The ASCO Annual Meeting is the most important oncology meeting in the world, with more than 30,000 attendees and hundreds of presentations. Over the last few years, we posted tips on how to navigate the ASCO Annual Meeting to get the maximum benefits of the events. These are updated tips for the 2016 ASCO Annual Meeting:
1. Review the Meeting program as early as possible and register early for ticketed sessions, as it will be difficult to find a seat onsite if you want to attend specific sessions.
2. Familiarize yourself with the various types of activities, whether they are educational activities, Oral Abstract Sessions, Poster Sessions, etc.
3. Pay attention to Thursday and Friday Pre-Annual Meeting Educational Programs, as there will be a number of interesting case-based discussions and seminars.
4. Save time and download the Proceedings Part I and ASCO Educational Book to your computer, e-reader, tablet, or iPad before you arrive in Chicago. You will find these materials and other tools on the Attendee Resource Center (log in with your badge number or ASCO.org username and password).
5. Make a calendar of activities you'd like to attend using the iPlanner on your computer (available now) and mobile devices (search “ASCO 2016 iPlanner” in your app store starting May 10).
6. If you are interested in specific tracks (breast cancer, lung cancer, etc.) you can follow the program track on the iPlanner.
13. Use the iPlanner mobile app to claim CME for each session you attend, and give the sessions a quick thumbs-up/thumbs-down rating.
7. Never miss the morning Highlights of the Day Sessions, in which there will be a review of best presentations from the previous day. They take place on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday from 7:30 AM to 9:15 AM.
8. Do not miss the Plenary Session, as selected high-quality abstracts are presented there. The Plenary Session will take place on Sunday, June 5, from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM, in the North Building, Hall B1; simulcast in the East Building, Hall D1; and broadcast live on ASCO Live TVs at the Networking Cafes around McCormick Place.
9. Read ASCO Daily News to grasp the big picture. The online publication also has exclusive video interviews and Virtual Meeting clips.
10. Ancillary Educational Events, organized by accredited educational providers, will be offered in the evenings. Participants can earn Continuing Medical Education (CME) credit.
11. Have a set time for networking and catching up with colleagues. Use the “Find A Colleague” function on the Attendee Resource Center during the Meeting to find out if colleagues are attending and send private messages.
12. Schedule time for fun and leisure, especially before or after the Meeting. Chicago is one of the best cities in the world.
14. Stop by ASCO Central, Member Services, and ASCO Connection booths in the Oncology Professionals Hall to hear more about the advantages of this great Society. Visit Technology Support in Concierge Services to get support from ASCO staff for your apps and devices.
15. Stop at the exhibits in the Oncology Professionals Hall and look for opportunities to learn about or collaborate on upcoming studies, projects and events.
16. If you are interested in a specific poster, be there in the first hour of the Poster Sessions as presenters will be near their posters. If you need certain information from the presenter, you can exchange contact information.
17. Poster Networking Sessions will feature poster display and discussion of the most clinically applicable posters by experts in the field. During these sessions, up to 12 of the most clinically applicable and novel posters from each track will be critically reviewed by expert discussants, and the abstract authors will participate in a question-and-answer panel. Meet with the abstract authors and discussants following each Poster Discussion Session in a networking area right outside the session room.
18. Most importantly, prepare notes for your post-ASCO Annual Meeting presentations at your institution or region. Take advantage of asking the authors about certain information you need to complement the abstract’s limited information. This means you have to identify abstracts of interest the day before the meeting and list your queries or questions. Most abstracts will be released online May 14 at 5:00 PM EDT.
19. If you purchase a subscription to Meeting Slides: 2016 ASCO Annual Meeting (during online registration or onsite at ASCO University Bookstore locations), you will be able to use slides shared by Meeting presenters to create your own educational talks.
20. If there is a conflict between two interesting activities, don't worry—you can view any sessions you've missed through Virtual Meeting. If you registered for the Annual Meeting, you receive complimentary access to Virtual Meeting.
Originally published May 7, 2012; updated April 21, 2016.