Access All Areas
Why, in terms of congresses, bigger isn’t always better
Mark Hillen |
I love the big ophthalmology meetings. For me, it’s a case of an ever-expanding circle of friends composed of ophthalmologists, scientists, congress staff, fellow journalists, PR and industry types (some of whom are generous with their significant expense accounts...). It’s fantastic to see familiar faces and resume conversations against a backdrop of the latest and greatest in ophthalmology. But here’s the thing: I think I prefer – and learn more from – the smaller meetings. And I’m not talking about the frustrations people feel when there are two must-see parallel sessions.
I find that the smaller the meeting, the easier it is to access the speakers. Few people reading this editorial will have a “PRESS” ribbon under their ARVO Congress badge, or MEDIA written at the bottom of their AAO pass. (Both of which literally open doors for me.) But even then, I often find it hard to catch the superstar speaker after she or he has presented their latest work on the podium at the bigger conferences. The speaker often gets crowded and has to rush off to another pressing commitment. However, when I found myself at the CXL Experts Meeting in Zurich last year, it was no problem getting hold of the likes of Theo Seiler after he’d presented some impressive data – he was sitting next to me at the back of the room before and after his presentation! I kept bumping into him during coffee and lunch – and he may have been sick of the sight of me by the end of the meeting. In fact, there was a whole host of excellent speakers – top names in the field – and I was able to chat to all of them at some point without issue.
Clearly, these people are busy and in high demand, so that sort of access – and the amount of time you can spend – is rare. And it’s something I have to give Robert Osher great credit for. My first visit to his meeting – Cataract Surgery: Telling It Like It Is – was back in January this year. It’s by no means small, but the faculty are only there on the condition that they’re available to the delegates throughout the (very long) day. I could speak to surgeons like it was a conference a tenth of the size. And that’s important. I always have questions and receiving answers makes me better at my job. I’m pretty certain that it’s also the same for you. So consider the smaller meetings: if you manage to corner an expert, you might learn more than you could ever imagine...
Enjoy our FREE content!
Log in or register to gain full unlimited access to all content on the The Ophthalmologist site. It’s FREE and always will be!
Or register now - it’s free and always will be!
You will benefit from:
- Unlimited access to ALL articles
- News, interviews & opinions from leading industry experts
- Receive print (and PDF) copies of The Ophthalmologist magazine
Or Login via Social Media
By clicking on any of the above social media links, you are agreeing to our Privacy Notice.