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LIVE FROM RSNA: Attendance Numbers Hold Steady, But Foot Traffic Appears Light

December 2, 2013
by Mark Hagland
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On Monday morning, December 2, the first weekday of RSNA 2013, sponsored by the Radiological Society of North America, and held, as always, at the vast McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago, the first week after Thanksgiving, attendance figures held steady this year compared to 2012, though last year’s attendance figures were down from 2011.

As of Monday morning, the 99th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, still the largest annual medical meeting in the world, total attendance figures were calculated at 48,991, compared to 48,925 in 2012. That 2012 figure was down considerably from the 58,000 attendance in 2011. Last year, RSNA management blamed the ongoing recession in Europe as a factor in lowered attendance

, and a spokesperson had cited considerably lowered attendance on the part of radiologists and radiological professionals from Greece, Spain, and Italy, in particular, as a factor.

Meanwhile, the number of exhibitors this year is down 2 percent from last year, at 20,214 compared to 19,883, while the number of professional attendees is actually up 2 percent, at 24,383 compared to 23,810. And the foot traffic at 9 AM local time on Monday appeared relatively light.

While 48,991 is still quite a high level of attendance in the context of medical and healthcare meetings globally, it is quite a bit lower than the 60,000-plus levels of years past at RSNA, which draws radiologists, operational managers, imaging informatics professionals, and other related professionals, from dozens of countries all over the world.

On Sunday, Sarah S. Donaldson, M.D., RSNA’s president, told her keynote audience that “It’s my vision to have partnerships internally with other radiologists, externally with our colleagues outside of radiology and jointly with our patients, who are most important partners.” In her keynote address, as reported by the RSNA 2013 Daily Bulletin, Dr. Donaldson said of the current healthcare reform-driven radiology practice environment, “It’s a time that requires us to focus on producing value not volume, and outcomes, not output.”