“If you cannot go to ICare, ICare will come to you”.
During the summer 2020, SIAARTI understood that the scientific society members, who were heavily committed at the forefront of the ongoing health emergency, needed to feel closeness to their colleagues, discuss on the critical issues they had to face, exchange best practices and solutions put in place in collaboration with local sanitary and institutional authorities. So, it was necessary to organise some educational events for the autumn, in view of the annual conference to be held virtually at the end of November. However, it was necessary to find a solution to facilitate education and involve all stakeholders despite the limitations to gatherings and events, and the lack of time and availability of the association members, hectically busy at hospitals.
SIAARTI, together with AIM Group International, broke the mould and re-invented the concept of a scientific education meeting. With the “Travelling with ICARE” tour, anaesthesiologists and intensivists were greeted around the country with a travelling knowledge exchange event which went to the audience, rather than the other way around.
A travelling meeting area
For the first time a travelling association event left a unique physical location to reach major hospitals in several Italian cities, with a big, branded truck equipped with a pop-up meeting outdoor area and a recording studio inside. “If you are unable to participate in ICare, ICare will come to you: this was the motto”.
For two weeks, the SIAARTI truck went on tour, visiting hospitals in 8 Italian cities – Turin, Milan, Brescia, Padua, Bologna, Rome, Naples and Bari – strictly following preventive measures and social distancing.
Thanks to this solution, anaesthesiologists and intensivists had the opportunity to participate in the live events, held close to where they work rather than travelling to a congress, and could meet experts, health managers, local administrators and sponsors, attending dozens of round tables, conference, interviews and “meet the expert” educational sessions.
Inside the truck there was a TV studio where the speakers had their speeches during the 8-hour daily educational program, which were recorded by a TV troupe and broadcasted outside on big screens and recorded to be upload on the annual virtual congress website. The outdoor pop-up covered area hosted also some tables where sponsors could meet the attendees.
Safety first, then discussion
The safety rules were clear for all the involved people (technicians, speakers, sponsors and attendees): keep the social distancing (more than 1 metre), always wear the mask both inside and outdoor, body temperature check and tracking of participants, clean often the hands and sanitise objects.
Furthermore, most of the activities (exhibition, live streaming) have been held outside, where risks are lower.
The production of the event was particularly demanding as after the design of the truck and outdoor area, it was necessary to set-up in all the 8 stages of the tour, which covered 1,800 km overall, including the audio-visual aspects. Furthermore, the logistics and positioning of the truck had to be coordinated in agreement with the hospitals and the transfers of all staff coordinated in compliance with health safety.
The members community get engaged
As regards to communication, the plan exploited various channels both to involve the internal target and to give public importance to the initiative. The website offered updates on the program and a DEM campaign informed doctors in a direct and targeted manner. Social media ensured coverage before and during the tour, with a good engagement from participants.
Despite the pandemic crisis and the social distancing, association could overcome difficulties and reach out to its members’ needs, realising an educational in-person event which combined safety, knowledge exchange, innovation and ability to react.
Feedback was very positive. Over 8 stages, 800 people were involved, including doctors, speakers and institutions, and 48 hours of training sessions were offered, to the great satisfaction of the scientific society, which was able to put itself into play with an innovative format and to effectively communicate with its members. Physicians really enjoyed this initiative because they have been facilitated to participate in discussions, conferences and round tables useful to update for their daily work, and felt the closeness of the scientific association, meeting other colleagues face to face, in a more direct and spontaneous way, still respecting the preventive measures.
The association’s satisfaction is testified by its Executive Officer words: “Every year, SIAARTI organizes dozens of meetings and educational events, but this year we had to limit our activity. With the Travelling with ICare Tour, we re-worked the formula, taking the event out of the congress center, to reach our members where they work. We demonstrated that SIAARTI is there for them once again and is responding to their needs”, comments Emiliano Tizi, Executive Officer SIAARTI.