Trends in Attendance at Scoliosis Research Society Annual Meetings (SRS AM) and International Meeting on Advanced Spine Techniques (IMAST): Location, Location, Location

Foster Chen, Woojin Cho, Han Jo Kim, David B. Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Study Design Descriptive, respective. Objective Although overall membership in Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) has grown over the years, we were curious to see the effects of changing event venue location and timing on conference attendance. Summary of Background Data Every year, the SRS hosts two major meetings: the Annual Meeting (SRS AM) in the autumn, and the International Meeting on Advanced Spine Techniques (IMAST) in the summer. Sites have alternated from within and outside North America. Often, these meetings have also overlapped with several holidays in certain countries. Methods This was an observational study of attendance from past SRS AM and IMAST meetings. Fourteen years of AM and 8 years of IMAST data were made available from the SRS. Participation based on delegate type and countries were tallied. Details from the 10 most represented nations and host nations per year were also tallied, and their national holidays were reviewed for overlaps with the AM. Results Membership in AM and IMAST increased from 820 in 2003 to 1,323 in 2016. Attendance at the AM has increased, whereas attendance at IMAST has declined, even after adjusting for membership size. Trends in participation were highly influenced by location. Participation by attendees from the host continent, and especially the host country, is generally high. The negative impact of distant meetings is profoundly seen with North Americans, whereas the positive impact of a nearby meeting was mostly clearly demonstrated by South Americans. Although SRS AM overlapped with holidays in China, Japan, or Korea nearly 50% of the time, this did not influence participation by delegates from these countries. Conclusion Participation in the AM is highly influenced by location. Although North Americans represented the largest constituency, their presence was not needed to drive total attendance and was not sufficient to turn around the downturn in IMAST attendance. Choice of location can encourage the participation of delegates from the host and neighboring nations; through strategic selection of location, a balance can be reached between participation and global representation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)238-243
Number of pages6
JournalSpine deformity
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2017


  • Annual meeting
  • SRS attendance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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