94th Congress of the European Orthodontic Society (EOS) 
17 – 21 June 2018  |  
2,300 Delegates
Interview with Dr Dirk Bister, EOS President 2018


Could you provide some background to the EOS Congress?
The annual congress is organised by the European Orthodontic Society, a scientific society founded in 1907. The congress aims to educate orthodontists by updating them on the latest technological and scientific developments, relevant to the clinical delivery of orthodontics. The location of the annual conference moves throughout Europe and the European Economic Area and Switzerland.  Each section of the congress has its individual aims and objectives pertaining to various aspects of the speciality being discussed and the main programme is supported by a postgraduate congress for trainees as well as a pre-congress specialist course. 

How would you define a successful EOS Congress?
A successful EOS Congress would be defined as one which has a high number of registered delegates, high participation rates and feedback, high satisfaction scores from delegates as well as the trade show with low number of complaints. This would be further supported by networking opportunities leading to research and teaching collaboration and/or exchange.

Did the 2018 Congress achieve this success? 
The number of participants at EOS 2018 was the highest in recent history (since 2011) and the second highest ever recorded. The responses from attendees were resoundingly positive for both parts of the congress: the scientific part as well as the networking events.

What were the highlights of the conference? 
The scientific programme was varied and robust throughout.  The keynote speakers came from all parts of the world and their contributions were of extremely high standards, with oral presentations and research being exceptionally high quality.  The sponsored lunchtime event was also very well attended unlike past experiences.

The EOS programme was further enhanced by the EICC’s facilities, particularly using the venue in the layout chosen at the time; with the Cromdale Hall being used for the exhibition and the Lennox Suite for the auditorium. Equally the AV was great and worked smoothly without any issues.  There was ample space for plenty of room for the ‘smaller’ events that are associated with the EOSC and we were well looked after at all events. 

The networking events were all well-structured and organised by the Congress Organisers, TFI, and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. All delegates networked in a relaxed ambience with clear future interactions developing for future research and teaching opportunities. To go to the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh for the presidents’ reception was a choice that is difficult (if not impossible) to beat. This venue should become a routinely recommended venue for social/networking functions for events in excess of 2,000 participants.

The Usher Hall was a stunning venue and a very fitting scene setting arena for the congress. The opening ceremony included the Rt Honourable Lord Mayor, Lord Robert Winston and the Red Hot Chilli Pipers! A more formal dinner and reception was also organised on the Royal Yacht when past presidents and keynote speakers were thanked for their work on behalf of the European Orthodontic Society.

Why were Edinburgh and EICC chosen as host city and venue?
The treasurer, honorary secretary of the EOS and myself have a long-standing affinity to Scotland and are linked to the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.  The city of Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, offers a very attractive destination including many tourist attractions; it is a unique window of Scottish hospitality. The EICC was one of the few venues that can host 2000 delegates+ in the UK; when we visited, the Lennox Suite was just being built, but the EICC had such a good reputation that we decided to take the risk and book a venue that had not been finished. This ‘gamble’ certainly paid off! 

Did the 2018 EOS Congress in Edinburgh attract higher attendee numbers than previous years?
Yes, we had over 2,300 delegates which was higher that any recent congress of the EOS, in fact the second highest ever.

Could you describe the working partnership between the EOS and the EICC?
In the early planning stages, EICC hosted a series of PCO interviews, whereby we were introduced to TFI, who we then selected as our PCO for the congress. I don’t think that any other PCO can beat them regarding their support and organisation. 

TFI and EICC worked together seamlessly. The trade set-up went exceptionally well, extremely professional, there were no glitches or complaints as far as I am aware. The EICC staff were all very helpful and friendly, they gave the whole event a very warm and welcoming feel.  Refreshments were of good quality and arrived on time. Delegate direction was superb: the exhibitors were very happy with the level of attendance at their stands which were busy and well visited. Signposting was also great and the whole venue was very clean!

Comment from Billy Fahey, TFI, Partnerships Director:
I can’t thank the EICC team enough for their work with the European Orthodontics Society Congress. From Event Design, to the catering team, the duty managers, and security team. Every team member was an absolute pleasure to deal with, you really have an outstanding team at the EICC.

Over the last year the team has been very responsive and helpful particularly with exhibition floor plans, traffic flows around the EICC, as well as being flexible with get-in and get-out times, and tips on how best to manage all of this.

From my side on sponsorship and exhibition sales everything was excellent.  I have received many comments from exhibitors and sponsors that this was the best EOS congress they have attended. Particularly our lead sponsors were thrilled and a lot of that was down to your assistance in programming extras like the tea and coffee points next to our lead sponsor’s exhibition stand, organising a promotional vehicle front of house as well as a keynote symposium for one of our most important sponsors that with only a 10-minute turnaround was no mean feat to pull off - but resulted in a huge success with 700 in attendance – over double their attendance figures last year.