BSG 2016 Annual Scientific Meeting Report

The annual meeting was held in Liverpool at the Echo Arena from 20-23 June. The conference attracted a record number of delegates with 2,199 attendees. 97% of delegates rated the meeting and programme content as being very good / good and many stated it was the best BSG they had attended!  Although there is a drive to make all meetings paperless the majority of delegates appreciated having the conference newspaper, the “Delegates Digest”, which included all the programme sessions along with special features on prize winners and section highlights.  There were other firsts at the conference including hot food, new prizes for the best abstracts, twitter for novices sessions, screens displaying live twitter feeds, a free power-pack for every delegate and interactive mapping, messaging & delegate finder on the conference app.  

The meeting commenced with a very well-attended post-graduate education day with a state of the art lecture on the microbiome, cutting-edge updates in many areas of gastroenterology and interactive sessions on managing endoscopic complications throughout the day. This was followed by the trainee sections’ novel symposium on “Gastroenterology in War Zones”.

Tuesday began with free paper sessions followed by the BSG Plenary. This saw Prof Michael Camilleri deliver the Sir Arthur Hurst lecture on ‘advances in the management of chronic constipation and diarrhoea’, the Sir Francis Avery-Jones research medal lecture from Dr Ye Oo and the New Perspectives lecture from Prof Jane Dacre, President of the Royal College of Physicians, on ‘interesting times’. The highest ranking conference abstract was also showcased and the inaugural BSG Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to a very popular and well deserved recipient; Prof Chandu Bardhan. That evening also saw the popular conference party organised by our trainee section in the Albert Dock featuring ‘The Cheatles’.

The conference held several parallel symposia on all aspects of gastrointestinal and liver disease. There was a good balance of basic and clinical science symposia, state-of-the-art lectures and clinical updates throughout the week.  Many sections of the BSG had collaborated to provide twelve joint symposia enhancing shared learning with many sessions being interactive. Live endoscopy was reintroduced at the conference with Wednesday seeing a full day of live links from Aintree. The sessions focussed on “getting the basics right” and were particularly popular with delegates. The Thursday Scientific Translational Master Class looked at the gut neuroendocrine system in detail and Core also featured strongly having two sessions in the main program in addition to their patient symposium. Live Twitter feeds were displayed on screens around the venue and thanks go to the ‘BSG Twitterati’ for keeping those screens fun, dynamic and insightful!

Almost 800 abstracts were submitted with an acceptance rate of 71%. From Tuesday through Thursday there were lunchtime poster judging rounds conducted by BSG committee members. Each and every poster was judged so authors got the chance to showcase their research and obtain feedback from experts in their field. There were also abstracts of distinction, exhibition posters and video presenters had tablets to show their videos to interested delegates.

Some sessions at the conference were extremely popular and delegates were turned away. Room sizes will be scrutinised for the next conference but If BSG members missed any presentations at the conference they are now available on BSGtv which can be accessed on the BSG website (www.bsg.org.uk). Planning is already in progress for our next conference which will be held in Manchester from 19-22 June 2017. Put the date in your diary now!

I enjoyed the process of chairing the scientific programme committee enormously and thank all those involved in contributing to BSG 2016.

Dr Jayne Eaden

Dr Jayne Eaden
BSG Senior Secretary and Programme Committee Chair

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