EULAR 2023 from home

3 minute read

The European conference has finally announced its virtual option - but is it enough?

EULAR has announced an on-demand registration category for its upcoming conference in Milan, which starts on 31 May.  

At €250, the on-demand registration fee is significantly cheaper than the standard onsite access fee, which is €925. Trainees get less of a discount: it’s €250 for on-demand registration versus €285 for onsite access.  

With rheumatologists calling for a virtual EULAR 2023 offering, as was provided last year for the hybrid Copenhagen conference, the on-demand option will no doubt be welcomed by some of those unable to make it in person.  

However, unlike last year there’s no live virtual offering and the on-demand content can only be accessed after the end of the conference, from 3 June 3:00pm (Central European Summer Time) to 31 December 2023. Delegates who attend in person can also access the on-demand content after the conference. 

The on-demand content includes Satellite Symposia (though not for trainees) but does not include Meet the EULAR Expert, practical skills sessions or poster tours. 

For Australian rheumatologists, costs and time away from work and family are obstacles to attending in person, and mean many won’t be going to the big overseas conferences. However, with the prospect of an on-demand offering after the event, they’re not too worried about missing out.  

“My personal take is that it’s still hard to get to overseas conferences,” said early career rheumatologist Dr Julian Segan. 

“I am attending the ARA ASM in Hobart, definitely not attending EULAR and I am probably 50/50 to go to ACR Convergence. Being predominantly in private practice and self-employed, it’s hard to justify taking large blocks of time off without income. As such, attending all three conferences is pretty well a non-starter for me. 

“As a youngster, we also consider environmental impact of attending Europe and US just for a few days for a conference,” added Dr Segan. 

Being unable to watch sessions live isn’t a big drawback, he said, especially with the time difference. Having the recordings available to watch at leisure is far more useful.

For fellow early career rheumatologist, Dr Shikta Dey, having a young family is another factor to consider when deciding to attend conferences in person. 

“I think it’s hard with small children. I am attending the ARA ASM in Hobart, and I like that the ARA have a parental support scheme this year, so my husband and daughter *fingers crossed* will be subsidised to join me,” said Dr Dey. 

“I like the idea of things principally being in real life because I don’t engage with the material if I am not there. But even if I go, it’s nice to have the materials to look at later, and maybe watch sessions I did not attend,” she said. 

Associate Professor Alberta Hoi is not planning to go to EULAR or ACR in person, largely due to other travel commitments, but will access the virtual content. 

“I feel virtual attendance at conferences is now just part of life,” said Professor Hoi.  

Meanwhile, the 2023 ACR Convergence, to be held in San Diego, California, will take place from 10-15 November.  

For people unable to attend in person, the virtual offering will be similar to that offered last year in Philadelphia, with the livestreaming of key sessions and recordings of scientific sessions available on-demand within 24 hours. Registration information will be available soon. 

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