Today marks a new chapter for the European Association of Urology. For its 35th edition, the Annual EAU Congress is taking place not in a major European capital, but online. The scientific programme of the regular congress was re-arranged into a ten-day virtual congress following the cancellation of the regular congress. Thanks to innovative online congress solutions developed in-house and with our partners, we are welcoming thousands of participants from across the globe!
EAU Secretary General Prof. Chris Chapple (Sheffield, GB) hailed the EAU’s first virtual congress in his welcome message, which was filmed in his home institution. Chapple called it “a great pity” that he was unable to meet delegates in person, but hoped that the congress would be an “informative, interactive and positive experience” nevertheless.
EAU Secretary General Prof. Chapple addresses the EAU20 participants from his home institution in Sheffield (GB)
The start of the congress at 8:20 was witnessed by several thousands of viewers from across the world. The morning sessions featured some long-anticipated trial results in the first of several “game-changing” sessions. The first plenary session was dedicated to a hot topic: modern prostate cancer imaging in daily practice.
Speaking later in the day, Prof. Chapple was pleased at the start of the online event.
“I’ve been following the congress as it unfolded today. I think we’ve done a good job in making it as interactive as possible. The moderators are doing their best to pass on questions from the viewers, starting discussions and where possible we’ve asked the speakers to join in for the session. This makes our virtual congress as close as possible to our regular ‘live’ congresses.”
“A virtual congress like this is opening up horizons. We will carefully evaluate how delegates experience it and absorb all the information, and consider the future of this format.”
EAU20 was initially set for Amsterdam (NL) on 20-24 March 2020, but postponed at the last minute as the COVID-19 pandemic reached Europe. It was initially rescheduled for new dates in July, until on April 1st the scale of the pandemic caused the EAU to reconsider and organise a virtual meeting.
Restructuring the scientific programme fell to the Scientific Congress Office, led by Prof. Peter Albers (Düsseldorf, DE), a herculean task. Rather than the typical five days on location, the speakers were invited to record their talks for three full days of “virtual congress”, with seven further evening sessions completing the full width of the programme. The pre-recorded cases guarantee the quality of the experience, and live moderation provides the interaction and ties the talks together.