Continuing medical education and continuing professional development have been affected by the ongoing 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Therefore, we developed the 2020 International Web-Based Neurosurgery Congress (2020 IWBNC), which became the first successful virtual neurosurgical congress. The aim of this article was to describe the experience designing and organizing a web congress by the 2020 IWBNC method.
The 2020 IWBNC was organized by the Center for Research and Training in Neurosurgery (Centro de Investigación y Entrenamiento en Neurocirugía [CIEN]) in a record time of 4 weeks. Eight committees were created and assigned a specific task. The event followed a strict protocol based on the double-room method, which consisted of 2 virtual rooms (A and B) hosted from 4 different physical locations to avoid lecture overlapping and connection drops. Quality and impact were measured by a videoconferencing platform and social media parameters as well as an audience perception survey.
High quality was achieved in academic standards, worldwide assistance, schedule adherence, and security. The 2020 IWBNC hosted 25 internationally renowned speakers and offered 30 top-of-the-line multidisciplinary conferences. There were 3096 participants from 125 countries, and 22,266 live-stream views were registered. No technical or cybersecurity-related issues occurred.
Web-based academic meetings will continue to be a helpful educational tool for continuing medical education and continuing professional development. The 2020 IWBNC double-room method represents an alternative design that may be replicated by the academic community planning web congresses and similar events.