SGAIM is the acronym of the newly founded “Swiss Society of General Internal Medicine”. which has come into being as the result of a merger of the two former societies “General Internal Medicine” (SGAM) and “Internal Medicine” (SGIM). Bernadette Häfliger Berger, the SGAIM secretary general, explains that the background to the merger lies in the fact that, since 2011, there has only been one title in Switzerland for doctors specialised in this field, namely “general internal medicine”. One of the aims of the merger was to overcome the divergences between the outpatient and the inpatient fields. SGAIM is now the largest specialist medical society in Switzerland, with around 8000 members.
The motto adopted for the SGAIM's first annual general meeting in the Congress Center Basel (CCB) from 25 to 27 May 2016 was a highly appropriate one – "Transitions: embarking on a new era in medicine". In looking back over the event, Bernadette Häfliger finds much to praise: "At somewhat over 2000, the number of participants was higher than last year." And the positive feedback from the SGAIM's secretary general naturally applies to the venue too. "The CCB turned out to be a good place to meet, and working with the organisation was an exceptionally pleasant experience." She continues by praising Basel’s good links with the transport networks and the impressive, modern exhibition site it has to offer with its experienced employees.
Sponsors close to the visitors
The meeting was accompanied by a large, yet compact industrial exhibition held in parallel on an area of more than 1000 square metres. The sponsoring partners were also among the 58 exhibitors and were located in a prominent position close to the visitors. "The SGAIM team were exceedingly pleasant to work with. And particular mention should be made of the extraordinary technical means deployed for putting across the advertising messages, and also the integration and presentation of the sponsors along the escalators and elsewhere. It was easy to appreciate what a huge effort SGAIM had put into making optimum use of the available advertising opportunities”, says Vanessa Nicolosi, the project manager in charge at the CCB, in drawing a positive conclusion.
Despite the digital means of communication now available, Bernadette Häfliger still sees congresses as being indispensable. "Digital webinars are already available today and, with the younger generation, a shift in the contents of congresses seems likely to occur. Congresses cannot, however, be replaced with fully digitised learning aids. They are central networking platforms and serve the purpose of direct, personal exchange", she adds.