Developing a Web-Based Congress: The 2020 International Web-Based Neurosurgery Congress Method

Miguel A. Ruiz-Barrera, Mariana Agudelo-Arrieta, Rafael Aponte-Caballero, Santiago Gutierrez-Gomez, Miguel Angel Ruiz-Cardozo, Humberto Madrinan-Navia, David Vergara-Garcia, William M. Riveros-Castillo, Javier M. Saavedra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Continuing medical education and continuing professional development have been affected by the ongoing 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Therefore, we developed the 2020 International Web-Based Neurosurgery Congress (2020 IWBNC), which became the first successful virtual neurosurgical congress. The aim of this article was to describe the experience designing and organizing a web congress by the 2020 IWBNC method. Methods: The 2020 IWBNC was organized by the Center for Research and Training in Neurosurgery (Centro de Investigación y Entrenamiento en Neurocirugía [CIEN]) in a record time of 4 weeks. Eight committees were created and assigned a specific task. The event followed a strict protocol based on the double-room method, which consisted of 2 virtual rooms (A and B) hosted from 4 different physical locations to avoid lecture overlapping and connection drops. Quality and impact were measured by a videoconferencing platform and social media parameters as well as an audience perception survey. Results: High quality was achieved in academic standards, worldwide assistance, schedule adherence, and security. The 2020 IWBNC hosted 25 internationally renowned speakers and offered 30 top-of-the-line multidisciplinary conferences. There were 3096 participants from 125 countries, and 22,266 live-stream views were registered. No technical or cybersecurity-related issues occurred. Conclusions: Web-based academic meetings will continue to be a helpful educational tool for continuing medical education and continuing professional development. The 2020 IWBNC double-room method represents an alternative design that may be replicated by the academic community planning web congresses and similar events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e415-e424
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
StatePublished - Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • COVID-19
  • Congress
  • Continuing medical education
  • Continuing professional development
  • Medical education
  • Professional education


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