"A warm welcome to the very first European Stroke Organisation (ESO) conference."
These words, straight from the podium, were part of the welcome address at the inaugural ESO conference in Glasgow, Scotland, April 17-19, 2015. This event was the ESO’s first historic meeting of patients, clinicians, scientists, researchers and other health care professionals.
This event set the stage for the future of Europe’s highest quality scientific programme across a range of stroke specialities, all aimed at reducing the incidence and impact of stroke in Europe by changing the ways that stroke is viewed and treated.
The European Stroke Organisation (ESO) is a Paneuropean society of stroke researchers, national and regional stroke societies and lay people organisations that was founded in December 2007. It was formed as a merger of two previous stroke related associations, the European Stroke Council (ESC) and the European Stroke Initiative (EUSI) to harmonise stroke management in Europe.
The Challenge of Change
During the advanced planning stages of ESO 2015, the organisation had a falling out with their partner association with whom they shared the 2015 conference. As a result, ESO voted unanimously to act independently and initiate their conference. They set out to establish a conference in direct competition, at short notice and with a less attractive venue in terms of weather and viable transportation. All this without sufficient financing, very little reserves nor a substantial annual profit from two decades of conferences to call upon. And of course, very limited time to take action.
Seeking ‘High’ Quality in the ‘High’ Lands
ESO needed a partner to help develop and implement this new conference concept with a fast turnaround to host global delegates in Glasgow just months away. ESO partnered to Kenes, renowned for their ability support and manage meetings from the get-go through onsite administration until the last delegate has left the venue. The entire congress was initiated, organised and skillfully managed by Kenes and ESO 2015 yielded overwhelming results.
Hosted at the SECC in Glasgow, the conference welcomed over 2,600 delegates, far above the expectations of the ESO. “We anxiously await ESO 2016,” comments Kennedy Lees, ESO President. “From our high-level scientific programme to the quality and scope of the onsite technologies and overall administration, the conference was truly flawless. ESO 2015 is a testament to the professionalism of our organisation and we could not have achieved any of this without the strong support, partnership and trust of the Kenes team.”