The use of stands at RSM conference: a request for clarification

Well, first the RSM says that the ME Association cannot have a stand, and then it says they can.  Now rumours are flying round the internet lists that the RSM says it would also allow the ME Association to attend the conference, itself, as long as they pay the entrance fee (but no mention of this apparent change of RSM policy in the MEA’s latest statement).

And if the RSM has relaxed its policy towards who can and who cannot apply for conference seats – just what is the RSM’s current policy or are they making an exception solely for the ME Association?

And if it is the case that the MEA is now being granted access to the conference – well that places the MEA in a somewhat difficult position: should it book a seat and send a representative so that it is able to report on the proceedings of the conference to its members or should it boycott the conference altogether, other than to man a stand outside the conference hall? 

On 18 March, a colleague approached the RSM for a policy statement on the issue of taking stands at RSM conferences: he’s still waiting on a response:

From: Mr. Ciaran Farrell
Sent: 18 March 2008 20:54
Subject: RSM 28th April CFS conference “stands” or “stalls”

Dear Mrs. Parkinson,

There has been considerable speculation on the Internet concerning the use of stands or stalls at the RSM Conference on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome scheduled for the 28th of April.

Could you please clarify if any organisations or prominent individuals are permitted to have stands, stalls or a similar type of static display which would involve personnel from an organisation or an individual sitting at a table and giving out, or otherwise providing the person’s or organisation’s literature to RSM Members and other attendees at the conference as part of the activities of the conference?

If the answer to this question is “yes” then could you please tell me by what rules govern the application for stalls and their use, and how one would apply to have a stall at the conference, and to whom?

Yours Faithfully

Ciaran Farrell


ED: Mr Farrell has now received the following response from Mrs Jo Parkinson, Director of Education and Professional Development, Royal Society of Medicine

That depending on the nature of the conference the RSM offers opportunities for companies and organisations to have a stand at a conference.

That the RSA can confirm that the MEA has been offered a stand at the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome conference on 28 April 2008, which has been accepted.  That no other organisations have approached the RSM for a stand; that applications for stands are reviewed as they come in.


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