Ask the Experts: Our Conversation with ePoster Pro Rachel Gutterman of the ASA

The American Society of Anesthesiology (ASA) is a leading medical organization that hosts one of the largest annual scientific conferences worldwide. The ASA is an exceptional organization that provides “outstanding education, research and scientific knowledge to physician anesthesiologists and care team members.”

ePostersLive is lucky to have a long-standing relationship with the ASA. For over a decade we have provided e poster software and services for their annual conference, at which over 3,000 posters are presented each year, over the course of just a few days.

The conference has four different and simultaneous modes of poster presentation: eAbstracts on demand, eAbstract virtual presentations, virtual oral sessions, and time-scheduled MCCs (Medically Challenging cases) and Quality Improvement Project posters. Each year ePostersLive offers in-person and remote support as presenters enjoy electronic poster viewing and more recent features like the Oral/Slide Presentations.

Photo from ASA 2021

Photo from ASA 2021

We feel blessed for the opportunity to work with the incredible team at the ASA and celebrate over 10 years of successful collaboration. Through the ASA’s program, both their poster events and our technology have evolved over the years to provide a one-of-a-kind experience that stands out, even for the most seasoned of medical conference attendees.

Our years-long partnership with the ASA has been a highlight in SciGen company history. We truly love working with ASA staff to make their poster meetings successful year after year. For this week’s blog post, we got to speak with the ASA’s amazing Rachel Gutterman, who gave us her professional and experienced take on organizing a major poster event.

Read our conversation below to hear her insights.

Hi Rachel! What is your position at the ASA? How long have you worked there?

I am the Senior Education Programs Specialist focusing on various aspects of the ASA Annual Meeting and ADVANCE (Practice Management) Event. Specifically, I work with our committees to develop the scientific abstract, medically challenging case, and quality improvement programs. I have been in this position with ASA for almost 8 years.

The ASA has been working with SciGen for over a decade. How have we helped you initially launch, and develop your poster program over the years?

ASA and SciGen began our partnership in 2012 when a portion of the scientific abstracts were selected for a pilot ePoster session. Because of its success, ASA converted all poster sessions to electronic poster sessions overseen by the SciGen team. In subsequent years, ASA added Abstract Group Discussion sessions and Young Investigator sessions, which were a hybrid of electronic poster and slide presentation sessions to the program. ASA also launched the Medically Challenging Case electronic poster program and in more recent years added the Global Scholars and Quality Improvement Project ePoster programs. SciGen has developed new technologies that ASA is fortunate to utilize, including a robust ePoster OnDemand system which allows attendees to view the electronic poster presentations prior to, during, and even after the meetings. SciGen has always ensured the success of all of ASA’s electronic poster programs and since 2020 has taken on the management of the now virtual scientific oral/slide session program. SciGen has offered new tools and avenues of presentation for ASA’s poster and oral/slide presenters and we are excited to see how the programs will grow with SciGen’s ever-evolving technological offerings.

Photo from ASA 2021

Photo from ASA 2021

How did the pandemic affect your event, specifically your education program? Has SciGen been of any help for your virtual or hybrid meetings?

In 2020 the ASA pivoted from a full in-person meeting to a 100% virtual event. SciGen was instrumental in making sure that our ePoster program at the time (we have since added to the number of virtual sessions in subsequent years because of the success of these virtual sessions) was successful. The SciGen team not only offered customer service to address presenters’ immediate needs and questions 24/7, but they collected presentations from all ePoster presenters and reorganized the ePoster OnDemand platform to meet the needs of a new, virtual audience. The platform was easy to navigate and contained presentations and posters for all scientific abstract, Medically Challenging Case and Quality Improvement posters. SciGen also developed a platform that was used to foster discussion and Q&A among the presenters and attendees. This was vital as networking is of the upmost importance to our audience and members. Because of the success of the virtual scientific program, in 2021 and now in 2022 the ASA Committee on Scientific Oversight has decided to keep the scientific abstract program virtual. SciGen now also manages the scientific oral/slide sessions as well. Attendees and presenters have always complimented how well these sessions are managed and delivered by the SciGen team!

Can you tell us a few things about your oral abstract presentations?

The oral abstract presentations are one-hour sessions with around 4-6 abstracts presented in slide format with a few minutes of question and answer following each presentation. They consist of the top scoring abstracts and prior to 2020 they were presented all on-site at the ASA Annual Meeting. From 2020 until the present, they have been presented virtually via Zoom Webinar. In 2021 and now in 2022, they will be hosted and managed by SciGen. The SciGen team collects video recordings of the presentations prior to the meeting and then plays those recordings during the session. There is still a live Q&A portion with the attendees and the presenters in each session. Additionally, SciGen holds multiple training sessions with presenters and moderators prior to the session to ensure that it runs smoothly.

For ASA’s poster events, SciGen has provided both local and remote support. How satisfied are you with your cooperation with us and the ePostersLive platform overall?

ASA Staff that have worked with SciGen (directly and indirectly) always agree that SciGen is one of the best vendors we have ever worked with! We cannot express our gratitude enough to the SciGen team onsite and remote who work tirelessly before, during and after the meeting to make sure that the ePoster program (and now the oral session program) are successful and run smoothly. We have never had any issue with the support that SciGen provides and appreciate the proactive approach that all SciGen staff take when working with our attendees and presenters. SciGen has always gone above and beyond too. Each year, a moderator might be late or not show up to a session, and SciGen will step in to assist in making sure the session runs smoothly anyway. They always alert ASA Staff to any issue that might arise and oftentimes they troubleshoot or solve the issue before the attendees even know there may have been a problem to begin with.

Photo from ASA 2021

Photo from ASA 2021

What is your favorite part of organizing an eposter program?

My favorite part is working with SciGen onsite and watching the ePoster sessions live. I do love organizing all the presentations, but I can’t express my satisfaction and gratitude enough to the SciGen Staff for all they do! Everyone is such a pleasure to work with and I have even become friends with many members of the SciGen team. I love being on site to see all of our efforts come to fruition and see smiles on the faces of presenters and attendees as they network and interact.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone organizing an event with eposters?

Definitely hire SciGen Technologies!! When I am asked about our ePoster program by other societies, I say that working with SciGen is the key to success. Our program would not be what it is and so well attended and received by our membership if it weren’t for the technology and customer service that SciGen provides.

Feel more than welcome to share any other information or comments.

ASA (and specifically I) cannot thank you, SciGen team, enough for your partnership over the past 10 years. It has been my pleasure to work with such talented and friendly people. I cannot imagine what our ePoster program would look like without you and we are truly thankful to SciGen for keeping the technology fresh, innovative, and easy to use. Thank you!

The SciGen team thanks Rachel for her time and really generous words–it’s a pleasure working with you, too! Have more questions for us or Rachel, or want to let us know your thoughts? Contact us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @ePostersLive, or email us at [email protected].