CIM 2020/5 Spotlight

Five questions for Iwe Siems

// Katharina Brauer

Iwe Siems, the managing director of DGHO Service, organised the virtual annual conference of the German, Austrian and Swiss associations for haematology and oncology in October 2020. Photo: DGHO

CIM: The DGHO conference was held online for the first time. How well was it received by the participants?
Iwe Siems: Very well. Many of them were thankful that this important German-language educational oncology conference was able to take place at all. We managed to switch the scientific programme to a virtual format in a relatively short space of time.

How were delegates able to take part interactively?
The delegates were able to ask their questions in writing using chat functionality. Session chairs, speakers and delegates could read the questions and reply in writing. The chair passed on certain questions to the speakers for discussion, who gave verbal replies.

How did you organise the accompanying exhibition?
The virtual industry exhibition took the form of display banners that appeared in rotation on three sliders. We were able to present 44 pharmaceutical companies, 10 publishing houses and 13 associations or non-profit organisations that way.

How was the host, Congress Center Basel (CC Basel), able to present itself?
CC Basel provided the rooms for each session as a kind of broadcasting studio for the session chairs. The equipment for streaming, sound and so on was set up in each room. Our partners for the technology and rooms were CC Basel‘s audiovisual team.

Will the experience you have gained benefit your planning for the 2021 DGHO annual conference?
In the last six months, we have been focusing on virtual conferences, participated in webinars and organised some of our own. Now we have experience of organising a large virtual meeting, and we got a lot of feedback. That will flow into our profile of requirements for the next annual conference. Our aim will be to facilitate even more interaction in the virtual room.