Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

December 18 2012

AUA Keeps Up - and Stays Ahead

Christopher Durso

MEETING: American Urological Association (AUA) 2012 Annual Meeting, which is expected to bring 17,000 attendees, exhibitors, and other participants to the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) in Atlanta on May 19–23.

CHALLENGES: An ongoing challenge for AUA is to keep up with the latest developments in the field. “Really what drives a lot of our attendance is what’s new in urology,” said Janet Skorepa, AUA’s associate executive director of education and scientific meetings. To stay on top of that, AUA reserves “late-breaking slots” in its plenary session, which is the Annual Meeting’s largest program, and also allows “late-breaking abstracts” to be submitted. “Our abstract submission starts in late summer, so as we get closer to our meetings, there could be some additional science that’s hot,” Skorepa said, “so we always look at that.”

INITIATIVES: This year AUA is mixing up some of its programming formats. There will be a “Residents Bowl” in the exhibit hall, with resident physicians from each of AUA’s eight member sections competing in “something of a team-style ‘Jeopardy’ event,” Skorepa said. “It should be really interesting.”

AUA is also offering an entire day of live surgeries - seven different procedures performed at hospitals around the world and broadcast to the GWCC, with moderators in both the hospital surgical suites and AUA’s meeting rooms facilitating live discussion. “It’s a different way of teaching, instead of didactic sessions,” Skorepa said. “[Attendees] get to see it.”

There will also be a new half-day of programming for allied health-care professionals such as advance practice nurses and physician assistants, spinning off the half-day program that AUA already offers for primary-care physicians. Both programs are an effort to deal with a projected shortage of urologists in the near future. And, taking advantage of meeting in Atlanta, headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), AUA is offering a research program in conjunction with CDC on “The Science of Male Health.” So far, AUA’s numbers are looking good. “We look at the number of abstracts that are submitted,” Skorepa said, “and if we have a high number of abstracts that are submitted, typically our attendance will continue to increase. … We’ve had a large amount of abstracts submitted.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.aua2012.org

Please log in to post comments.