4,500 Attend American Transplant Congress in Philadelphia

May 27, 2015

The 2015 American Transplant Congress (ATC), held May 2-6 in Philadelphia, brought in 4,500 attendees to the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

The American Transplant Congress is the joint annual meeting of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons and the American Society of Transplantation.

“One of the most exciting themes addressed this week was how to make the most of the organs we have for transplantation, including policy to share this scarce resource more equally around the country, technologies for rescuing marginal organs, surgical techniques for splitting organs into two recipients, and methods for convincing the immune system not to reject organs after transplantation,” said Dr. Dorry Segev, congress co-chair.

Approximately 250 of the attendees were students from area medical schools as part of a program instituted in 2011.

Shannon Fagan, director of meetings and exhibits for ATC, said the purpose of the program is to engage students still in medical school and who may be uncertain about going in the direction of transplant.

The student program features leaders in the field of transplant speaking on their experiences. Students then participate in breakout sessions related to the solid organs discussed for transplant throughout the meeting. It also provides them the opportunity to ask questions of and hear stories from those they are reading about in their textbooks.

ATC is no stranger to technology. While they have used an event app in the past, this was the first year they eliminated their printed program book entirely. ATC attendees could use their desktop to view the agenda and build their schedules prior to the meeting. Once they downloaded the app and signed in, those schedules synched to their mobile device.

Also provided, for additional purchase, is ATC On Demand. It includes audio and slides of all presentations, including abstract driven sessions, presented during the meeting.

“There is a plethora of knowledge that people can continue to view after the meeting, even if they didn’t attend,” Fagan said.

In addition to the on-demand presentations, ATC also offers a live-streaming option for their general session presentations.

Fagan said that while it doesn’t cover all the sessions during the meeting, it gives those who cannot attend in person a snapshot of what is taking place. ATC plans to track those who buy into the live stream to see if they convert to in-person attendees in the future.

The exhibit hall took up 18,900 net square feet and was home to 79 exhibitors. To help drive traffic to the exhibit hall, ATC positioned poster sessions throughout the hall.

Fagan said that exhibitors were happy with the traffic as a result and requested an increase in poster sessions next year. ATC is looking into designing more poster areas throughout the hall.

Understanding that attendees cannot attend every session in a jam-packed meeting, ATC presents a recap of all the abstract presentations throughout the meeting as the very last session.

The two incoming executive program chairs present this session titled “What’s Hot, What’s New”. They spend months reviewing abstract presentations for the hottest topics and then recapture what took place during the meeting. This way attendees could get a synopsis on anything they may have missed.

The 2016 American Transplant Congress will be held June 11-15 in Boston. 

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