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Types of Scientific Meetings

To share knowledge, experience and expertise, the ICMM may organize Congresses, Courses, Conferences, Seminars, Symposiums, Colloquiums, Workshops, Roundtables,... .

Types of Scientific Meetings




That may be organized under the aegis of the ICMM

International Congresses of Military Medicine under the Aegis of the ICMM
They are events of great magnitude, scientific and professional, having a shape and content specialised in the various fields of military medicine and involving between 350 and 2,000 people. A conference is generally composed of plenary sessions and sub-plenary, as well as a number of simultaneous meetings on different topics. A congress is often a set of lectures more or less closely related that fall within an organizational framework around a single unifying theme so for example “Military Medicine and Diaster Management”.

They are held biennially in odd years for the World Congresses, even years for Regional Congresses.

The program will also include a meeting of the General Assembly of the ICMM (in ICMM World Congresses), or the Regional Assembly's Regional Working Group (RWG) concerned (in ICMM Regional Congresses), an exhibition organized by the pharmaceutical industry, a cultural show, formal meals, a half-day tourism, etc.

A congress usually lasts between three and five days.

ICMM Conferences
Smaller organizational framework that Congresses, intended to accommodate 75 to 150 participants, the conferences can be selected by RWG for scientific meetings focused on a specific theme, organized between two regional congresses. They can sometimes replace a regional congress if budgetary or technical reasons prevent the organization of the latter. The conference content is specific. The major goal of the event is to provide an overview of the subject area and to discuss various issues.
A conference may include an exhibition organized by the pharmaceutical industry.

- a conference on vaccinology in the military, introduced by a plenary session, followed by a series of workshops and concluded with a presentation summarizing the work done;
- a conference on the specifics of health support provided to troops deployed in extreme weather environments.
The usual duration is from one to two days.

ICMM Seminars
This is a catch-all term, which is widely used and can be adapted to many situations. A seminar is a framework bringing together generally about twenty people. It is devoted to learning, sharing of field experience and implementation of new developments in military medicine. It has a very specific content. It has a rather intensive pace and usually spans three to five days. Seminars aim to enhance professional skills. Participants enroll in a purpose of acquiring knowledge in a specific domain. This is also why a seminar can only accommodate a limited number of people.

A seminar may for example be devoted to:
- new methods for teaching International Humanitarian Law;
- the use of a new software to facilitate deployment planning of medical support provided to Peace Support Operations (PSO);
- or the latest advances in medical logistics applied to Military Relief Operations in Disaster.

ICMM Symposiums (or Colloquiums)
This is a series of presentations in a coherent whole. Often, a single person or a group of colleagues, who maintain working relationships more or less narrow, invites members. The objective is usually to present either a subject on which they all worked, or the results of research. Often each person deals with a part or aspect of the whole question, most often by adopting a different approach. Everyone usually has a fairly limited time (10 to 20 minutes) for his speech. The time allocated for discussion between presenters and between them and the audience can be quite variable.

The symposium usually involving decision making, the circle of invitees is limited to those who have key positions and an equal right to speak and make decision.
Meetings of the Advisory Board on Medical Ethics of the ICMM Reference Centre for Training on International Humanitarian Law and Ethics (MU-CE) would be a good example of symposium. These are meetings with experts hand-picked to participate in the development of a particular aspect of military medical ethics.

ICMM Workshops
It is a relatively small organizational framework, which usually extends over one or two days of intensive work, and whose number of participants is chosen to allow a productive interaction within the group, allowing maximum efficiency. Etymologically, a shop is a room where a particular stage of artisanal or industrial production is carried out.
Workshops versus seminars: workshops stand by the fact that they develop or produce something new. Workshops are focused on creating or delivering something (e.g., process improvement) and the sequence or order of the agenda items is critical to the development of the meeting output, frequently called a "deliverable". The primary objective of a workshop is to generate interactive exchanges productive, creative, unlike the seminar is geared more toward training.

Examples of workshops:
- a working session during which participants are experimenting with new techniques of planning for the deployment of field hospitals;
- a meeting to propose solutions to ethical dilemmas that military doctors have to face in Peace Support Operations (PSO);
- a workshop can be devoted to making models of interactive exercises, which will then be introduced in courses organized under the aegis of the ICMM, the aim being to bring out the essential characteristics of this type of exercise;
- another might focus on designing a set of techniques to improve the effectiveness of health education in HIV-AIDS control in armed forces.

ICMM Roundtables
It is an assembly or meeting designed to discuss freely among peers.
The discussion begins with a brief introduction or presentation of the issue addressed. It should not be confused with the symposium or panel discussion. In a roundtable discussion, all participants are on an equal footing and the goal is to get other lawyers interactive exchanges. Everyone must be able to expose their ideas and ask questions, as it considers necessary. To ensure that access to speech, the size of a round table is usually between ten and twenty people.
The Roundtables of the ICMM Technical Commissions are a perfect illustration.

Main objective of ICMM
Share knowledge, experience and expertise in a spirit of neutrality, impartiality and independence.

General objectives of these scientific meetings of the ICMM
Disseminate ideas, results and products.
Gather feedback and submit ideas to critical scrutiny.
Collect and generate ideas.
Help participants develop their skills.