Every year I look forward to going to the AADE Annual Meeting and have made it to seven so far! But last year, I was about 8 months pregnant and decided it would be a little challenging to attend and be several states away from my doctor. For this year, my husband and I debated for several weeks if we could pull off bringing our 10 month old son to Vegas and use it as our first family vacation. When I mentioned this to friends, they looked at me like I was crazy, and I began to realize it probably was not the best idea.
I was so happy to learn that for the first time, I had the option to ‘virtually’ attend the Annual Meeting from the comfort of my home! Yay! My dilemma was solved! I knew I would miss out on all of the fun networking opportunities the conference has to offer, but I could still get a few units of continuing education and hear about some of the advances in diabetes over the past year through the virtual meeting.
Wednesday night after putting my baby to bed, I changed into my comfy clothes and logged into the AADE 11 Virtual Meeting. On the home page is a video from last year’s Annual Meeting and I began to wish I was there this year. The sessions, networking, exhibit hall and special events are always so much fun!! I quickly saw the breakout presentations that were ‘on demand’ and it had a button to view now. The general session from that day was not available yet, but it would be posted on Thursday.
There was even an “Exhibit Hall” that featured Abbott Nutrition Health Institute as well as features of the AADE booth. And, there's a message center that has an Attendee Guide file that helped you navigate the Virtual Meeting. The “Lounge” is a chat room where you can post questions and have discussions. Several people posted questions about the continuing education credits and how the Virtual Meeting worked. As the week went on, their questions were answered and I could follow the discussions.
I clicked on my first breakout session titled, “Understanding Vitamin D Deficiency in Diabetes” and it quickly started playing. I was excited that it worked! Although, I was a little disappointed that I couldn't see the actual presenter. The video included slides that were cued to a audio recording of the presentation. Maybe next year there will be video of the presentation, but this way was easy and gave me the information I needed.
The handouts from the session weren't immediately posted on the website, but they were posted the next day. I will most likely go back and watch the presentation again with the handouts in front of me to get the most out of it. With it being the first Virtual Meeting, it is natural that there will be a few kinks the first year.
Friday, I watched the archived General Session from Wednesday. This experience was great and I felt like I was there at the session. It started at the beginning of the meeting and you were able to see all the presenters, announcements, special videos, etc--- just like you were there!
I’d love to hear your experience and first impression of the AADE 11 Virtual Meeting! I’ll be sharing more of my thoughts on the virtual meeting with a couple more posts.