will present and discuss the latest in urological science for the benefit of urologists and their patients around the world. EAU21 will be “in session” from 8-12 July.
This marks the second Annual Congress to “go virtual” by necessity, but there is a clear difference between this year’s edition and EAU20. The studio setting allows faculty members who are able to make the trip to chair their sessions, moderate, discuss or present face to face, leading to a more involving viewing experience and a more natural form of discussion and scientific exchange. Furthermore, rather than spreading the congress out over ten days with afternoon sessions, EAU21 retains the “long weekend” structure of the regular Annual Congress with full congress days.
Prof. Albers highlighted some other unique features of this year’s congress, such as the regularly occurring “game changing” sessions. These offer the delegates the very latest, up-to-the-minute updates on important trial results and other breakthrough developments. These will be discussed with the researchers involved just as they are published in journals, giving EAU21 a high level of newsworthiness.
Furthermore, patients are heavily involved this year, not only in their own sessions, but also adding a patient perspective to the regular sessions. He also stressed the importance of maintaining the high number of poster presentations as initially planned for a regular congress. Nearly 1300 abstracts were selected for EAU21.
Extra attention was also given to all of the Award Winners. In 2020 the traditional Award Ceremony was postponed with the hope of a regular congress in 2021. For EAU21, winners from both years are honoured with profile pieces and acceptance videos. You can also visit the special Awards section of the Congress Platform (for delegates).
EAU21 kicks off on Thursday with the 16 Urology Beyond Europe sessions, the first six of many Poster Sessions and a full-day session of semi-live surgery courtesy of the ESUT-ERUS-EULIS combined meeting (10:15-19:00 CEST).