Florence 2014 - The Grand Hotel Mediterraneo
6th - 8th November 2014
The 39th EMWA Conference was held at the Grand Hotel Mediterraneo, Florence, Italy from 6–8 November 2014.
Read on for some impressions of the conference which were sent to us by delegates.
The EMWA conference in Florence (6-8 November 2014) was my first opportunity to visit an EMWA conference since I started 2 years ago as Medical Writer for a CRO in The Netherlands.
I was looking forward to improve my writing skills and to refresh my knowledge on immunology. Punctuation turned out to be much more complicated than just a matter of ‘dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s’ and I learned a lot. Also very helpful was the workshop on immunology. Uma took us by the hand and guided us with much enthusiasm through the complex field of antibodies, B‑ and T‑cells.
In general, the enthusiasm of the workshop leaders and the dedication of the EMWA executive committee were very inspiring to me. For example the very relaxing yoga class given by the Conference Director herself (Slavka told me it was her first time teaching yoga; how brave!). Another inspiring aspect of the EMWA conference was to meet so many nice colleague medical writers from all over Europe. Because most of them came alone, or in small groups, everyone seemed to be motivated to meet new people during the social events. Of course the ambiance was perfect too: it is easy to connect while tasting delicious wines and Italian food. For example, I learned that not only having food can improve the taste of the wine, but a good wine can also improve the taste of food.
There was further much opportunity for sightseeing Florence. The city has so many beautiful places and museums that it was worth staying a couple of days longer like many of us did (I would have opted for it too, if I wouldn’t have been in Florence recently). Altogether, I am already looking forward to the next EMWA conference and to meet up with all the nice people I met in Florence!
Medical Writers don’t usually travel much as they are writing most of their working time. This is why it is a great pleasure to leave the monitor alone and disappear from the office for a couple of days.
This was my second EMWA meeting, but the first one which I attended as a Medical Writer. I already took part in the EMWA in Berlin two years ago where I first learned the world of Medical Writing. At that time, I was working as a Project Manager in a small biotech company preparing regulatory documents, posters and presentations as a small part of my job. At that point, two year ago, I felt like a stranger at the EMWA meeting with all its professional writers who already have had decades of experience in Scientific and Medical Writing. However, several weeks later, I quit Project Management and started my career in regulatory Medical Writing.
This time in Florence, I felt familiar, as I was a part of the community. Having my own experience gained in Medical Writing made the conference exciting. There are many reasons to enjoy the EMWA meetings.
First of all, it is interesting to meet new colleagues for a professional exchange. Working in regulatory writing means writing on similar documents for similar projects. Therefore, the external input could be really refreshing. Second and not less important reason is a possibility to improve the professional skills participating in workshops and collecting credits for future certificates. It was also interesting to visit the Freelancer Business Forum, to get in touch with people who are running their own Medical or Scientific Writing business, to hear their thoughts, positive experiences and challenges.
And of course, the location was just perfect. Although it was raining on Wednesday and Thursday (good enough for wine tasting event), the weather got much better on Saturday and Sunday and made the stay in Florence unforgettable. On Thursday, Andrea Rossi gave a very nice overview of the history of Florence and organized the wine testing called ‘Tastes of Tuscany’. The exciting local wine was served with Tuscan food and many explanations about the right way to enjoy both. In the next days, I was able to buy the white wine we tried in an Enoteca in the old town, but the red wine seems to be a real rarity and was very difficult to find.
On Friday, we went for a guided ‘Wine and Food’ walk where we tried many Tuscan specialties like antipasti, pasta, bread soup and T-bone steaks accompanied by wines and an ice cream.
There are many sights to see in Florence, but I just walked through this amazing sunny town which I will remember as a big open air museum.
Ekaterina (Katja) Weith