Overall, attendance was lower than in previous years as expected. Everyone had to get a health pass through a wellness app like Clear or Safe before arriving at the meeting. The process was not difficult.
On the first day, we had to go through a long line for a health pass check and then receive our badge. This method proved to be an effective way to prove that attendees who were appropriately vaccinated had the badge for the meeting. Although the line was very long, it moved fast, and for me, it took about 10–15 minutes to get the badge. By the time I came out, the line was even longer.
Uploading my first talk to the RSNA site in the speaker's ready room had some issues initially — but once we reset my password, the process was smooth and expeditious, as experienced while uploading another talk the next day. Everything worked as expected in the presentation halls.
It was easier to navigate from one side to the other side of McCormick Place, crossing the connecting bridge due to the low number of attendees. The attendance was higher from Monday through Wednesday compared to previous annual meetings. Usually, I meet several friends from the U.S. and India at this meeting, but that was not the case this year.
Technical exhibits were relatively fewer, but there were more booths, which I had never heard of before. Again, navigation around the hall was easier than in previous years. There were not many folks around to help with any information needed. Some of the staff were not fully knowledgeable about the meeting layout, and I was sent — twice — to the wrong place.
On the south side of the McCormick center, there was a stage with intermittent live instrumental music. This addition was very refreshing and a new experience.
I always enjoy walking on the Magnificent Mile. The same hustle and bustle were not there this year, although the walk was still great. I did not attend any big dinner gathering for obvious reasons.
Getting a snack, lunch, or coffee was easier without long lines. Due to the decreased attendance, there were fewer bus pickups from the hotels downtown to McCormick Place. Unfortunately, one day after waiting for 10 minutes, I had to take a cab to reach a business meeting on time.
Overall my experience was very positive, and I was glad to take part in person. RSNA did a great job ensuring everyone’s health and safety.
Dr. Singh has no conflicts of interest to report.
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