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International Director of Meetings Report

Richard Holmes

Annual Congress Planning Update
The year July 2006 to June 2007 has been an extremely busy year for the IDM Office, with the successful organization of four regional congresses in 2006: the 7th European Congress on Epileptology which was held in Helsinki in July 2006; the 4th Latin American Epilepsy Congress which took place in Guatemala in September 2006; the 6th Asian and Oceanian Epilepsy Congress which was held in Kuala Lumpur in November 2006 and the 1st East Mediterranean Epilepsy Congress which took place in February 2007. The IDM Office also undertook substantial planning and preparation for the International Epilepsy Congress which took place in Singapore in July 2007 and six regional congresses which will be held in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

The 7th European Congress on Epileptology was held in Helsinki, Finland from 2 to 6 July 2006. Over 3,500 delegates attended the meeting, which was deemed a great success both from a scientific and organizational point of view. Reetta Kalvianen and the Scientific Advisory Committee worked closely with members of the IDM team on the programming and scheduling for the event, which featured a comprehensive program of main sessions, discussion groups and teaching sessions along with various special symposia. Session topics included were “The Finnish Epileptology Symposium on Unverricht-Lundborg Disease: In Finland and Elsewhere,” and “The Orphan Drug Symposium.”

Following the congress, the St Petersburg Post Congress Satellite Symposium was held on 7 and 8 July 2006, organised by Alla Guekht, the chair of the European Advisory Council and the Commission on European Affairs and assisted by the IDM Office. This initiative attracted over 400 delegates from the region and throughout Europe.

The 10th European Congress on Epilepsy and Society for the International Bureau of Epilepsy ran 2 to 4 August 2006 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The theme of the conference was “A Better Quality of Life for Persons with Epilepsy.” There were a series of presentations and discussion groups covering topics such as ‘Epilepsy and Sexuality,’ ‘Morale Raising,’ ‘Fundraising and Campaigning’ and ‘SUDEP.’ Over 300 delegates attended the conference, a significant increase in the numbers from the last ECES in 2004.

The 4th Latin American Epilepsy Congress took place in Guatemala City, Guatemala from 6 to 9 September 2006. Over 300 delegates attended the meeting which was well received and highly praised by all those who attended it. The IDM office worked closely with Carlos Acevedo, Juvenal Gutierrez, Henry Stokes and the Scientific Advisory Committee on the programming and scheduling for the event which featured a comprehensive program of Main Sessions, Discussion Groups and Teaching Sessions. A number of pre-congress activities took place on 6 September, including a Neurobiology Course (co-ordinated by Esper Cavalheiro), a Program for People with Epilepsy (coordinated by Henry Stokes) and a Clinical Case Studies session (coordinated by Marco Tulio Medina and Alejandro Scaramelli).

The 6th Asian and Oceanian Epilepsy Congress ran from 16 to 19 November 2006 in the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center in Malaysia having been postponed from May 2006 due to the tragic events of October 2005 in Bali. It was attended by almost 1,600 delegates, representing 48 countries. The congress was a resounding success due to several factors, including the high standard of the Scientific Program, which had a widespread selection of speakers from throughout Asia and Oceania; the venue which was first class and had state-of-the-art facilities; a high standard of catering and excellent service and the central location of Kuala Lumpur within Asia and the ease of access. Members of the IDM team worked closely with Professor CT Tan, Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee.

As well as nine parallel sessions and six workshops, there was a range of didactic lectures from leading authorities worldwide, organized by the Asian Epilepsy Academy (ASEPA) and these were extremely well-attended.

The 1st East Mediterranean Epilepsy Congress was held in central Luxor from 21 to 24 February 2007, in the Nile Palace (Le Meridien) Hotel, situated on the East side of the Nile in Luxor, Egypt and was attended by 480 delegates. The IDM office worked very closely with Dr Hassan Hosny, Chairman of the CEMA, regarding the logistics and organization of the congress and, in particular, the Scientific Program, which included nine Main Sessions and five satellite symposia.

Plans are well underway for the 27th International Epilepsy Congress 2007 which will take place in Singapore from 8 to 12 July and will be held at the International Convention and Exhibition Center in Suntec City, which is a self-contained, state-of-the-art facility. The seven main topics in the Scientific Program were selected by the Joint Executive Committees of the ILAE and IBE chapters around the world. Subjects chosen include “Issues in Developing Countries,” “Stigma and Quality of Life,” and “Epidemiology and Prognosis,” among others. More than 800 abstracts were submitted via the online system. An ASEPA teaching course will take place on Saturday, 7 July and a combination of Eurepa Seminars, Main Sessions and Satellite Symposia will take place over the course of the congress. The IDM team would like to record its thanks to Professor Shui Hui Lim, Co-Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee for his tremendous support and help throughout the planning of this meeting and Professor Peter Wolf and Mr Mike Glynn for their advice and guidance during preparations.

Much preparation and planning has been undertaken for the 8th European Congress on Epileptology which will be held in Berlin, Germany 21to 25 September 2008 under the auspices of the German and Israeli chapters. The congress will take place at the Berlin ICC. For further information and details of the scientific program, please see the Congress Web site, at www.epilepsyberlin2008.org. A Michael Prize winners meeting will take place in conjunction with the Berlin meeting.

The 7th Asian & Oceanian Epilepsy Congress will take place in Xiamen, China from 15 to 18 May, 2008 and much preparatory work has already been undertaken. The congress is expected to be very well attended and further details will be available shortly on the Congress Web site.

The IDM office is currently preparing for the 11th European Conference on Epilepsy and Society which will be held in Marseilles, France from 15 to 17 October 2008. The program has yet to be announced but details will be made available soon.

Preparations are well underway for the 5th Latin American Epilepsy Congress that will take place in Montevideo, Uruguay 5-8 November, 2008. The congress Web site will be launched shortly and scientific program information will be included as it becomes available.

Arrangements are currently being made for the 28th International Epilepsy Congress which will be held in Budapest, Hungary from 8 June to 2 July 2009.



The 10th European Congress on Epileptology will take place in Rhodes in Greece at the end of June 2010.

Richard Holmes
International Director of Meetings


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