NEQAS host a participant meeting annually which allows us to feedback on performance over the previous year, highlight any issues or interesting trends and to inform participants of any changes for the upcoming distribution year. It also allows us to have open discussions on relevant topics and gives our participants a forum to raise concerns or ideas for improvements. We invite guest speakers to cover relevant scientific content and strive to make the day as interactive as possible.
The meeting is usually held at a conference venue in the UK and we acknowledge that as this is a one day event, it limits accessibility for our participants based in the rest of the world.
Due to the ongoing pandemic a face to face meeting was not possible in 2021. As such the decision was taken to move to an online format. The meeting was advertised to all our participants and there was no fee charged to attend the meeting.
The meeting was held using the Zoom Webinar platform on the 12th May 2021. The agenda for the meeting included feedback on key data from each of our schemes, guest speaker Ines Ushiro-Lumb the Clinical Microbiology Lead in Organ Donation and Transplantation from the NHS Blood and Transplant in the UK as well as a summary of the responses submitted for our interpretative educational schemes. There were a total of 153 participants (37% of the participants we serve) registered to attend the meeting from 29 countries (58% of the countries we operate in). On the day there was 118 (34%) attendees from 23 countries (46% of the countries we operate in).
We had a diverse breadth of participants. These ranged from 6.5% registrants reporting as Professors or Medical Directors, 21% Head of Laboratory, 26% in a Senior Scientist role, 33% Scientists, 8% Assistant Practitioners or Trainees plus 6% reporting to be Quality Managers or administrators.
- There was 153 participants from 29 countries registered to attend
- 58% of the countries we currently serve
- 37% of our participant laboratories registered
- There was 118 participants from 23 countries attended on the day
- 46% of the countries we currently serve
- 34% of our participant laboratories attended
- 77% of those who registered for the event attended on the day
- There was an excellent mix of laboratory staff registered from many grades
During the meeting the audience engaged well with the topics discussed and many questions and comments were made during the event. Some of these questions were answered live during Q&A sessions or covered within later slides, other questions or comments were replied to directly via the chat function during presentations.
Summary of Feedback:
- 95% of attendees stated the meeting was beneficial for them
- 97% of attendees rated the scheme feedback sessions excellent or good
- 94% of attendees rated the guest speaker excellent or good
- 99% of attendees rated the education scheme feedback excellent or good
- 63% of attendees would like the meeting to continue online
- 59% of attendees would like the meeting to be more interactive
- 5% of attendees would like more guest speakers providing H&I specific content
- 94% of attendees would like to attend more NEQAS for H&I webinars
Our learning points:
- To continue with face to face and online formats to engage with a wider number of participants, particularly those based in RoW labs.
- Include more H&I specific guest speakers, clinical cases and interactive elements.
- Host H&I webinar sessions.
We had great feedback form those who had attended! See below for a few quotes:
“All the presentations were of excellent quality – clearly summarising some complex data. Well done to everyone involved.”
“I would just like to commend the speakers and organisers on an excellent job in the current circumstances. The conference ran incredibly smoothly.”
“Thank you for a well organised and interesting AGM!”
“This is a brilliant format and I’m really pleased to have been able to join you today. Normally we are restricted to sending people from the lab who really need to attend, but today I could join you to. It’s been really helpful. Thanks!”
“I enjoyed the webinar, I probably contributed more on line than I would in person!”
“Well organized, clear presentations and excellent time management.”
“Well done to the team it was an extremely effective meeting and the q and a function worked really well. The presentation by the guest speaker was very informative.”