In order to meet its aim to create a platform for the presentation and discussion of all aspects of reproductive medicine and science, the Society organises an Annual Meeting. The organisation of the Annual Meeting is primarily the responsibility of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee will supervise the overall organisation of the Annual Meeting, and as such has the right:
The general organisation will be the responsibility of the Central Office in co-operation with the Local Organising Committee. The Central Office will be responsible for the overall coordination and organisation of the event. This implies the following duties:
The financial responsibility of the Annual Meeting rests with the Society. This means that the Central Office has to be in control of the expenditure and income accounts. No decisions that affect the financial balance of the organisation of the meeting can be made without the knowledge of the Central Office.
Special low registration fees will be offered to members of the Society.
All registrations received during the week prior to the starting date of the Annual Meeting, will be regarded as on-site registrations. Students will pay the same fees as Paramedical delegates. Although the prices for registrations may change in time, these general principles will be maintained for all Annual Meetings.
Each Annual Meeting will be held in the course of 4 days:
On the preceding Saturday, certification exams are organised and Committee meetings are held. On the Thursday, following the last day of the Annual Meeting, a Debriefing meeting will be held.
In addition to members of the Scientific Committee, it was agreed to ask additional individuals to submit proposals. These will include: Special Interest Group Deputies, Committee of National Representatives members, Executive Committee members, Local Organising Committee members. Each member will be asked to propose 1 session only, comprising two titles for lectures + names of speakers. The proposed sessions and speakers should not have been covered in recent meetings (preceding 3 years).
The Scientific Committee will convene at least once to work out the final invited programme.
As a rule, there should be no more than 2 invited speakers per session . Invited speakers at the Annual Meeting (and all other scientific meetings organized by ESHRE) should be asked to declare interests by means of a DOI form as required by EACCME (as part of the CME requirements) and in a slide that is to be shown at the start of their lecture. Generally speaking, invited speakers are offered travel and accommodation, and free registration to the Annual Meeting and its social programme. There will be no honoraria.
Members of the Executive Committee – as well as members of the Scientific Committee and SIG Coordinators – should not be an invited speaker at the Annual Meeting during the course of their term of office, unless with the approval of the Scientific Committee . Neither shall they be allowed to speak at Company Symposia or related commercial and corporate organised sessions. This rule is not applicable for Precongress Courses.
As a rule, each invited lecture will be limited to 20 minutes + 10 minutes discussion . In addition, invited sessions should not be held in parallel to selected oral communication sessions.
Invited exchange sessions with other (inter)national societies should be considered.
Selected oral communication sessions
In addition to invited sessions, a given number of slots will be used to accommodate selected oral communication sessions. The sessions will consist of presentations that have been selected following an abstract submission and selection procedure.
Abstracts that are not selected for oral presentation can be referred to the posters and will be included in the selection of abstracts that have been submitted for poster presentation only. As a rule, a total of 800 posters are selected. By default, all poster presenters have to submit an electronic poster. Poster presenters are offered the possibility to present a paper poster as well. The presentation of a paper poster is optional (i.e. not mandatory) and poster presenters will need to notify the Central Office that they want to present a paper poster within 3 weeks following the confirmation of acceptance.
Abstract submission, abstract selection and selected oral presentations
The abstracts for the Annual Meeting can be submitted by each individual who wants to report his/her research or clinical work. The following applies:
The abstracts will be reviewed (i.e. scored) by a designated number of appropriate reviewers who will cover - each according to his/her speciality - all fields and covering a relevant geographical spread. The selection process will be arranged as follows
Stage 1 - Pre-screening (i.e. first review)
The aim of the pre-screening will be:
For each topic category, two pre-screening reviewers - normally from the Special Interest Group Steering Committees or the Executive Committee - will be appointed to read through all abstracts in a specific topic category, in order:
The scores will determine whether the abstracts are of sufficient quality to be passed on the second review process (see below) or whether they should be rejected.
An online system is set up to score the abstracts and to indicate whether a change of topic category is needed. The scores will be given by means of a visual analogue scale (VAS) with a scale going from “0” = “very poor” to “100” = “excellent”. All abstracts will be “blind” (no authors’ names or affiliations mentioned).
