BGS Autumn Meeting 2020: not just another webinar!

This blog was jointly written by the BGS Events Team (pictured right) which includes Geraint Collingridge, Director of Learning and Professional Development, Julie Gaudreau, Conferences and Region Development Manager and Danielle Prieto, Conferences Administrator. They are supported by Joanna Gough, Scientific Officer (pictured bottom right).

Needless to say, the Events Team at the BGS has had its whole world turned upside down in the last few months. Once we had moved past the disheartening experience of cancelling our spring events, we had to adapt, learn, and rebuild. We have emulated our members: applying creative thinking, resourcefulness and hard work to take on the challenge ahead. In a few short months we have recreated ourselves as virtual meeting experts, rising like a phoenix from the ashes into the world of online conferences.

In addition to driving innovation, recent adversities have reminded us what an incredible community we work with. The BGS is much more than a medical society, something we do not say enough, rather it is a community of passionate, dedicated healthcare professionals. For decades, BGS meetings have been a place to reconnect with old friends and meet new people in a lively environment, offering a chance to learn about, and from, each other.

When we decided to move to virtual meetings, we set ourselves a steep challenge; to offer the same high-quality interactions and an engaging experience while delivering education remotely. In a development process that included hours of research, testing and learning, we had one simple question at the back of our minds:

'How can we best connect people with one another?'

We are confident that our efforts, newly-acquired skills and creative thinking have met this challenge. The result is a tailored online offer reflective of the needs of BGS members and their colleagues.

Our promise to our online participants is simple:

We are not simply going to deliver you yet another webinar; instead we will offer you an interactive, participatory and engaging virtual event.

Here are some reasons to register for the first-ever BGS Autumn Virtual meeting:

  1. Meeting registration fees which are 50% less than our fees for face-to-face events… and there’s another 10% off if you register before 27 August! Plus, you can join in without worrying about travel and accommodation costs.
  2. Abstracts are being accepted until 31 July. Present your work at an international conference for publication in our high impact factor journal, Age and Ageing.
  3. The event includes more than 40 hours of educational content, online posters and platform presentations. Joining the live Autumn Meeting will provide 18 CPD hours. The recordings of parallel sessions will be available to attendees, meaning they can watch them on the BGS website for up to a year and claim additional CPD.

There will be four parallel plenary sessions to choose from at any given time – more content from a fantastic array of speakers than ever before. As these are delivered online, attendees can either join live or access all content and features, including recordings of parallel sessions and interactive elements such as chat forums, for 4 weeks after the event. In addition, our virtual meetings will be held on a modern, secure platform and paired with an app to help you navigate and make the most of the numerous opportunities on offer.

You will be able to join group discussions and 1-to-1 video calls with fellow attendees, participate in polls, and ask questions of speakers. There will be the chance to wander through a virtual exhibition hall, browsing posters and joining in with wellbeing sessions, virtual cocktails and so much more!

We have shortened the length of presentations while increasing the time for questions and discussion. With so much content, managing your schedule is as important as it would be at a standard event. The platform allows you to explore and bookmark your session choices, schedule time with colleagues to connect and browse posters. You can plan your attendance prior to the event and export to your calendar as well as receive notifications. Find out more by watching this short video. Ensuring you take regular breaks, and get refreshments is important – plus no queues for the coffee.

We also guarantee you access to the same support from your events team. We’re still here, behind computers, until we can meet face-to-face again. You can reach us before, during and after the event for support, guidance and a big smile if you need it. We promise to go the extra mile to provide you with an unforgettable event.

We encourage you to experience it for yourself. Take study leave and join from home undisturbed, making a day -or three- of it!  

Remember ‘PPE’!

  1. Prepare - book study leave, and set up a comfortable space to join from
  2. Practice - test your ability to login in advance, schedule which sessions to watch and who to speak to
  3. Engage - ask questions, have a virtual cocktail and visit the exhibitors.

(A key point, please join using a browser other than Internet Explorer as otherwise it will not work and you will miss out.)

We look forward to 'seeing’ you there… virtually!


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