Creating something for the first time is never easy - especially when it involves the interests of five different leading associations in one field. AIM Group International had the challenge of placing the 1st World Conference on Abdominal Wall Hernia Surgery on the map, making it a successful event and one that would become a permanent fixture in the calendar for all professionals in the field.
AIM Group placed an experienced team at the core of the organization of the event. From the very beginning, the team worked closely with the organizing committee to set the right goals and objectives. The main objectives were to achieve a high level of scientific content and present unique experiences and networking opportunities. Building a second tier network to encompass all involved associations, proved to be a winning strategy to ensuring the success of the event, which also represented the annual events of each association. Each association in the network got the chance to present its best scientific resources to the delegates through its contribution to the scientific program, with careful selection of speakers, and the thoughtful arrangement of sessions.
The event attracted participants with several exceptional features – from a Dinner Event to live and recorded surgery sessions, breakout sessions and networking opportunities. The three live surgery sessions broadcasted 17 operations thereby creating an invaluable learning experience for the audience. The scientific program, posters and live surgery sessions were complemented with 70 special surgery videos, projected on 6 LCD screens throughout the event. They had been produced and selected by each of the associations specifically for the event. The highlight, to celebrate the network created between all associations, was the 1st World Hernia Soccer Challenge which took place at Stadio San Siro before the Gala Dinner. The stadium, built in 1926 and over the years becoming one of the top hosts for international championships, such as Champions League, opened its doors for the first time to non-professional footballers. This symbolic match served as a way to build teams to further tighten the bond of the newly created World Hernia network, while presenting a one-of-a-kind experience to all delegates.
With the stage set and the support network in place, the base from which to communicate internationally to the right audience was laid. The first edition of the event succeeded in gathering 2.708 international delegates from 96 different countries. The scientific value of the event was showcased with more than 800 abstracts submitted, and the 324 posters presented spread over on an area of 4.000 sq. m. There was the support from 44 sponsors. The vast success of the event allows the conference to go on and its second edition is now in the planning.
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