Tag Archives: Meetings

How to Create the Ultimate Event Experience through Personalisation

There’s one thing you cannot overlook when discussing events and that’s personalisation. Whether you’re planning a local conference or an international congress, you need to leverage all accessible means to deliver a unique event experience for each and every attendee and that can only be achieved through personalisation on all levels. Here are some tactics and ideas to help you succeed:

 

Leverage technology

The evolution of technology has triggered immense progress in the way event organisers plan and unfold their events. Technology can now accurately predict the ideal experience for each attendee, based on what is known about them. Gartner predicts that, by 2020, ‘personalisation engines’ will empower businesses to increase their profits by up to 15%.

 

In the events industry, technology enables the use of different registration paths for different users, delivering personalised content, and running numerous sessions that meet the needs of different audiences.

 

What really powers personalisation from a technology perspective is data. Therefore, ensuring compliance of event registration systems, online surveys and event apps is mandatory for all event professionals. Learn more about GDPR and how to stay compliant.

 

Ask questions

Find out more about your attendees by asking them a few choice questions before the event. The answers can then be used to suggest the sessions, topics, speakers, and other events that would be meaningful for a particular attendee rather than just providing generic pieces of information. In a very simple scenario, knowing what their favourite colour is and creating a name badge to match turns the experience into a unique one. You can even go the long way and pick up the phone with a quick welcome call after registration.

 

Knowing your attendees will also help you with personalised post event content delivery and long term engagement. For example, you will be able to personalise event invitations based on past behaviour and past session selections.

 

Involve event attendees as much as possible

Technology coupled with tools such as social media and apps enables content live-sharing with attendees, as well as Q&A sessions and crowd-sourced content. These tools will also provide you with insight on the success of your events (the sessions that had the most attendees, which got the best feedback, etc). Based on demographic data, you will be able to suggest activities during the event (for example: join other Marketing Managers in the Marketing Lounge).

 

Through personalisation, you make sure that your events see the maximum impact while engaging your audiences.
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About Congress Bookers

In the world of MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events), Congress Bookers provides a whole range of services needed to organize a group for a medical congress. On our website, you will find a full list of hotel allotments for the most important medical congresses in 2018, regardless of their location. We operate internationally!

  • EASL 2018 – 210 rooms in seven 4-star hotels
  • EAACI 2018 – 615 rooms in fourteen 4-star hotels
  • EHA 2018 – 1200 rooms in thirty 4-star hotels
  • ERS 2018 – 615 rooms in twenty 4-star hotels
  • EURETINA 2018 – 460 rooms in twelve 4-star hotels
  • EASD 2018 – 765 rooms in sixteen 4-star hotels
  • ECTRIMS 2018 – 620 rooms in ten hotels
  • ESMO 2018 – 1092 rooms in twenty-one 4-star hotels.
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Let’s Meet at ibtm world Barcelona and Discuss the Biggest Medical Congresses of 2018

This November, between the 28th and the 30th, Barcelona hosts ibtm world, “the leading global event for the meetings, incentives, conferences, events and business travel industry.”

With a 30-year history, the event was initially named EIBTM. It started out in 1988 in Geneva, Switzerland, and it soon became a global exhibition for those in the meetings, incentives, conferences and events industry. In 2000, EIBTM was acquired by Reed Travel Exhibitions, part of the Reed Elsevier Group in 2000 and moved to Barcelona in 2004.

The three day event offers innovative education sessions, as well as a wide range of networking opportunities that trigger future business growth.

 

Event Attendees

Around 15,000 international industry professionals from over 150 countries and 3,000 brands showcasing their products and services.

 

Hosted Buyers

IBTM World pays for the flights and accommodation of selected senior decision makers with top level purchasing responsibility that qualify to benefit from the VIP package. In order to qualify for the latter, they must meet very strict criteria such as annual budget, number of annual events, purchasing power, etc.

A buyer driven matching system enables the Hosted Buyers to schedule appointments with selected exhibitors in advance.

 

Exhibitors

These are the suppliers to the meetings and incentives industry. They come from various sectors including: Airlines & Cruiselines, Attractions, Conference & Meeting Venues, Convention Bureaux, Destination Management Services, Hotels, Incentive Destinations, Travel Management Companies, etc.

