As many of you are preparing your abstracts for PFD Week 2020, I wanted to update everyone on a few changes to the annual meeting structure. In an effort to be responsive to attendee and member feedback on the annual meeting, the Board created a task force to take a closer look at how we could retain the meeting’s excellent reputation, while allowing for new ideas and concepts to ensure the meeting continues to be our flagship event each year.
The task force was led by Adam Steinberg and included Peter Jeppson, Ike Rahn, Beth Mueller, Jill Danford, Liz Geller, Dina Bastawros and Karen Noblett. The society owes them a special thanks for their time, input and support through this process. The task force reviewed past attendee and member feedback and noted the following concerns:
- The meeting is too long, both in days and length of the day.
- Attendees want more time to network and explore the local city.
- Attendees enjoy the scientific content and the addition of new learning formats like the surgical tutorials and scientific salons.
With this feedback in mind, the task force worked with the Board to develop a new schedule format that will hopefully address some of these concerns.
Highlights of the changes include:
- Pre-meeting workshops are still on the schedule – they will be held Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning (allowing attendees to arrive Tuesday morning if travel schedule allows).
- The Basic Science half-day session, dedicated to “Innovation Empowered by Cross-disciplinary Collaboration” will take place on Wednesday morning. The program focuses on bringing together scientists working on fundamental problems in female pelvic medicine. The workshop provides a great opportunity for our members to learn and interact with an interdisciplinary group of researchers, as well as with trainees and leaders in various fields.
- The core meeting schedule will kick off on Wednesday at 1:30 pm and end on Friday at the end of the day. We have incorporated new features like the Mini State-of-the-Science programming that was part of the AUGS-IUGA meeting last year and the new Innovation Lectureship Award.
- New Feature – Specialty Day has been created to designate one day for audience specific education. Programs planned for Saturday include: Fellows’ Day, including programming designed for Residents; Fellowship Program Directors; and Advance Practice Providers.
Great Social Events are still included in the schedule:
- Welcome Reception in the Exhibit Hall on Wednesday evening
- AUGSOME party supporting the PFD Research Foundation is now scheduled for Thursday
- Happy Hour in the exhibit hall will also occur on Thursday prior to the AUGSOME party
It is our hope that these changes will begin to address some of the concerns that have been expressed over the years and that we will see PFD Week continue to grow and serve as THE meeting for pelvic floor specialists and researchers from around the world. I look forward to seeing everyone in Vancouver on October 6-10, 2020.