#AHA20: Be in the ‘Zoom’ Where It Happens

Last year, I blogged about my experience of attending AHA Scientific Sessions for the first time as an international attendee. As I reminisce about the wonderful experiences and front row seats to the Hamilton musical performance (The Room Where It Happens) at the opening session of #AHA19, I am equally amazed at the fabulous scientific content and networking opportunities available with this year’s #AHA20 virtual format.

Late-breaking science (LBS)

Late-breaking science sessions are always one of the highlights of scientific sessions that I really look forward to. #AHA20 has nine late-breaking sessions spanning across various sub-specialties of cardiology on all 5 days of scientific sessions. With questions being posed to presenters by the social media moderators in real-time, every effort has been made to replicate the exciting component of late-breakers as much as possible, giving us the experience of “being in the room (or in this case zoom)” where it happens. The additional “Meet the trialists” segment offers further opportunities for interactive conversations with select researchers who will provide answers and insights to questions that very often occur in the immediate aftermath of late-breaking science.

The Heart Hub: Something for everyone

Scientific sessions have always had something for everyone, with the Heart Hub being the hub of activity. This year promises no less, with an easy-to-navigate platform taking you to the various dedicated “lounges”. #AHA20 also offers some incredible informal networking sessions, panel discussions, and programming targeted to specific communities (women in cardiology, early careers, and fellows-in-training #AHAFIT). #AHA20 is extra special for me, as I had the opportunity to be a part of an incredibly inspirational session on the Imposter Syndrome, with powerhouse women in cardiology sharing refreshingly honest takes on their experiences and advice on how they overcame it. Fellow #AHAEarlyCareerBlogger Kylia Williams shares some highlights here.

Social Media & Virtual Networking

Despite the “virtualness” of scientific meetings, almost a year into the pandemic, we have all rapidly adjusted to this new normal. As fellow #AHAEarlycareerBlogger Mo Al-Khalaf blogged, social media has been leveraged to increase virtual conference interactions and networking between peers. This has also, inadvertently perhaps, showcased the increasing need to build one’s professional social media brand. Here’s an on-demand session we put together on how to best build and protect one’s brand. Please do also join us for a live Q&A panel discussion today (Saturday, November 14th, 6-7 pm CT) at the Go Red Women in Science and Medicine lounge Zoom Room B.

With four more science-packed days to go, I’m excited about everything else #AHA20 has to offer. I’ll be live-tweeting late-breakers and content on interventional cardiology throughout sessions. Make sure you follow the #AHA20 social media ambassadors for each day on Twitter, as well as the virtual co-pilots to help navigate your conference experience and be in zoom where it happens.


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