It’s Sunday evening. You stand outside the huge building bedecked with ESHRE flags. You pause, take a deep breath, and enter ‘Conference World’. Signs everywhere. An App to get to grips with. And thousands of people. Thousands. For three days.
The ESHRE Meeting has its own unique dynamic and atmosphere. Despite moving around European cities, there is a reassuringly steady rhythm to the Annual Meeting. As we move through the established initial pattern of events; walking in for the first time, waving to friends as we queue for our badge, watching the ‘seniors’ conspicuously greet each other at the front of the hall at the Opening Ceremony, and looking for friends and colleagues at the opening reception, we all become part of it. Part of the biggest conference on reproductive medicine and science in the world.
As we move though from the palpable spring-like energy on Monday, through the high summer of Tuesday, to the autumnal melancholy of the meeting drawing to its Wednesday close, we share a journey. If you just come to listen to the science and meet old and new friends, you will go home tired, probably wiser and hopefully inspired. But decide to become an active member of the society, and the Annual Meeting becomes so much more.
In recent years, the structure of ESHRE has really opened up. Everyone with an interest, energy and wish to contribute can do so. There are many ways, but the core of the society lies in its Special Interest Groups. Find one that addresses your interest. Go to its business meeting. Take the microphone and give your view. Propose a topic for a Campus, offer your candidacy for the coordinating committees. Do so, and a new world opens of friends, colleagues and a real chance to shape the future of your field and your society.
So this year, even if it is your first ESHRE meeting why not do it? Engage.
And who knows, one day you too will be conspicuously greeting your friends in the front row at the Opening Ceremony!
Nick Macklon, Member of the Executive Committee