The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (the Centre) successfully hosted the recent Ottawa Conference on the Assessment of Competence in Medicine and the Healthcare Professions (Ottawa Conference) 2020 in early March, but under very different circumstances!
To help deal with these challenges the Ottawa Conference Organiser teamed up with the Centre to find innovative solutions to ensure the event ran smoothly despite the global disruption. This involved last-minute changes in the event format and the ability for participants and speakers to join and engage with the conference programme remotely and vice-versa, which utilised the venue’s state-of-the-art information technology (IT) and audio-visual (AV) infrastructure.
Of key importance at the time was the ability to keep potential attendees engaged and comfortable about participation under growing uncertainty about travel restrictions. Consistent, factual, transparent communication was the crucial factor that kept delegates committed to attending the conference. The other crucial factor was adapting and increasing hygiene and sanitary measures to ease concerns and create visible changes in the Centre around these mechanisms.
The Centre’s General Manager, Alan Pryor, said, “A flexible and engaged partnership approach with the Event Organiser was critical in order for them to feel assured and not alone in a volatile changing landscape. We constantly were looking at ways to make the conference remain viable and to ensure anyone who wanted to be a part of it could attend in person or participate remotely. It really did provide us with a very good opportunity to fully utilize our technologically advanced IT backbone to support flawless remote access and create a safe environment for the Ottawa Conference.”
Held biennially and jointly organized by the Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) and International Medical University Malaysia (IMU), the Ottawa Conference brought together medical and other healthcare profession educationalists to network and share ideas on all aspects of the assessment of competence in both clinical and non-clinical domains, throughout the continuum of education. Participants include both those new to the area of assessment and those with many years’ experience to share.