Stage 2 - Second Review
Following the pre-screening, all “pre-selected” abstracts are distributed among a large number of reviewers who are appointed to take part in the second reviewing process. Reviewers are selected (each according to his/her field of expertise) to cover all topic categories. The reviewers will judge only “blind” abstracts; i.e. abstracts that have no names of authors or institutes mentioned, neither will any references to grants be shown to the reviewers. The abstracts are divided among the reviewers in such a way that each abstract is reviewed by two different reviewers. Individuals who participated in the pre-screening will not be engaged in the second review process (since they already gave their scores, which are automatically taken into account in the second round).
The VAS system that is used in the pre-screening process will also be used for the second review.
The final score for each abstract will be the total of the four individual scores given by 4 reviewers (i.e. 2 pre-screening reviewers + 2 reviewers).
Stage 3 - Post-review and final selection of abstracts by the Scientific Committee
After the scoring procedure has been concluded, a “post-review session” is arranged before the meeting of the Programme Committee. During that “post-review session” the scoring/review results will be screened again by a number of experts from the different SIG’s to cover the different topics with the aim to detect possible problem cases. Special attention will have to be given to great deviations between scores given by the individual scores.
On the basis of the final scores and after the “Post review session”, the programme is then put together by the Scientific Committee. This Committee selects the best scoring abstracts within each topic category - bearing in mind the form of presentation (oral or poster) indicated by the authors - for either oral or poster communication and designates them to appropriate sessions. The number sessions allocated to each topic category, will have been pre-defined based on the number of submitted abstracts per topic category.
The Scientific Committee will also decide on the chairmen to be invited for each session (invited as well as selected oral communication sessions).
Abstracts that are not selected for either poster or oral presentation will be rejected.
It was agreed that for fraudulent abstracts, the presenting author should be banned for two years.
Authors who submit an abstract that is finally accepted for presentation, but who – for whatever reason - are unable to attend the meeting should arrange for one of the co-authors of the abstract to give the presentation. The Central Office should be notified as early as possible of such a replacement. Presenters who fail to show up without valid reason and without due notification – i.e. within 7 days from the confirmation of acceptance - will be banned for two years from presenting at the meeting.
The following is applicable for all Company Symposia / Company Sessions / Product Theatres. Companies who organise a symposium or session will be responsible for the scientific content of that symposium (i.e. companies are free to choose the title, lectures, speakers and chairmen of their symposium). Companies will take on the costs (travel and hotel) for speakers (and chairmen). The meeting room assigned to the Company Symposia will be equipped with a set-up used for the ESHRE sessions. Additional audio visual equipment, decoration etc. will be covered by the organising company. The symposia or sessions will be held in parallel to non-competing sessions and will be allocated a time slot of 1 hour and 15 minutes in the case of Company Symposia and 1 hour in the case of Company Sessions and Product Theatres. Only one time slot per company is allowed. Announcements – be it in print or electronic - of the meeting will mention that there will be company symposia, but the title, lectures and speakers will not be mentioned within the official scientific programme, but in a separate section. Hence companies will be responsible to promote their own symposium. The abstracts of the sponsored symposia will not be included in the official abstract book.
A dedicated meeting room is put to the disposal of these so called Company Sessions or Product Theatres. The meeting room will hold a limited number of delegates (± 300 – 400) in theatre style and will have a basic AV set-up and sound amplification. Only one time slot per company is allowed (i.e. one company cannot have two or more slots). Companies who already have booked a Company Symposium are not entitled to have a company session or product theatre in addition (and vice versa).
Possible Monday and Tuesday time slots:
Allocation of all time slots will be determined by the place of the exhibitor/sponsor in the ranking order (i.e. the first sponsor on the ranking list will have first choice, the second sponsor on the ranking list will have second choice etc.) Slots that have not been booked by 1 November, will be available on a first-come-first serve basis.
Each year awards will be offered for the best presentations. Pre-selected candidates for some of these awards will only be considered if they submit an extended abstract and three slides to be presented in the event that they receive the award. All members of the Award Committees will then receive copies of the extended abstracts to prepare the final selection of the award winners. The names of the award-winners will be made public at the Closing Ceremony of the Annual Meeting.