 

Trade Visitors

They are decision makers who organise meetings, conferences, events, as well as business travel programs and include Agencies, Associations, Corporations, Professional Conference Organisers, etc.

 

Event Programme

There will be plenty of things to see and do during the three day event. For a more detailed view, you can access the show’s preview here.

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We will also be there to showcase our booking offers for medical congresses in 2018!

Best price, best rooms, best location for medical congresses worldwide!

In the world of MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events), Congress Bookers provides a whole range of services needed to organize a group for a medical congress. On our website, you will find a full list of hotel allotments for the most important medical congresses in 2018, regardless of their location. We operate internationally!

  • EASL 2018 – 210 rooms in seven 4-star hotels
  • EAACI 2018 – 615 rooms in fourteen 4-star hotels
  • EHA 2018 – 1200 rooms in thirty 4-star hotels
  • ERS 2018 – 615 rooms in twenty 4-star hotels
  • EURETINA 2018 – 460 rooms in twelve 4-star hotels
  • EASD 2018 – 765 rooms in sixteen 4-star hotels
  • ECTRIMS 2018 – 620 rooms in ten hotels
  • ESMO 2018 – 1092 rooms in twenty-one 4-star hotels.

And many more!

Business Travel Trends for 2018

The business travel sector is expected to increase by 3.7% per year over the next decade, a new report by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and Travelport has revealed.

According to the report, the fastest growth in the business travel sector is expected in emerging markets. For example, in Asia-Pacific, it is expected to increase 6.2%/ year through 2027.

The fastest-growing market is China with 9.5% growth, followed by Myanmar at 8.7%, Rwanda and Gabon at 8.5%, Hong Kong at 8%, Tanzania at 7.9%, Cambodia at 7.4% and India at 7.2%.

The largest business travel markets remain the United States, China, the United Kingdom, Germany and Japan.

In this context, some business travel trends are clearly making their way into 2018.

 

Chatbots for business travel

In the summer of 2017, Texas-based travel technology company Sabre developed an AI-powered chatbot for the travel and tourism industry based on Microsoft’s intelligent and natural language services.

The chatbot leverages Microsoft Bot Framework and Microsoft Cognitive Services, including Language Understanding Intelligent Service (LUIS). Organisations can use the set of tools to add intelligent and conversational features to their applications.

Two Sabre-connected travel agencies will test a white-label version of the product with travellers. They will use the Facebook Messenger chatbot for common service and support requests, such as changing an existing flight reservation.

Many believe that 2018 will be the year when chatbots really take off – from ‘Edward’, the artificially intelligent service available at Edwardian Hotels-owned Radisson Blu locations, that is able to report on hotel amenities, give directions and tips, and even receive guest complaints on the spot to Lufthansa’s “Mildred”, who helps you find the cheapest flight.

KLM’s chatbot lets you know when it’s time to check in, sends you a boarding pass and changes your seat. KLM passengers can also ask for directions to the nearest restaurant, ATM, taxi rank and more by sending an emoji to this Messenger chatbot.

 

Team business travel

Last summer, Uber for Business launched a revamped version of its business travel platform, allowing companies to set specific rules for how employees can use the service.

The self-service approach to travel management allows Uber’s clients to set rules for specific groups of travelers, without a limit to the number of riders that can be placed in one of these groups. The move allows big companies to more easily scale and track their Uber usage.

Thanks to the revamp, managers can create “set it and forget it” rules. For example, they can grant workers rides home from the office after a certain hour, or segment out various advantages to specific types of employees.

In 2016, the IBTM Trends Watch Report predicted 2017 would see a “continuing rally in demand for incentive travel”, with budgets expanding for group incentive trips. In 2016, per-person spending was US$3,165.

The team business travel trend is set to maintain the growth curve in 2018 as well.

 

Rising safety concerns

According to July 2017 research on duty of care from American Express Global Business Travel and ACTE, 37% of travel managers saw a rise in inquiries related to traveler safety even after taking action to address those concerns. The research also found that 36% of respondents have seen an increase in the levels of information on immigration and border crossing being requested or provided in the last six months.

