EULAR has announced that just as it did in 2020, the 2021 Congress will be held virtually, as realities of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis in Europe and elsewhere along with the relatively slow pace of vaccine rollouts have become clear.
“We were obliged to meet in the virtual world in 2020, forsaking our highly anticipated visit to Frankfurt,” said EULAR president Iain B. McInnes, of the University of Glasgow, in a statement. “Similarly, we plan to offer a ‘virtual congress’ in Paris in June 2021 though we hope to bring in twists of new experience.”
The virtual Congress will still feature educational content, presentations of new research across the world of rheumatology, and the opportunity for online networking, debate, and engagement.
EULAR is also working to perhaps include some degree of in-person components to the Congress, either in Paris or on a regional basis. This would depend on the medical realities in Paris and elsewhere as the June meeting approaches.
“These are a work in progress and will be communicated subsequently if we can invent that as a new reality,” McInnes said.
Conferences across all fields were forced online over the past year, and professional societies are now attempting to plan the next versions in a dramatically uncertain environment. Experts have noted some of the drawbacks to virtual conferences, with the ability to disseminate new and potentially practice-changing results perhaps diminished, slowing progress in the field.
EULAR said they have been planning the 2021 Congress in close contact with international and French authorities, and McInnes said he expects an outstanding program. “I look forward to welcoming you to Paris, virtually, in June 2021 to celebrate all that is good in rheumatology!”