There was plenty of space for social distancing at #SABCS21 with 1,991 in-person attendees.
Some sense of normalcy was returned to the 44th annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium as in-person attendees were back at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, albeit in a limited capacity.
The official attendance was 9,846. Most attendees were virtual but nearly 2,000 of those were in person and they came from Europe, Asia, North Africa and South America.
“This has been the first hybrid SABCS which has been very difficult to run but at the same time so rewarding,” said SABCS Co-Sponsor Virginia Kaklamani, MD, DSc in an interview during the conference. “We had a session where we had somebody from France, somebody from Australia, somebody from North Carolina, then people in the audience as well as people who were able to come to San Antonio. This is something that really put a smile on my face knowing that this was really a global meeting, and you could see it.”
Many registrants who planned to attend in person switched to virtual right before the conference due to the omicron variant, according to Director of Symposia Sharon Hill.
“We kept the large rooms because we wanted proper social distancing and ventilation,” Hill said. “They may have felt too large for the group of in-person attendees, but the precautions were there to keep meeting attendees safe and help ensure the safety of the facility staff.”
Both Hill and Dr. Kaklamani expect the hybrid format will be the standard for SABCS moving forward.
“We have the ability to run hybrid meetings,” Dr. Kaklamani said. “I think many people are not able to travel and we should accommodate them regardless of how nice it is to see people coming to San Antonio.”
Attendees can access the presentations and posters through March 12 at this link.
The 45th annual Symposium, #SABCS22, will be Dec. 6-10 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.