The Highs and Lows From AIUM’s Annual Convention

It’s been a couple of weeks since we officially closed the 2015 AIUM Annual Convention hosting WFUMB. More than 1,300 people from 51 countries arrived in Orlando to hear from the experts, network with peers, and learn the latest technology.

And by the feedback we received, it looks like this year’s event delivered. That is not to say that there weren’t some issues—but overall the 2015 AIUM Annual Convention was a huge success. Just a few numbers from the post-Convention survey:convention

  • 94% of attendees said the overall Convention was good or excellent, which was the same as last year.
  • 70% of attendees said they would make at least some modification to what they are currently doing based on what they learned at the Convention.
  • 91% of attendees said they would recommend the AIUM Convention to a colleague.
  • 90% of attendees said the AIUM Convention was either on par or better than other ultrasound courses/events they have attended.
  • 91% of attendees said they spent time on the exhibit hall floor, with 95% rating the exhibit hall as either good or excellent.

Here’s what you liked
There were three main areas that consistently ranked high: the overall content of the Convention, the multidisciplinary nature of the event, and the food. Here are just a few quotes we received in response to the question, “What did you like most about this year’s Convention?”

  • “This was my first time with you. I loved everything.”
  • “Great variability in speakers’ backgrounds. Most conventions I go to are only one specific area of medicine, whereas AIUM had people from many different specialties.”
  • “Ability to collaborate at lunch–sitting at tables to discuss the conference presentations.”
  • “Wide variety of course selections. Excellent lectures and slides. Faculty put in much time and as a participant, I could tell.”
  • “Top-notch faculty and very practical clinically oriented lectures.”
  • “Welcoming atmosphere for a first-time presenter.”
  • “The mix of MDs, PhDs, and reps from manufacturers and government. Lunch format was also excellent to maximize opportunities for networking and interactions with colleagues.”

Not all wine and roses

  1. Room temperature. No, those weren’t hot flashes or cold spells. The hotel had a very difficult time adjusting and maintaining the temperature of the meeting rooms. To some extent this happens in every large venue, but the AIUM has already had discussions with the facility about this issue.
  2. Hotel issues. In fact, the AIUM collected all the comments we received about the hotel and sent them to our hotel representative. Don’t worry, we didn’t share your names, just your comments. These ranged from noise levels to the quality of the sleeping rooms to the Green Choice program. Just to clarify, the Green Choice program was not mandated by the AIUM but rather a guest choice on whether or not to participate. We were as unhappy as you were about how this program was delivered and have shared our displeasure with the hotel.
  3. Overflow hotel. As many attendees know, the AIUM sold out of its rooms at the Dolphin resort and we added rooms at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. We heard mixed reviews about this property and related transportation issues. We are actively addressing this now and hope to avoid a similar situation in 2017.
  4. Coffee. We heard it loud and clear that AIUM members need coffee! While there was coffee service in each room, we understand that most days require more than one cup! To that end we are taking a look at the schedule for next year to see what we can do.
  5. Handouts. We heard several comments about the lack of handouts or syllabi. The AIUM is looking into how we can do this for next year while ensuring that attendees have access to the most up-to-date presentations.
  6. Scheduling conflicts. The good thing about the high quality of the content at the AIUM Convention is that attendees want to go to more sessions than is humanly possible. The AIUM and the Annual Convention Committee make every effort to avoid overlap and duplication, but sometimes you do have to make a choice. Our goal is make sure that the choice you make results in learning!

The great thing about the Annual Convention is that we all learn. Attendees learn tips, techniques and resources that help them succeed and the AIUM learns how it can make this event even better. While the 2015 Annual Convention is over, we are already hard at work on the 2016 Annual Convention that will be held April 2-6 in Las Vegas.

Did you attend this year’s event? If so, share your thoughts and feedback. Going next year? Let us know what you want to learn! Comment below or let us know on Twitter: @AIUM_Ultrasound.

Peter Magnuson is AIUM’s Director of Communications and Member Services.