Chicago, here comes the AAOS!
By Richard F. Kyle, MD
Chicago has been selected to host the premier educational event in orthopaedics—the AAOS 2006 Annual Meeting. As an Academy member, you’ll find exciting new opportunities awaiting you in the nation’s largest Midwestern city.
Although the devastation caused by Katrina forced the AAOS to cancel our annual meeting in New Orleans, AAOS staff—including Chief Executive Officer Karen L. Hackett, FACHE, CAE, and Susan McSorley, director of convention and meeting services—and the Annual Meeting Committee headed by Colin F. Moseley, MD, swung into action immediately looking for an alternate location.
The McCormick Place Convention Center (lower left) on Chicago’s lakefront, is the site of the 2006 Annual Meeting, March 22-26, 2006. Dedicated shuttle buses between downtown hotels and the center provide rapid, hassle-free transport.
Changing venues for a meeting that hosts 30,000 participants is an enormous task. In addition, the AAOS Annual Meeting showcases the world’s largest display of orthopaedic educational programming and exhibits.The team had to ensure that the new location offered sufficient housing, adequate meeting space, ease of transportation and an enjoyable social atmosphere for all.
In addition, the team was challenged with making it all happen in just six months. Staff rapidly negotiated costs and outlined pros and cons for each venue so that a rapid decision could be made.
While the team considered several options, Chicago put together the best plan to accommodate the AAOS Annual Meeting in March 2006. In addition to offering a premier convention center, large enough to accommodate the entire meeting, Chicago presented the most comprehensive and reasonable financial package.
Best of all, for every room used by the AAOS, the Chicago hospitality community is earmarking $10 per room night for a fund to help hospitality workers in New Orleans. This provides attendees with a double benefit: You can enjoy the world’s largest orthopaedic educational event and contribute to the rebuilding of New Orleans at the same time.
The educational program will be bigger and better than ever with more than 35 comprehensive symposia, 180 Instructional Course Lectures and more than 1,000 paper and poster presentations. The exhibit hall will provide ample space for exhibitors as well as seating for several restaurant areas. Specialty Day, with its focus on orthopaedic specialty societies, will remain one of the crown jewels of the Annual Meeting for members with specialty interests. Also, our critical link to the Orthopaedic Research Society and the early combined programming will be maintained in Chicago at McCormick Place.
The “Windy City?”
Local lore says that Chicago got the nickname “The Windy City” because of its long-winded politicians, not lakefront breezes. Granted, Chicago in March may not be as warm as New Orleans in March, but there’s no reason to fear the weather.
Quick and efficient transportation systems between hotels and McCormick Place are available through the AAOS official shuttle bus, plentiful taxicabs, and the Chicago Transit and Metra public transportation systems. The major road to McCormick Place has a dedicated busway for the AAOS shuttle buses only. This allows the buses for convention attendees to bypass local traffic and reduces travel times between hotels and the convention center.
Tracking for subspecialty interests is available to ensure that everyone has a focused and productive meeting. The AAOS is also partnering with the Arthroscopy Association of North America in a joint venture to provide hands-on surgical education on the latest arthroscopic shoulder procedures at the Orthopaedic Learning Center in Rosemont, Ill. This exciting opportunity will occur on Sunday, March 26, and will be open to member and non-member orthopaedic surgeons.
The sights, sounds and tastes of Chicago are unparalleled. The city provides an excellent social experience by virtue of its art and architecture, its museums and neighborhoods, and its sports teams. Take advantage of them all.
Chicago is more than Carl Sandburg’s “City of Big Shoulders;” it is a city of open arms to the AAOS. I am truly excited that the 52nd Annual Orthopaedic Research Society Meeting and the 73rd Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons will be held there. See you in Chicago.
Richard F. Kyle, MD, is AAOS first vice president. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org