As technology advances and the geopolitical landscape is still dominated by uncertainty, safety concerns are likely to remain a trend throughout 2018.

It’s true that tracking technology and tightened security policies could improve things but unfortunately the utilization of these tools is still rather low, and many programs lack traveler-education and safety-training programs.

 

Remote workers trigger remote-first businesses

We see more and more businesses giving up their big headquarters in favour of being remote-first. This allows people to travel far more than before and this is where the concept of “digital nomad” comes in.

Digital nomads run their business from their laptop from anywhere in the world, following an agile working methodology. In 2018, flexible working is believed to reach a tipping point with more employees working outside of an office than inside one. A report by Lancaster University’s Work Foundation predicted that over 70% of UK organisations will have adopted flexible working by 2020.

 

Travel programs set to grow

As competing for talent becomes a top priority for businesses in 2018, travel programs are set to grow as a key part of businesses’ retention and recruitment strategies. Employers are expected to seek travel programs and use them as benefits for employees and, ultimately, as a way of differentiating themselves from their competitors. The line between traveling for work and leisure will become blurry and coming up with programs that offer a more flexible work–life balance will be a smart move.

 

More localized programs

According to the 2018 Global Meetings Forecast by American Express Meetings & Events, meeting planners will see a significant industry shift towards more localized programs. In this context, global programs will need to be more flexible to meet traveler expectations based on country-specific needs and characteristics.

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Best price, best rooms, best location for medical congresses worldwide!

In the world of MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events), Congress Bookers provides a whole range of services needed to organize a group for a medical congress. On our website, you will find a full list of hotel allotments for the most important medical congresses in 2018, regardless of their location. We operate internationally!

  • EASL 2018 – 210 rooms in seven 4-star hotels
  • EAACI 2018 – 615 rooms in fourteen 4-star hotels
  • EHA 2018 – 1200 rooms in thirty 4-star hotels
  • ERS 2018 – 615 rooms in twenty 4-star hotels
  • EURETINA 2018 – 460 rooms in twelve 4-star hotels
  • EASD 2018 – 765 rooms in sixteen 4-star hotels
  • ECTRIMS 2018 – 620 rooms in ten hotels
  • ESMO 2018 – 1092 rooms in twenty-one 4-star hotels.

And many more!

3 Big Challenges/ Issues Facing the MICE Industry

This article is brought to you by Congress Bookers, a reliable accommodation partner for lead pharma companies worldwide.

miceThe MICE – Meetings, Incentive, Conferences and Exhibitions – industry, however, is one of the main drivers within the tourism industry and has witnessed important growth over the past years. As the demand for meetings, incentives, congresses and events is on the rise, the MICE sector’s future looks bright. However, as things grow, challenges arise. For example, for MICE hotels, one of today’s greatest challenges is retaining a share in the increasingly competitive marketplace and this competitiveness poses issues on every sector of the MICE industry. Some of the biggest challenges are the following:

 

Virtual Meetings vs. Destination Meetings

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Virtual meetings are like the fast food versions of destination meetings. Although the latter are more valuable since they provide engagement opportunities with pertinent topics without any distractions, virtual meetings are appealing because they allow you to attend without having to book a hotel room, get on a plane or leave your office chair. Of course, since they don’t involve booking rooms and buying plane tickets, virtual meetings are oftentimes cheaper than destination meetings. At the end of the day, there is value in both. Sometimes you can’t miss out on the huge networking opportunities during an event and you choose to go there in-person, other times you’re just interested in a topic and attend a virtual conference. However, planning for both and trying to appeal to both types of attendees is something the MICE industry will have to work on and it won’t be an easy task.

 

Keeping up with Technology

technology

Technology is evolving at an incredibly fast pace and, as this happens, event attendees’ expectations become higher. They want to be able to book hotel rooms, plane tickets, event access with minimum hassle, at the time of their convenience and on the device they’re using.

On the other hand, hotels need to keep up and improve their technologies to streamline communications and logistics with meeting planners and hotel broker companies in order to diminish redundancy and reduce mistakes. Needless to say, Internet access and good Wi-Fi in hotels are a must! (still, many event attendees complain about this regularly).

