by Prof. Andrew Mok
The 2013 ASRM Annual Clinical Meeting was held in Boston, Mass. on Oct. 12 to Oct. 17. As usual, GCARM tagged along and held several functions in conjunction with ASRM and ASRM ChSIG. Here is a summary:
1) Global Innovation in Fertility Treatment (GIIFT) was held on Oct. 13, at the Boston Marriott Copley Place, Provincetown Room.
2) ASRM ChSIG Board meeting & GCARM Board meeting was held on Oct. 14, at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Centre
3) GCARM Annual Dinner was held on Oct. 15 at the Boston Marriott Copley Place, Salon B,C,D.
This conference is the second GIIFT session held this year. The first, organized by Professor S.L. Tan, was held in London during the ESHRE Annual Meeting,. This Boston GIIFT is the first one organized by GCARM, still under the leadership of Professor Tan and assisted by Professor Andrew Mok. It has been decided, with appropriate sponsorship from industry, this conference can be held twice per year, overseen and organized by GCARM, once during the ESHRE conference and once during ASRM conference. The 2013 GIIFT held in Boston was generously support by Vitrolife. Within a matter of weeks, all the speakers were arranged, the venue secured and the financial support confirmed.
It was an afternoon session, starting at 13h00, in the Provincetown Room at the Boston Marriott Copley Place. The set-up was perfect, with a podium fitted with microphone, a remote microphone for the audience, a large screen for projection and a perfect PA system. There were more than 12 presentations from speakers around the world. Many new ideas were presented and the quality of the presentation was top notch. Vitrolife was generous enough to ask Marriott to provide finger food for the audience as an added extra. This final touch besides the usual coffee and tea was much appreciated. The room was packed to capacity and I believe there were more than 70 attendees as we initially limited this number to 70.
The kind of small conference sessions being so successful, GCARM is going to continue to use this format for the next while during ESHRE and ASRM meetings.
ASRM ChSIG Board Meeting and AGM
As always, only a handful of people showed up for the Board meeting and the Annual General Meeting. Part of the reason is that this meeting conflicts with other ASRM activities. Another part was that ASRM advertized this meeting with small print in the vast general program. There was not enough attention generated by the announcement.
I defer report of this meeting to the excellent minutes which will be presented by the recording secretary.
GCARM Annual Dinner and Keynote Scientific Presentation
Our Annual Dinner was finally engaged at the Boston Marriott Copley Place. This year’s Annual Dinner organizing committee was composed of Dr. Haiyin Chen, Dr. Caiyun Liao, Dr. Wenling Zhang and Dr. Andrew Mok. The committee searched high and low for a suitable venue for quite a long while. Boston is an expensive city. Finding a restaurant big enough to accommodate up to 100 participants and quiet enough as well as offers the equipments and facilities to allow a scientific presentation without interruption is quite a challenge, not even talking about the economic concern for our GCARM purse. After negotiating with Boston Fairmont Hotel, the Harvard Club and the Empire Restaurant, the committee finally decided on the Boston Marriott. Our requirements, in addition to those already mentioned, must be within easy reach of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Centre where all the activities take place. Attendees are not going to take cab rides to come to our meeting if the location is not convenient. Boston Marriott at Copley Place was very helpful and accommodating with a lot of our requests. For example, they waived the room charge for Salon B, C, D and this represented a saving of over $1000. They also gave us a big discount on the dinner menu. Even with deep discounts, they did not falter on the quality of food, the caliber of the service and the promptness and attention of the servers. The afterthought is that the committee made and excellent choice.
We are very lucky this year that Smith Medical and Vitrolife were again able to support our function. With their generous support, we were able to break even on the expenses. We are even luckier this year as Vitrolife was able to secure an excellent speaker for us, speaking on a very timely subject:
“Optimizing Implantation Rates for Frozen and Fresh Blastocysts — A laboratory Perspective” by Dr. Marius Meintjes. Dr. Meintjes (pronounce as Main-Keys) is a well respected professional in laboratory quality control as well as an eminent scientist. He delivered a most exciting and entertaining talk. The audience was all mesmerized by his charm and the information and data he presented.
The evening started with a No-Host reception. Andrew Mok made a PowerPoint presentation for the evening and briefly introduced all the Officers of GCARM and ASRM ChSIG. Professor Qiao Jie, as the President of ASRM’s Chinese Special Interest Group welcomed the audience and acknowledged the generous support of Smith Medical and Vitrolife. Dinner was served promptly and the smoke chicken plate was done to perfection. The evidence was that everyone emptied their plate! While dessert was on the table, Dr. Meintjes presented his talk and there was plenty of audience participation at the end.
Our Special Awards presentation followed. Winners of this year’s Special Awards were Professor Qiao Jie for the Life Time Achievement Award and Professor Yulian Zhao for the Distinguished Service Award. Professor Seang Lin Tan introduced Professor Qiao and presented her with the Plaque and Certificate. Professor Frank Yelian did the same for Professor Zhao.
At the end of the Special Awards ceremony, Andrew thanked our most diligent secretaries: Dr. Wenling Zhang and Dr. Caiyun Liao. Both worked extremely hard for GCARM and we owe our existence party to them. Three volunteers that night also deserved special mention: Dr. Yu Liang, Dr. Li Fang and Ms Alice Wong-Mok. They all worked hard at the reception desk.
After thanking the Organizing Committee for doing a great job, Andrew adjourned the evening till next year but not before a group photo was taken.
Here is attached: Please click the picture to view.
Nov. 9, 2013 Montreal