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Webcast at ECR: Congress participant as customer

Service. One of the world’s largest medical congresses, the ECR (European Congress of Radiology) in Vienna closed last Monday after five very busy days. Not only was the entire Austria Center Vienna congress centre taken up by the ECR, but all talks and symposia were also broadcast live via the internet for free, for everyone. The recordings of these talks were also available immediately afterwards, so all the content produced during the congress can now be easily evaluated after the event across many media and supplemented with added information.

The Cologne-based specialist and pioneer of the intelligent webcast—the key technology for congress recordings—was entrusted by the congress organiser ESR (European Society of Radiology) with the task of ensuring smooth and reliable live broadcast, and the subsequent editing and delivery of the recordings. A total of over 1,800 individual lectures were edited and delivered.

Since mobile devices have become part of day-to-day life and people have become used to being able to get real-time information via the internet, expectations have changed, along with participants’ demand for service; they see themselves now more as customers than as visitors. And ESR treats them as customers by meeting that demand and by offering them a high level of service.

This service means designing the congress so it is available to all those interested, and no longer differentiating between those actually present and those unable to be there in person. It means that attending congress participants can watch the live broadcast of a talk even if they are not sitting in the auditorium where the talk is being held. It also means that absent participants in other locations can do the same—wherever and whenever they want; after the congress, whilst travelling, or after they’ve arrived back home. In short, participation in the congress is greatly expanded and even visitors actually attending can be sure they won't miss anything of real interest to them.

The technical basis for all this has long been at hand: ultra-fast internet connections, high-performance and mobile devices, as well as very high-definition video recordings and also—with the right service partner of course—many years’ experience of large events of all kinds.

Simply because of their prominence in the medical arena, the event organisers naturally assume that the entire recording and live broadcast of a large congress such as the ECR will be closely observed in the congress world. The visitors themselves are already making sure this type of service—where participants are treated as customers—will catch on in the near future, and they have long been making it happen with that now ubiquitous and indispensable item, the smartphone.


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