IBTN 2016 Conference Highlights

RESOUNDING SUCCESS FOR THE IBTN’S INAUGURAL CONFERENCE

The 2016 IBTN Conference proved to be a stellar start to a long-standing project of exchange, learning, and knowledge sharing. Attendees reported that the event offered a multitude of networking opportunities with a wide variety of researchers. The conference’s organization allowed attendees to enjoy their time in the city, as well have the time to reflect on the materials and themes presented, and to acquire concrete tools useful to their research. Its intimate nature was well-appreciated, offering attendees the chance to speak directly with speakers and network with one another in a classy and collegial setting.

 

IBTN 2016 Conference Attendees
Geographical distribution of IBTN 2016 Conference delegates

TRULY INTERNATIONAL

A key factor in the success of the conference was the volume of attendees and the discussions and interaction during the conference (and especially during the conference dinner!). The three-day event welcomed over 100 registered attendees, including a mix of students (undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral), researchers, clinicians, researchers from industry, and conference partners and sponsors. Our attendees came from all over the world, including a range of locations across Canada and the US, and Europe, including the UK, Ireland and France. We even had an attendee from Australia – our conference had a truly international feel!

Two conference goers discussing a poster presentation during the conference's cocktail event on Thursday, May 19
Two conference goers discussing a poster presentation during the conference’s cocktail event on Thursday, May 19

COLLEGIAL AND INFORMATIVE

The conference kicked off with an opening reception on Thursday evening, which featured both a cocktail reception and our poster session. Over 30 high-quality posters were presented, featuring a range of excellent studies and methodological designs, leading to stimulating and entertaining discussions between attendees. Adding to the conference’s success, and in keeping with Montreal’s reputation, was the wonderfully warm spring weather and absolutely outstanding gourmet fare served during the conference’s social events.

 

THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS AND CONGRATULATIONS TO THE AWARD WINNERS

We would like to extend our thanks to our generous sponsors and partners (AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Janssen, and the Health Psychology and Behavioural Medicine section of the Canadian Psychology Association). We were delighted to be able to offer four student awards for research excellence, based on the abstracts submitted for poster presentation. Each award was presented during the Friday night conference dinner event, to students who presented their posters during the opening reception and poster session. Congratulations to our award winners Adam Heenan (University of Ottawa Heart Institute, Canada), François Carbonnel (Université Paul Valéry, Montpellier, France), Racquel Farias (McGill University, Montreal), and Jillian Johnson (University of Calgary, Canada).

Dr. Simon Bacon chairing the first plenary session on Trial Development
Dr. Simon Bacon chairing the first plenary session on Trial Development

 

AN ENGAGING DAY OF PLENARY SESSIONS

On Friday, fantastic plenary talks were presented by a line-up of internationally renowned researchers (slide decks available for download). The quality of the speakers impressed conference goers and resulted in a highly stimulating day of comprehensive talks that were both broad and current. These served both as a great introduction to the field of behavioural trials for newcomers and as an opportunity to increase and deepen researchers’ knowledge of the field.

“I liked that the plenary sessions were so well integrated. I felt that each one really helped to clarify the message of the others, and create a cohesive understanding of how to improve behavioural trials.”

 

Inside one of the nine workshops offered on Saturday, May 21 at Montreal's UQAM downtown campus.
Inside one of the nine workshops offered on Saturday, May 21 at Montreal’s UQAM downtown campus.

WEEKEND WORKSHOPS WITH EXPERT SPEAKERS

On Saturday, a series of nine outstanding workshops were offered covering a range of trial design and methodology issues, and delivering interventions for behaviour change (slide decks available for download). Attendees reported that the diversity of workshops offered, and their highly interactive nature was one of the conference’s high points. Attendees particularly enjoyed the opportunities they had to interact directly with the speakers and experts, thanks in part to the size and number of attendees in each workshop.

“The opportunity to network and discuss with leaders in the field was incredible. The direct relevance to behavioural intervention studies was high.”

 

PUBLIC OUTREACH

The conference ended with two public lectures, held on Saturday evening, which were attended by numerous members of the public as well as remaining conference delegates. Over 90 members of the public attended the lecture held in French at the conference site (Université du Québec à Montréal) and the lecture held in English at nearby Concordia University. Both lectures were highly informative, entertaining, and enjoyed by all, covering topics such as managing disease, and the role of social media in spreading health information. We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to our speakers Dr. Jean Bourbeau, Dr. Paul Poirier, Dr. David Secko, and Dr. Joe Schwartz for offering their time and making these events thoroughly enjoyable! Videos of the talks are currently in production and will be made available in the near future.

 

STAYING IN TOUCH

Attendees reported looking forward to the 2nd IBTN conference planned for May 2018. We look forward to staying in touch with all conference delegates between now and then, namely through the iCEPS conference to be held in Montpellier (France) in May 2017, through the IBTN newsletter (sign up here!), and through the new IBTN Community website, which you can register for quickly and easily. Learn more about the IBTN online Community now.