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      • Name of the event: 9th Croatian Echocardiography Meeting with International Participation
      • Date:  04 – 06 May 2017
      • Location: Hotel Laguna Parentium 4*, Poreč, Croatia
      • Organizer: Da Riva Travel agency
      • Client: The Croatian Cardiac Society
      • Event type: Congress

Q: How would you describe the event and what were the key objectives?
CroEcho is the largest educational, professional and scientific meeting in the region, dedicated to non-invasive cardiovascular diagnostics. State of the art content of the meeting brings major themes in contemporary European echocardiographic practice, with regards to the achievements in Croatia. CroEcho2017 is a new opportunity for gathering, socializing and opinion exchange. Through echocardiographic review and clinical presentations amidst various experts, the patient is being pushed back in the center of the clinical work. CroEcho2017 congress focused on taking a holistic view of the patient and on problem-solving in the team. This year’s program was aimed at fostering a higher standard of professional excellence in making a correct and timely cardiac diagnosis and purposeful treatment of the patient. Teaching course is the cornerstone of the programme. From basic fundamentals of physics, through the standardized protocol and complete examination, it aims to raise the quality of examinations and is useful for the beginners as well as experts in the field. Imaging campus and workshops, scanning with experts emphasize practical skills.

KEY CHALLENGES

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The concept of the conference which demanded multiple events managament has represented the key challenge in the process of planning and execution of the event.

Since the scientific programme of the conference has been defined in collaboration with the EACVI Education Committee and had to meet their requirements, the conference itself was divided into multiple simultaneous events including interactive imaging campus, strain imaging, 2D & M-mode echocardiography, hands-on sessions on virtual model simulator and national certification exam.

CREATIVITY

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Creativity was the most significant skill during the process of planning and coordination of the activity schedule in order to avoid overlappings and maximise the number of active participants per event, but it was also a neccesary ingredient during the organisation of the technical support and the assembling of a coordinated team in each field.

The requirements of the EACVI Education Committee were aiming to make the conference as interactive as possible in order to better engage participants. The solution that was applied was segmentation of the conference into a wide range of microactivities in different enviroments.

INNOVATION

The approach that was used during the planning of the event was aiming to achieve maximum engagement of the participants via group discussions, breakout sessions etc.

Therefore the spaces used for the planned activities also had to be diverse and easy to transform. Despite the multifunctionality of the conference facilities, several other parts of the venue were put in use and transformed from one event to the other in order to enable the organization of micro activities in a surrounding that best suits their purpose.

EXECUTION

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In cooperation with several partners and providers of audiovisual equipment, the spaces used for the activities had been easily and quickly transformed from one scene to another.

Thanks to the detailed elaboration of the course of the event and the assembling of a well-prepared team, the execution of the event proved to be aligned with identified needs and enabled to assess the progression during the event.

MEASURABLE RESULTS

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The success of the event was noticeable already during the course of it through a high level of engagement of the participants in planned activities, as well as after the event – through the election of the same venue for the following edition of the conference demonstrating the satisfaction with the solutions and services that were offered to them. The practices used in the execution of the event and the simple but efficient audiovisual solutions applied for the space transformation contributed to an excellent ROI ratio.

COMMUNICATION

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A valuable asset in the communication with the participants was the web portal of the Croatian Cardiac Society (www.kardio.hr), which was awarded the international recognition HON Code of Conduct for the quality of medical information, while regional recognition was verified by the analysis of the number of visitors, number of viewed pages, time spent and method of accessing the portal.

The announcements and the feedback related to the event had been communicated with participants through the regionally recognized cardiology journal, Cardiologia Croatica, which is present in the local databases of the catalogue of the National and University Library in Zagreb, Croatian Web Archive, and Portal of scientific journals— Hrčak, therefore reaching out to all the Local National Cardiac Societies. The scientific content of the conference was published on escardio.org, where a selection of slides and/or webcasts from the ESC educational courses can be found as well. Furthermore, live updates were posted on the kardio.hr YouTube channel (webcasts) and the Facebook page Young Network of Cardiovascular Imaging.

USE OF SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES

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The event itself aimed to be as paperless as possible, providing online registration rather than paper, communicating with participants via email, social media, and screens with information, using USB sticks for conference materials. The guideline during all the social events was local food sourcing.

One of the significant benefits of the venue is its design features that allow optimal use of daylight, lowering energy use. During the last renovation, the conference hall was enriched with many windows, allowing rooms to be flooded with natural light and reducing the need for artificial lighting. The lighting is partly fluorescent and LED, and all building lights are turned off when not in use.

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