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Radiologists scrap fall event at McCormick Place

Decision could lead groups to cancel late-2020 conventions and shows.

Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center.
Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center.
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The annual radiologists’ gathering at McCormick Place, a late-in-the-year mainstay on the convention hall’s calendar, is being canceled this year but will continue in a virtual format.

The Radiological Society of North America announced the decision Tuesday to scrap the McCormick Place meeting scheduled Nov. 29-Dec. 4, citing concerns about the coronavirus.

The decision could prompt other organizations to change plans for conventions or meetings scheduled during an ordinarily busy fall season at McCormick Place. Organizers of most such events are taking a wait-and-see approach, with some posting notices on their web sites that they are awaiting further guidance from state and local officials about holding large assemblies.

The radiologists’ meeting is especially prized in Chicago tourism because it is among the largest shows, bringing more than 50,000 people to town, many of them free-spending medical professionals.

“While we are disappointed we could not safely meet in Chicago this year, we continue to stand proudly in partnership with the many physicians, health care professionals, researchers and companies doing their part to stop the pandemic and preserve public health, and we look forward to a successful virtual program,” said Dr. James Borgstede, president of the Oak Brook-based radiological society.

The event, called RSNA 2020, will operate virtually Nov. 29-Dec. 5, the group said.

“We proudly recognize that our attendees rely on the RSNA annual meeting as a source for the latest research, premier professional education and cutting-edge radiologic innovation,” Borgstede said. “Connecting medical imaging professionals from around the world is more important than ever during this time, and RSNA is doing this in the best and safest way possible.”

It will be the group’s 106th annual meeting. The organization said the only years it canceled the physical meeting were 1943 and 1945, due to transportation and gasoline supply problems stemming from World War II.