 

Managing Accommodation Contracts (oldie but goldie)

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This is something that’s very familiar to old industry players. However, for those who are new in the business event sector, negotiating a contract with a hotel or venue is no easy thing. Hotel groups provide different contracts and signing the contract without really understanding what each and every sentence means can be a recipe for a big failure. PCOs and anybody signing venue contracts should read them carefully and if they have any doubts get legal advice before signing them. Also, they should establish their own clauses. An example would have to do with the venue being forbidden to advertise cheaper rooms than the contracted block, over the same period of time, without extending the lower rate to the block.

Some best practices when managing accommodation contracts would be:

  • Thoroughly read and understand contract terms.
  • Be very careful with your expected numbers, as over-inflation is not going to do anyone any good while underestimating the number of rooms may force you to find additional spaces elsewhere.
  • Make sure that room rate protection is included so that you have competitive room rates.
  • Include all financial liabilities in the contract.
  • Maintain a constant communication with all parties involved.

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Congress Bookers provides a whole range of services needed to organize a group for a medical congress. On our website, you will find a full list of hotel allotments for the most important medical congresses, regardless of their location. The biggest congresses this year are:

Top Trends that Will Dominate the Pharma Sector in 2017

We’re soon saying goodbye to 2016, a bustling year for pharma in terms of technology, innovations, as well as mergers and acquisitions. Big companies saw important breakthroughs, new drugs have been approved by the FDA and important lawsuits have been gained. All in all, an exciting year for the pharma and healthcare industry.

pharmatrends

Now is the time to look at 2016 and understand which important trends from 2016 will pick up next year and what their influence will be.

 

Drug prices will still be heavily debated

Drug prices have made headlines over the past few years (they were even an election issue in the US) and will continue to do so throughout 2017.

Dr. Carole Bruckler, Senior Advisor at Allied World Healthcare, predicted that “2017 will be a year where ongoing trends will crystalize further,” and that  “in the US, there is clear political will forming against annual or quarterly drug price increases to fuel sales growth.”

Although a Clinton victory would have meant high drug prices, Donald Trump’s election in the US doesn’t mean that the pharma industry is out of hot water yet. His plans to have uniform pricing schemes could highly impact profit margins and may even mean a change in pharma’s existing business models.

 

Patients will hold the power

It seems that those days when patients would go to the doctor whenever they got sick to have medication prescribed are gone. Nowadays, patients are empowered. They have access to huge amounts of information online and can learn about their health conditions. When dealing with mild symptoms, they can even use the information that they find to choose from various treatment alternatives. This means that, in many instances, doctors cannot influence patients’ choices anymore. Therefore, pharma companies have to start looking for new ways to get their medications sold.

When it comes to empowered patients, pharma and healthcare companies need to understand that, thanks to technology and the opportunities it provides, their expectations are high. If they are not provided with an immediate solution, they know they always have an alternative.

Smartwatches like Apple Watch or Samsung Gear and fitness bands (FitBit, Jawbone, Garmin) have sensors capable of taking biometric readings. As they become more advanced, wearable devices will become a key asset in gathering clinical trial data remotely in real-time but also in helping patients monitor their health without the need for a doctor or nurse.

 

Tech giants are here to stay

Over the past few years, pharma companies have witnessed the entry and involvement of

tech companies such as Google, Apple and IBM. The latter can help collect and process massive amounts of health-related, thus helping pharma companies gain a better understanding of diseases, broaden their R&D strategies and find the right treatments.

Google’s Alphabet hosts several separate firms, including Google Ventures, Google X and Calico. All three of them are focusing on drug development. Calico tackles aging-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s, and Google Ventures increased its funding of healthcare-related ventures. Not to be left out is Google’s partnership with Novartis to develop “smart contacts” for age-related degeneration in eyesight.

Meanwhile, IBM and Apple have teamed up with Medtronic and Johnson & Johnson to carefully leverage clinical trial data to create better targeted therapies for patients, while ensuring the latter’s compliance with their drugs. Apple’s HealthKit and ResearchKit technologies are complementing such partnerships, as is IBM’s supercomputer Watson.

