ASCO is the most important oncology meeting in the world, with more than 30,000 attendees and hundreds of presentations. I have been asked by many people how to get the maximum benefit from the Annual Meeting, so I have put together the following tips:
- Review the Meeting program as early as possible and register early for ticketed sessions, as it will be difficult to find a seat on site if you want to attend specific sessions.
- Familiarize yourself with the various types of activities, whether they are educational activities, oral sessions, poster discussion sessions, etc.
- Pay attention to Thursday and Friday Pre-Annual Meeting Seminars, as there will be a number of interesting programs.
- Arrive early, at least the day before (Friday AM), and get the Proceedings and Educational Book on USB (print publications are available for a nominal cost) and the Program booklet. You can also download these in advance of the Meeting through the Attendee Resource Center. Log in with your badge number or ASCO.org username and password.
- Make a calendar of activities you'd like to attend using the iPlanner on your computer and mobile devices (available later this month).
- If you are interested in tracks, e.g., breast, lung, etc., you can follow the program track on the iPlanner.
- This year, there are 24 questions by NCI that you can explore during Educational Sessions.
- Never miss the morning "Highlights of the Day" sessions, in which there will be a review of best presentations from the previous day.
- Do not miss the Plenary Session, as best abstracts are presented there.
- Read ASCO Daily News to grasp the big picture.
- New Ancillary Educational Events, organized by accredited educational providers, will be offered in the evenings. Participants can earn CME credit.
- Have a set time for networking and catching up with colleagues.
- Schedule time for fun and leisure, especially before or after the Meeting (find more recommendations here and here). Chicago is one of the best cities in the world.
- Do not forget to complete the Evaluation to get CME.
- Stop by ASCO Central, Membership Services, and ASCO Connection to hear more about the advantages of this great Society.
- Stop at the exhibits in the Oncology Professionals Hall and look for opportunities to learn about or collaborate on upcoming studies.
- If you are interested in a specific poster, be there in the first hour of the schedule as presenters will be near their posters. If you need certain information from the presenter, you can exchange contact information.
- In Poster Discussion Sessions, experts will review the posters at a specified hour, in different locations.
- 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. Abstracts will be released on May 15 at 6:00 PM EDT.
- If there is conflict between two interesting activities, don't worry--you can view any sessions you've missed through Virtual Meeting.
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