The pre-selection will be done only on the basis of the scores that were given by the reviewers.
At each Annual Meeting the following Awards are extended :
Preferably, Special Interest Group Coordinators will be involved in the composition of the relevant Award Committees that will convene during the course of the Annual Meeting to decide on the award winners . Each Award Committee, will consist of 5 to 7 (maximum) members.
A scoring system is applicable for all the Award Committees to make the evaluation more objective and similar in each committee. Scores from 1 to 5 will be given to each of the following categories:
Relevant scoring sheets and instructions will be prepared for all Award Committees. Each Award Committee chair should be given scoring sheets (including date, time, name of the author, session, location as well as the full title of the presentation and the scoring table) to distribute to all committee members.
The social programme usually includes the following:
Local politicians will not be invited to give speeches at the Opening Ceremony. It was also agreed that the Chairman-elect should be the Master of Ceremony at the Opening Ceremony.
A commercial exhibition will be arranged at each Annual Meeting and as such a large and dedicated exhibit area will be a necessary prerequisite at each selected congress venue. Congress centres that do not offer such spaces, will be automatically excluded from any bidding process.
Apart from the exhibit, commercial companies will also be offered various sponsorship opportunities.
Contacts with commercial companies will be made primarily by the Central Office.
The exhibit area will be subdivided in units of 9m2 (3m x 3m). Stand spaces are sold at a minimum of 1 unit of 9m2 and a maximum of 405 m2 (i.e. total of 45 units of 9m2). The following will be included in the rental of an exhibit space:
Stand assignment is determined by a credit system whereby each exhibiting company/sponsor will obtain credits for each item that is sponsored at the past 3 previously held meetings. The total number of credits that are accumulated for the past 3 years by each exhibitor/sponsor will determine the place of the exhibitor/sponsor in the ranking order. Stands will be assigned according to the place in the ranking order (i.e. the first sponsor on the ranking list will have first choice, the second sponsor on the ranking list will have second choice etc.). In those cases where exhibitors/sponsors have the same number of credits or for companies that have not yet exhibited at the Annual Meetings (i.e. that have no credits), a “first come - first serve” policy will be maintained. Companies that have not exhibited for the past 3 consecutive years will automatically lose all credits. The ranking order will apply only to those companies who send in their stand application form before a given deadline. A “first come - first serve” policy will apply to all bookings and the place on the ranking list will no longer apply after the given deadline.
The exhibitor may, free of charge, cancel a booking of a stand space for a stand within 20 (twenty) days from the date of order confirmation. If a cancellation is made later than 20 (twenty) days from the date of order confirmation, the exhibitor is charged 100 (one hundred) % of the rent for the stand space. Stand spaces cannot, fully or partly, be assigned or sublet by the exhibitor without ESHRE’s approval.
It is the Sponsor’s / Exhibitor’s responsibility to comply with the local authority’s regulations, EFPIA (European Federation of Pharmaceuticals Industries & Associations) www.efpia.org and IFMPA (International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations) www.ifpma.org Code of Practice on the Promotion of Medicines.
ESHRE reserves the right to accept or decline offers of sponsorship and application for exhibition space.
ESHRE also reserves the right to amend the published floor plan should it be felt that such an amendment would be necessary for the benefit of the exhibition and the Annual Meeting as a whole.
All custom designed exhibition stand must be officially approved and should comply to the building and safety restrictions.
Further stipulations as mentioned in a Code of Practice need to be adhered to. This Code of Practice aims to govern the relationship with the relevant commercial companies’ representatives in the preparation of, during and after the Annual Meeting.
The following guidelines/principles are included in the Code of Practice and should therefore be adopted by all commercial partners:
A set of guidelines are designed to contribute to the best possible cooperation between all media representatives, representatives of third party organisations and ESHRE before, during and after the ESHRE Annual Meeting.
As a general policy, ESHRE will never organize joint Annual Meetings with other Societies. It was also agreed that the meetings will always be held within the boundaries of Europe. Nevertheless, the Executive Committee did not exclude the possible organization of special joint activities such as pre-congress courses, exchange sessions and/or other small focused meetings outside Europe.