 

Artificial intelligence might become a game changer in the near future

Using the power of AI and supercomputers for medical decision making purposes will definitely change everyday medicine. Cognitive computing platforms such as IBM Watson have the capabilities to interact in natural language, process vast amounts of Big Data and understand patterns and insights while learning from each interaction. By digesting and interpreting millions of pages of scientific literature, IBM Watson can assist pharma companies in the development of new drugs while repurposing existing ones.

The fact that cognitive computers have been used to analyse big data, not only in genomic research but also in biotechnology, might change the way new drugs are found. The era of human experimentation might come to an end and be replaced by the era of detailed simulation of human physiology. Instead of being tested on people, drugs could be tested by supercomputers on billions of simulations modelling the physiology of the human body in a matter of seconds. This won’t happen in 2017 since it’s much too soon but it’s something that pharma should support and look into throughout the next couple of years.

These were our top picks for trends that will continue to dominate the pharma sector in 2017 and beyond. Of course, they are not set in stone. As technology advances, many great things and innovations will emerge.

 

Congress Bookers provides a whole range of services needed to organize a group for a medical congress. On our website, you will find a full list of hotel allotments for the most important medical congresses in 2017, regardless of their location. The biggest congresses next year are:

Meet Congress Bookers at IBTM World 2016

ibtm-world-2016Between November 29th and December 1st, Barcelona is home to one of the leading exhibitions for the meetings industry, IBTM World (formerly known as EIBTM). The event dates back to 1988 and it started out in Geneva, Switzerland. In 2000, EIBTM was acquired by Reed Travel Exhibitions and in 2004 it moved to Barcelona. It soon turned into one of the biggest and most relevant exhibitions for the global meetings, incentives, conferences and events industry.

The three day event offers innovative education sessions, as well as a wide range of networking opportunities that trigger future business growth.

Event Attendees

Around 15,500 international industry professionals from over 150 countries and 3,000 brands showcasing their products and services.

Hosted Buyers

IBTM World pays for the flights and accommodation of selected senior decision makers with top level purchasing responsibility that qualify to benefit from the VIP package. In order to qualify for the latter, they must meet very strict criteria such as annual budget, number of annual events, purchasing power, etc.

A buyer driven matching system enables the Hosted Buyers to schedule appointments with selected exhibitors in advance.

Exhibitors

These are the suppliers to the meetings and incentives industry. They come from various sectors including: Airlines & Cruiselines, Attractions, Conference & Meeting Venues, Convention Bureaux, Destination Management Services, Hotels, Incentive Destinations, Travel Management Companies, etc.

Trade Visitors

They are decision makers who organise meetings, conferences, events, as well as business travel programs and include Agencies, Associations, Corporations, Professional Conference Organisers.

Event Programme

There will be plenty of things to see and do during the three day event. For a more detailed view, you can access the event’s agenda here.

We will also be there to showcase our booking offers for pharma and medical congresses in 2017

Best price, best rooms, best location for medical congresses worldwide!

In the world of MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events), Congress Bookers provides a whole range of services needed to organize a group for a medical congress. On our website, you will find a full list of hotel allotments for the most important medical congresses in 2017, regardless of their location. We operate internationally!

And many more!

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Let’s meet at IBTM World 2016 and work on the best offer for your accommodation needs!

4 Emerging Trends and Innovations in Pharma & Healthcare

As Steve Jobs said, “the biggest innovations of the 21st century will be at the intersection of biology and technology.” As these two become closely intertwined, innovative digital technologies emerge.

Here’s a glimpse at some of the greatest trends and innovations that are shaping and pushing forward pharma endeavours and digital health.

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Healthcare Chatbots

Given that there’s over one billion people using Facebook Messenger, chatbots built on this platform are an ideal solution that could significantly improve patients’ health as well as the communication with their doctors.

Medication adherence

According to a World Health Organization report,“adherence to long-term therapy for chronic illnesses in developed countries averages 50%” and “removing barriers to adherence must become a central component of efforts to improve population health worldwide.”

