Scientific Meetings
The Future of Scientific Meetings
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Less time, more conferences, and better mobile technology: Meeting planners struggle with the challenges facing the industry

In late 2003, a handful of scientists-turned-conference-planners met at the Yale Club in midtown Manhattan. The big players of scientific conference planning - Gordon Research Conferences, Keystone Symposia, and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory - were all there. And they were joined by representatives from the Jackson Laboratory in Maine and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).

It was a typical working-lunch affair, complete with Power Point presentations, brief talks, and then informal discussion. Nothing very exciting, but the fact that these competitors decided to meet formally for the first time revealed a sign of the times. "We were becoming concerned that the field was getting...

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