4 Tips to Get the Most out of the RSNA 2020 Virtual Program

Reading Time: 8 minutes read

Recommendations from participants to prepare for your next virtual event.

If you are attending the RSNA 2020 virtual meeting and exhibition, your pre-show planning is very different than previous years. No need to book travel or reserve hotel rooms. However, in order to get the most out of RSNA 2020, you still need to do some advance planning.

With RSNA coming up soon, Carestream reached out to imaging professionals who attended the AHRA, ECR and other virtual conferences this year. Also, AHRA was nice enough to share with me the feedback they received on their surveys after their first-ever virtual conference this year.

Read on to learn 4 tips for making RSNA 2020 and other virtual shows more useful and enjoyable. And please leave your suggestions in the comment box below. I’ll “see you” at RSNA 2020!

Tip 1: Attend from a location outside the office

Most attendees responded that it is more difficult to dedicate uninterrupted time to focus on sessions and the exhibit hall when attending virtually. We’ve all received calls from colleagues or had to respond to email during breaks while attending RSNA in Chicago. But the fact that you will still be physically present in your office this year increases the amount of distractions.

Photo of the back of a women's head looking at a computer screen with multiple people on it. An image banner across the photo saying "Tips to get the most out of RSNA 2020".
Virtual conferences are part of the ‘new normal’.

“A big challenge during a virtual show is staying focused with the phone ringing and people knocking on your office door,” said one ECR attendee.

Ryan Garland, System Director Radiology at Edward-Elmhurst Health in Naperville, Illinois, agreed. “I block time, however; I’m still interrupted.”

For this reason, several respondents recommend attending virtual conferences from home rather than the office.

“If it was an onsite meeting my full attention would have been on the meeting,” explained an AHRA participant. “Next time I’ll attend virtually from home.”

Most of the respondents said they blocked out a period each day to dedicate to the virtual events that were most interesting to them. “Time blocking is more effective for me. It has a profoundly bigger impact on my capacity to get things done,” said one respondent.

Tip 2: Do a tech check in advance

Numerous attendees complained of lagging and freezing videos and audio. Take some time before the conference to make sure your connectivity is working at optimum capacity. Here are some of the top suggestions from Allconnect to improve streaming. (1)

  • Test your internet speed.
  • Ask others in the household to avoid unnecessary use of your internet service. (If you have multiple devices connected at once, they need to share the bandwidth.)
  • Move your Wi-Fi hub and router to an optimal location — somewhere central, open and away from obstruction.
  • Use an ethernet cord to connect your router or modem directly to your device

Also, take time before the conference to log in to the RSNA site and explore the navigation and functions available to you.

Photo of mobile imaging machines and detectors.
See the latest innovations in medical imaging in Carestream’s virtual exhibit at RSNA 2020.

Tip 3: Embrace virtual networking

The biggest disappointment about virtual shows by a wide margin is the lack of in-person networking.

These comments from the AHRA survey reflect the sentiments of many others:

“I miss the lack of interaction socially with friends who I have met at other conferences”

“I miss the energy and networking that the in-person meeting provides.”

To help fill the void, an imaging professional from Libya who attended the ECR virtual show has this advice: “Networking is still doable. Be in the moment. Don’t be afraid to attend online social events. Ask questions in the chat and reach out to other participants. Be social; dress the part. Visit the exhibit hall. Pack your schedule. Embrace the awkward!”

Stacy Lewis, Assistant Director of Radiology at Iredell Health System in North Carolina, found that the virtual platform “allowed me to ask questions and participate in a way that I would have never done had we been in person. What started out as an obligation ended up being an experience I will never forget.”

Tip 4: Make a plan for visiting the exhibit hall

A common disappointment voiced about the virtual exhibit halls is the inability to touch, test and interact with equipment. Nonetheless, many attendees took advantage of the opportunity to easily access multiple providers of medical imaging solutions.  

To make the most of his time, Ryan Garland said he prepared in advance a list of exhibitors he wanted to visit.

An ECR attendee said she did the same and kept notes about which suppliers she wanted to follow up with afterward. Because monitor fatigue is bound to set in, another participant recommends making a list of the companies you are most interested in and visit them first. Then use any extra time to visit others.

Quite a few people commented that the best booths had interactive features and videos showing equipment in operation.

Banner of "Visit our virtual hospital" at RSNA 2020.
Be sure to visit our interactive Virtual Hospital!

Others responded that they missed the opportunity to see their suppliers in person. Carestream misses seeing you too! But you can connect with a real person via our live chat in our booth during RSNA. Please visit our booth to see all our new innovations in medical imaging.

Cost and time savings top the list of advantages of virtual shows

Although we all miss seeing each other, there are some advantages to virtual shows; the largest being cost and time savings.

Also, many attendees appreciate the easy access to session; and like that they can attend as many classes as they want and re-watch sessions at their convenience. “I loved that I could have access to the education and CEs from my home,” said one AHRA respondent.

Cynthia Steward, the Women’s Imaging Regional Director at Steward Health Care in Utah, discovered that one of the very best features of virtual conferences “is that you can watch the presentations a second time if you didn’t quite get it all the first time, and you can watch on your own timeline.” Another big plus she noted – “you don’t have to choose between two great presentations offered at the same time.”

Ryan Garland had another positive outcome: “Virtual shows equal convenience – and my feet don’t hurt!”

More tips to get the most out of the RSNA 2020 virtual program

The following quick list of tips comes courtesy of cvent, a leading meetings, events, and hospitality management technology provider. You can read more about each tip in their blog (2).

  • Learn how to use the tool before the conference.
  • Block off your calendar for must-see sessions.
  • Schedule your time based on live and on-demand content.
  • Working from home? Keep your family in the loop.
  • Build in snack and meal breaks.
  • Go old-school and take notes.
  • Attend with other coworkers.
  • Set up appointments and network.
  • Set up time to review and re-watch key sessions.
  • Engage! You’re ready for your next virtual conference.

We hope you’ll join us at RSNA 2020

We invite you to visit our virtual exhibit in the RSNA platform where you will learn about medical imaging innovation that can be life changing. This includes pediatric X-ray and bedside imaging solutions, Carestream’s family of X-ray imaging rooms, our advanced image processing software applications powered, and Carestream’s DRYVIEW Laser Imagers that offer medical printing solutions for the entire imaging chain, from CR and DR to hardcopy output and traditional film and screen products.

You can also take a tour of our interactive virtual hospital and attend our live discussion on Global Healthcare Trends Shaping the Future of Radiology on Dec. 2, 12:00 – 12:45 PM ET.

Plus, be sure to register for our new series of Carestream Talks. These are informative webinars on medical imaging issues that will follow with live Q&A with imaging experts and Carestream management.

Banner for Carestream talks! Registration access included.
Photo of Katie Remis

Katie Kilfoyle Remis is the editor of Everything Rad. She is also Carestream’s Digital Media Manager. Reach her at Katie.Remis@Carestream.com


1 https://www.allconnect.com/blog/how-to-improve-video-streaming-quality 2 https://www.cvent.com/en/blog/events/10-tips-attending-virtual-conference


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.