The meeting was divided into four sessions held over 4 hours. Topics covered included “Colorectal Cancer Screening in a COVID-19 Era,” “Outreach and Increasing Participation in Population-Based Programs,” “Looking Hard for Polyps,” and “Programmatic Issues.” The Global Chair of CRC SC and meeting convener, Professor Evelien Dekker, was very happy with the outcome of this innovative event, regarding both the quality of the talks and interactions and the high number of attendees. She noted: “I was most impressed with how the Q&A feature was embraced, through which attendees were able to ask questions to speakers throughout the entire meeting. Session chairs served as Q&A moderators, enabling highly interactive discussion and exchange of knowledge in real time.” She explained that also, all questions that could not be answered during the meeting due to time constraints were forwarded to the relevant speaker, thus allowing further discussion. Professor Dekker considers this to be highly valuable as virtual meetings are often experienced as passive happenings by the attendee. She went on to say: “I am very pleased that for the entire duration of the meeting, we had an average of 300 attendees taking part, with a total of 400 unique visitors altogether. Attendees, session chairs and speakers, despite living in different time-zones, joined from all over the world, making it a truly international get-together.”

The meeting was also notable for Professor Dekker’s farewell tribute to one of its co-conveners, Professor Ernst Kuipers, who is the outgoing European Co-Chair. Professor Kuipers has been actively involved with the Screening Committee from 2012 to 2020 and with the FIT Expert Working Group from 2015 to 2020. Professor Dekker said: “During Ernst’s involvement with the Committee, participation at European CRC SC meetings grew from around 100 participants per meeting to more than 220, which is a truly wonderful achievement.” Professor Kuipers’ successor is Michal F. Kaminski from Warsaw, Poland, who took on the role as European Chair starting from the October 9 meeting.  

Closing the event together, Evelien Dekker and Michal Kaminski thanked all speakers, chairs and attendees and expressed their gratitude at being able to host a virtual CRC SC meeting in these difficult times. Evelien Dekker´s only regret though: “I would have really enjoyed seeing you all in person and much look forward to the days when this will be possible again.”

Recordings of the meeting will be made available online in due course.

Professor Evelien Dekker welcomes attendees to the first WEO CRC SC virtual meeting
Participation with voting during Raf Bisschop’s talk