While apps may be one answer, they require installation and a change of context every time a user needs them. On the other hand, chatbots are extremely easy to use. Patients could scan a profile code from Messenger and immediately start talking to an adherence bot, without the need to reveal their identity or set up a separate account. Consequently, the bot would help the patient add their first medication, give details about the amounts he needs to take and the times. Then, the bot will send friendly reminders at the times they specified. All of this process shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.

Patient information

Bots could also collect patient information – symptoms, pain level, mood information, blood sugar levels- that could be discussed with the healthcare provider. The latter could request a full report from the bot prior to the patient’s appointment so that nothing is forgotten or overlooked.

As an example, there is Stuzo’s Labs Adherence Bot. Although it’s merely a prototype, the bot already has high chances of being successful.

Recently, Chinese search engine Baidu has launched a medical chatbot dubbed Melody designed to make diagnosing illnesses easier.

mHealth Sensors

Also knows as “beyond the pill” services, apps and wearables allow patients to monitor their health and symptoms outside of clinical environments, fact that will prove important when it comes to freeing hospital beds and increasing doctors’ availability.

In September 2015, the FDA accepted the first New Drug Application for a ‘digital’ medicine – the anti-psychotic drug Abilify had an ingestible sensor attached to monitor patient adherence. Such collaborations between pharma and tech are expected to boom within the next years.

Furthermore, pharma research institutes are leveraging mHealth technology to carry out clinical research. In that sense, smartphones with advanced sensors that can track movement, take measurements and record information are used to conduct studies that engage large numbers of people from wide geographical areas. Apple has several mHealth apps for clinical research, some are targeting Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, while others focus on asthma and breast cancer.

Other devices such a smartwatches like Apple Watch or Samsung Gear and fitness bands (FitBit, Jawbone, Garmin) also have sensors capable of taking biometric readings. As they become more advanced, wearable devices will become a key asset in gathering clinical trial data remotely in real-time.

The fact that these devices are connected to the internet means that the information they gather can be synced with other devices or shared with doctors and researchers. This could mean that in the future, fewer patients will need to personally go to medical research centres or hospitals when participating in clinical trials, which could prompt a shift for pharma companies and CROs towards remote monitoring, as opposed to in-person meetings.

3D Printing

In March 2016, epilepsy drug Spritam became the first 3D printed drug to be approved by the FDA. The pill is manufactured by Aprecia Pharmaceuticals by spreading layers of the drug and building the pill through a three-dimensional printing process. The latter enables the use of a higher dose of medicine while keeping the pill porous enough to dissolve quickly.

Researchers at the School of Pharmacy of University College London are using a technique called “hot melt extrusion” to 3D-print pills in various shapes, spanning from pyramids to doughnuts. The form of the pill influences the rate of drug release. For example, a pyramid-shaped pill releases the drug slower than a cube or sphere and this enables absorption to be controlled.

3D printed drugs are not only set to change the way in which drugs are being manufactured, but also how they are administered. Hospitals could easily adjust doses depending on individual patients and their treatment.

Artificial Intelligence

Cognitive computing platforms such as IBM Watson have the capabilities to interact in natural language, process vast amounts of Big Data and understand patterns and insights while learning from each interaction. The Watson Health Cloud was launched in April 2015 as an open development platform for physicians, researchers, insurers, and companies.

By digesting and interpreting millions of pages of scientific literature, IBM Watson can assist pharma companies in the development of new drugs while repurposing existing ones. Johnson & Johnson is collaborating with the IBM Watson Discovery Advisor team to use Watson to develop and evaluate medications and other treatments, while Sanofi is looking into the discovery of alternative use cases for existing drugs (drug re-purposing).

These are only a few of the amazing trends and innovations that promise to influence not only the ways in which pharma companies and healthcare providers conduct their daily research and clinical trials but also the ways in which patients from all over the world cope with illnesses and follow treatment schemes. The future promises much more!

If you’re passionate about emerging trends and innovations in pharma and healthcare, these congresses should be on your list in 2017:

  1. ESMO 2017 Madrid, 8.- 12. September, 2017 -> http://bit.ly/2eIoDxQ
  2. ERS 2017 Milano, 9.- 13. September, 2017 -> http://bit.ly/2dh3f40
  3. EASD 2017 Lisbon, 11. – 15. September, 2017 -> http://bit.ly/2dZ4sgI