The 23rd European Congress of Radiology (ECR) came to a satisfying end on Monday afternoon, after five days of science, education and networking. From March 3 to 7 the city of Vienna saw a host of sights that are now familiar at this time of year: the classic ‘ECR yellow’ all over the city; flags flying at the Austria Center and along the Reichsbrücke; congress bags at all the major Viennese landmarks; directions to the congress at every underground station; thousands of delegates streaming from the city’s U1 line to the venue each day; and every employee in the Viennese hospitality industry bearing a special smile.
A new record number of attendees – 20,120 visitors from a total of 97 countries – represents another huge success for both the congress and the city of Vienna.
Almost 1,200 speakers from 40 countries delivered more than 1,500 lectures, presenting the latest imaging research results, new therapeutic methods, and technological advances. Among an enormous range of topics, this year the spotlight fell on the future potential of molecular imaging; the latest progress in early cancer detection, with a particular focus on breast and colon cancer; the promising prospects for magnetic resonance imaging; and improved methods of treatment in interventional radiology.
The ECR’s reputation as the most innovative medical congress of its kind was also further reinforced this year. In addition to the much imitated electronic poster exhibition, which has been continually updated since its launch by the ECR eight years ago, the concept of interactivity was extended as far as possible into the lecture rooms, with more sessions than ever adapted to include interactive technology and planned discussions. And the congress retained its firmly established sense of style, with custom furnishings, specially created lounges and carefully planned lighting and sound design transforming the Austria Center into the perfect setting to focus on science and exchange knowledge with colleagues from around the world.
“There is no other congress in medicine that manages to inspire its participants time and again with such a unique combination of first-class scientific presentations and close attention to providing a stimulating atmosphere, right down to the smallest details. This is why it has been such a pleasure to preside over the ECR this year,” said ECR 2011 Congress President Professor Yves Menu, from Paris.
Professor Maximilian Reiser, Dean of the Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich, and departing ESR President emphasised the educational aspects of the congress: “Top class radiological training and the evolution of radiological methods are of course primarily of great benefit to patients. The ECR makes an essential contribution to both of these processes through its unique and comprehensive educational programme.”
In summary, here are a few facts and figures from Europe’s largest radiological congress:
20,120 participants, 140 accredited journalists, 64,000 printed programmes and guidebooks, 56 media partners, 307 exhibitors across 26,000m2 of floorspace, 73 permanent and 337 temporary staff (who used 2,000 coffee capsules …), 329 Tweets, 80 new Twitter followers, 706 new Facebook fans, 56 traditional Austrian dresses, 19 traditional Austrian waistcoats, 13,600 refillable water bottles, 240,000 gummy bears, 250,000 apples.