With a new livestream option at its annual conference, the American Brain Tumor Association is making sure people can access the information they need.
In order to make information from its in-person national conference more accessible to those whose health or finances prevent them from traveling, the American Brain Tumor Association is introducing a livestream feature for the first time.
Individuals who register for the livestream option will receive a link to view three of the first-day panel sessions of the ABTA Patient and Family Conference, scheduled for August 4-5 in Rosemont, Illinois. Viewers will also be able to submit questions via the virtual meeting’s chat feature or by emailing the ABTA team.
“We recognize there are some barriers to attending the meeting,” Director of Programs and Outreach Leticia J. Kees said. “This is one more strategic way that the ABTA is trying to make information accessible to people at any point of the brain tumor journey.”
The livestream is part of ABTA’s accessibility strategy that also includes local in-person meetings held across the U.S., free monthly webinars, and scholarships to cover the registration fee—now for both in-person and livestream programs. The livestream option is especially important as the conference gains more international recognition.
“In the past you were either able to attend or you completely missed out, and so this is our attempt to broaden the reach and make the information more accessible to people across the world,” Kees said.
Those who want to view the livestream, a recording of which will also be made available after the meeting, will have to pay a $30 registration fee. “The decision was made that there should be a cost associated with the streaming feature, because if people decide they could have waited until the streaming went live as opposed to be in-person, then we were concerned that folks might not be in the seats,” Kees said.
And to ensure a high-quality stream, ABTA is using a meeting production company. Postconference, staff will analyze the cost benefit and ROI of the production, as well as review the decision to charge registrants and consider ways to ensure the in-person meeting retains its unique value.
Though people using the livestream will miss out on the second-day sessions and onsite peer-to-peer networking, Kees said the stream could act as an initial introduction to the meeting. “If this introduction of the livestreaming is a hook to people or appeals to people and then engages them so they want to attend the next meeting, then that will be certainly a benefit for us that we will be able to capture later on,” she said.
The three livestreamed sessions will cover “Science and Survivorship,” “Technology, Clinical Innovations, and Survivorship,” and “Targeted Therapies.”
“Every year, we make extraordinary efforts to bring the best and brightest minds dedicated to brain tumor research, treatment, and care to Chicago, and this year, we are excited to make our dynamic program and speakers accessible to a worldwide audience with a livestreaming option,” President and CEO Elizabeth M. Wilson said in a press release. “While the livestream audience will not be able to participate in the networking opportunities our onsite brain tumor patients and caregivers have always valued, livestreaming does enable us to give more people in more places access to these renowned experts and the empowering information they provide.”