Tuesday, February 9, 2016 (ESR, Vienna) – The European Society of Radiology (ESR) is anticipating record levels of attendance at this year’s European Congress of Radiology (ECR), following a healthy increase in the number of pre-registered participants compared to this time last year. With ECR 2016 still four weeks away, pre-registration is currently up 8% on figures for the previous congress, with the boost attributed to the continually rising global appeal of the congress.
China and Korea, two of the highest non-European countries on ECR attendance lists in recent years, have seen respective increases of 44% and 22% compared to pre-registration numbers from February 2015, adding to evidence that the ECR is growing in significance in Asia. Both countries have been involved in the ‘ESR Meets’ programme at past ECRs and are among the top sources of abstract submissions for the congress every year.
The biggest percentage change has been among participants from Iran, who have increased 74% on last year. Having also taken part in the ‘ESR Meets’ programme, in 2011, the country has been strengthening bonds with European radiology and looks set to be one of the biggest growing sources of ECR attendees over coming years. Russia, another recent ‘ESR Meets’ country and home of the ECR 2014 Congress President, Valentin Sinitsyn, has also seen a 22% increase.
“The ECR is gaining in popularity throughout the world,” said ESR Executive Director, Peter Baierl. “Our free-of-charge online streaming of ECR sessions over the last five years has surely played a part in this, and now we are seeing an increase in the incentive to actually come to Vienna and be a part of the congress. Professionals in Asia are increasingly seeing the ECR as the most attractive global radiological event, as are their counterparts in the Middle East. Iran in particular is looking more and more toward Europe for scientific exchange and education.”
The ECR’s reputation for providing a high quality scientific and educational programme, as well as innovative technological features, has been augmented this year by new opportunities to play an active role in the congress. The Voice of EPOS™ has been introduced to offer electronic poster submitters the chance to present their work in person in Vienna; an idea that has been extremely well received, with 80% of submitters choosing to opt in.
Speakers appearing as part of the Voice of EPOS schedule, which features subspecialty-based as well as language-based sessions, have surely contributed to the positive registration figures so far, but they are one part of a general trend. If pre-registration patterns continue as expected, ECR 2016 will welcome the largest number of physical visitors in the history of the congress.
The European Congress of Radiology is the annual meeting of the European Society of Radiology (ESR), the largest radiological society in the world, currently with 63,300 members. The congress, which this year takes place March 2 to 6, at the Austria Center Vienna, annually attracts more than 20,000 delegates from around 100 countries, and the accompanying technical exhibition hosts more than 300 international exhibitors across 26,000 m².