5th G2MC Conference Update: Moving Forward Virtually

March 29, 2020

In recent months, the global effort to treat and stop the spread of the novel coronavirus has left individuals, communities and countries facing unforeseen hardships and forced to adjust to an alternate way of life. While the pandemic has caused the cancellation of conferences and gatherings for organizations across the world, many are implementing innovative and successful virtual meetings as an alternative. G2MC is following suit, adapting the 5th Global Genomic Medicine Collaborative Conference, originally scheduled to take place May 6 – 8 in Santiago, Chile, to occur as an abbreviated virtual meeting during the originally planned dates, with the intention of scheduling the face-to-face meeting at a later date. The planning committee is continuing to convene and is enthusiastic about putting together a meaningful, informative and interactive virtual experience. Be on the lookout for email communications and regularly check our event webpage for updates, as details of the conference are still being worked out. We hope the information from the planning committee below will answer some initial questions. 

When will the virtual conference and the face-to-face portion of the conference take place?

The virtual conference will take place on May 7-8. The exact times have not been finalized, but the format will be a two-day meeting with 4-5 hours each day over a staggered timeframe so we can ensure widespread participation across time zones. The sessions will also be recorded. Additionally, we are planning to hold working group and flagship project group virtual breakout sessions on May 6.

As for the face-to-face portion of the conference, given the current uncertainties, the planning committee feels that it is best to hold off on making any decisions at this time for the future date. We do anticipate that the location will remain in Santiago, Chile, and local holidays and events will be taken into consideration when selecting a new date.    

What will be the format of the virtual conference and what content will be presented?

The virtual conference will be hosted over the remote conferencing platform, Zoom, which can host a large number of participants and will allow for a high level of interaction, including moderated Q&A and live polling.

Each day of the virtual conference will include a selection of sessions, including keynote sessions, that were originally scheduled for the in-person meeting, along with moderated panel discussions for each session. The planning committee is working with speakers to determine which sessions can be best converted to a meaningful and interactive online format. Working group report-outs will also be included as part of the virtual sessions, as well as a timeslot for conclusions and closing remarks. 

Will the Young Investigators Forum still take place?

The planning committee is pleased to share that 51 abstract submissions were received from Young Investigators spanning 18 countries. Of the submissions, 10 were chosen for podium presentations, with the remainder selected for flash talks or posters. The podium presentations will be reserved for the postponed face-to-face meeting; however, we are excited to provide an online platform for all Young Investigators to share their abstracts and upload videos of their flash talks in a format that will allow others to post comments and ask questions. More information, including the link to access this content, will be shared once available.  

Will the Genomic Medicine Bootcamp be rescheduled?

The planning committee feels that the Genomic Medicine Bootcamp, originally scheduled for May 9 in Santiago, can have equally impactful outcomes if held in a virtual setting. The Education Working Group is working on the details of moving the bootcamp to an online format and a date and time will be shared as soon as that information becomes available. 

Do I need to register for the virtual conference?

All registrations were canceled for those who signed up to attend the conference in Santiago. We will post a new registration link for the virtual conference on the event webpage within the next week. Anyone who plans to attend the virtual conference should register through this link once it’s made available.

 

In the wake of this ongoing crisis, we would like to take a moment to thank our members for your support and commitment to the G2MC organization. We would also like to thank those of you who are serving your communities and working on the frontlines to overcome this pandemic. Amidst the chaos, we have witnessed acts of kindness, compassion, and offers of support and encouragement amongst our neighbors and across the globe. We wish you and your families health and safety during this time and look forward to when we are able to come together in-person.