WEEK, NOT WEAK: Attendance at the newly renamed Kidney Week surpassed 13,000 for the first time since 2007 — a “very welcome trend” for the American Soci- ety of Nephrologists.
MEETING: Kidney Week 2011, presented by the American Society of Nephrol- ogy (ASN) at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia on Nov. 8–12.
CHALLENGES: Formerly known as Renal Week, Kidney Week 2011 represented the debut of a whole new brand for ASN’s annual meeting — which meant a lot of work upfront on logos and messag- ing. “That look and feel was really spectacular,” said Cele Fogarty, vice president of event services for SmithBuck- lin, which manages the event for ASN. “People seemed pretty jazzed by it.” Other than that, ASN dealt
with the perpetual challenge of “ensuring all constituencies’ needs are met,” Fogarty told Convene in a Pre Con profile of Kidney Week 2011 (available at http://bit.ly/pre-con-ASN) — members and non-mem-
bers, exhibitors and sponsors, and so on. ASN approached that first and foremost by focusing on delivering solid content. “The commentary that we’re getting back is that it was an incredibly dynamic program,” Fogarty said. “We start off Kidney Week with one- and two-day intensive courses, and it was [record-breaking attendance] for the courses. That tells us the topics were right on target.”
INITIATIVES: Beyond getting the Kidney Week brand up and running, Fogarty and her team rolled out a number of new initiatives, including programs aimed at medical students and residents, such as complimen- tary registration for “any student who could basically prove they were a student.” ASN also gave students the opportunity to gather each morning “and talk about some
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things that [were] going to be happening that day,” Fogarty said, and to follow ASN leaders throughout the show. “That was really well received,” she said, “and really thought-out.” Other new initiatives included a mobile app, an ePoster program, and subject areas for “diabesity” and bioengineering as part of Kidney Week’s meeting- within-a-meeting structure. Everything seemed to pay off: Attendance increased over 2010, and surpassed 13,000 for the first time since 2007, “so that was a very welcome trend for us,” Fogarty said, “because for the last couple years everyone has been in this economic downturn.” She added: “It was fabulous. We had a great meeting.” n — Christopher Durso