ScanDiags Showcased at Asian Musculoskeletal Society (AMS) Annual Meeting September 2020
This year’s AMS Annual Meeting’s theme was “MSK Imaging: 2020 Vision.” Like so many others this year, it was conducted as an online event. It was a bit different than other online events ScanDiags has participated this year. Instead of having a virtual booth, AMS assisted us to create a landing page, on which the attendees of the meeting could click and explore the content we placed on the page. The participants of the meeting were also able to chat with and call us by clicking on the WhatsApp link, conveniently located on our landing page.
Asian Musculoskeletal Society Background
The Asian Musculoskeletal Society was formed in 1999 and consists of radiologists, pathologists, orthopedic surgeons, rheumatologists, sports physicians, veterinarians, and other individuals with a special interest in musculoskeletal radiology and related fields. It aims to promote all aspects of musculoskeletal radiology in Asia. Therefore, its members mainly reside in one of the many countries in Asia, such as Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Macau, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam. However, AMS is an international organization, and has other members who come from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Italy, Netherland, South Africa, Switzerland, UK, and the USA.
Adapting the Meeting to a New Meeting Concept
Cynthia Leung, the AMS conference secretariat, explained the challenges in organizing the AMS annual scientific meeting this year: “The greatest challenge was changing continuously in different situations. We first encountered the Hong Kong protests in early 2020, then were confronted with COVID-19 infection. Because of this situation we wanted to change the meeting to a hybrid meeting but then needed to transform it to a fully virtual meeting”. According to Ms. Leung, this entailed sending a lot of emails, updating their website more frequently and processing a large number of refund requests from participants or sponsors, which Ms. Leung described as “frustrating.” While changing the meeting to a fully virtual format decreased overall participation interest, those who did attend enjoyed the convenience. In Ms. Leung’s words, the meeting was an overall success: “We balanced the interaction between participants and fluency for computer or internet technical problems. Fortunately, the meeting was successful, and we would like to give the credit to all the sponsors, committees, supporting companies, faculties, speakers, and delegates.”
Despite all the challenges, the AMS 2020 was indeed well-organized from the perspective of an attendee. The scientific meeting offered a comprehensive program. It was cleverly packaged into a combination of virtual workshops, demos and refresher courses covering all aspects of musculoskeletal radiology. The event included 40 lectures given by distinguished speakers from all over Asia.
From an exhibitor’s perspective, there were some drawbacks. To begin with, unlike an in-person event, the exhibitors surely missed out on face-to-face interaction with the attendees of the meeting. There was also no way to know how many attendees had visited the exhibitor’s landing page and whether they had clicked on certain promo materials on display. In conclusion, it seems that exhibitors benefit more from having an online booth instead of a landing page, as an online booth provides more insight on the visitors and enables and encourages “live conversation” between exhibitors and attendees.