Evaluation of the 2020 EAN Virtual Congress: transition from a face-to-face to a virtual meeting.

Stamelou, Maria; Struhal, Walter; Ten Cate, Olle; Matczak, Magdalena; Çalışkan, S Ayhan; Soffietti, Riccardo; Marson, Anthony; Zis, Panagiotis; di Lorenzo, Francesco; Sander, Anja; Deuschl, Günther; de Visser, Marianne; Bassetti, Claudio L.A. (2020). Evaluation of the 2020 EAN Virtual Congress: transition from a face-to-face to a virtual meeting. (In Press). European journal of neurology Wiley 10.1111/ene.14702

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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, scientific congresses are increasingly being organised as virtual congresses. In May 2020, the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) held a VC, free-of-charge. In the absence of systematic studies on this topic, the aim of this study is to evaluate the attendance and perceived quality of the 2020 EAN virtual congress (VC) compared to the 2019 EAN face-to-face congress (FFC).


Analysis of demographic data of participants obtained from the online registration collected. Comparison of the two congresses based on a survey with questions on the perception of speakers' performance, quality of networking, and other aspects.


Of 43,596 registered participants, 20,694 active participants attended the VC. Compared to 2019, the number of participants tripled (6916 in 2019) and the cumulated number of participants attending the sessions was five times higher (169,334 in 2020 vs 33,024 in 2019). Out of active participants 55% were from outside Europe, 42% were board-certified neurologists (FFC: 80%), and 21% were students (FFC: 0.6%). The content of the congress was evaluated as 'above expectation' by 56% of the attendees (FFC: 41%). Out of the respondents who had been exposed to earlier EAN congresses 73% preferred the FFC congress compared to the VC (17%).


The VC fulfilled the main mission of organizing high quality EAN congresses despite the restrictions of the impersonal format. The geographical distribution of the participants prove the expected higher inclusivity of a VC. The large participation of students and neurologists in training opens new educational potentials for the EAN.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology

UniBE Contributor:

Bassetti, Claudio


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Chantal Kottler

Date Deposited:

21 Jan 2021 14:34

Last Modified:

21 Jan 2021 14:34

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

evaluation international congress quality transition virtual congress





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