The first SMACC conference was held in Sydney, Australia in March 2013. Drawing from a virtual community of like-minded “friends who’d never met”, SMACC was the physical manifestation of a new movement in medical education. The word was spread via a network of affiliated free, open-access medical education websites run by passionate educators. The first SMACC attracted 650 people from all around the world. It was an event that breathed new life into the very stale world of medical conferences, symbolised at the opening as a wrestler threw a boring speaker off the stage. SMACC was a new platform for passionate critical care clinicians and academics to talk about a subject they really cared about and deliver it in a way designed to best engage and inspire their audience. These talks were then disseminated far and wide as free podcasts and videos.

SMACC GOLD took place in March 2014 on Australia’s Gold Coast. The hype about SMACC had spread, and twice the number of delegates came to GOLD, with an even bigger online impact including 25 million Twitter impressions. With jungle tribe theming, world class speakers on interesting topics, more completions and increased delegate involvement, SMACC was taken to the next level. The educational content from this second meeting was again released free to all in the months following, with over 500K podcast downloads in only a year.

The momentum from GOLD, together with lots of support from our North American crew, paved the way for SMACC CHICAGO. With 2000 delegates, 5 concurrent streams, steam punk and festival theming and everything that Chicago had to offer, CHICAGO was a memorable event!

In June 2016, SMACC arrived in Dublin, with the spectacular SMACCDUB. The 2000 tickets sold out within a few hours of release and the energy from the SMACC community manifested in an incredible event. The opening ceremony and congruent theming throughout were emphasised, helping to create our most immersive conference experience for delegates yet. SMACC was now the place to be if you were a speaker with a message you needed to be heard, a major medical journal or a delegate who wanted to know what was possible at a medical conference. The podcast has now been downloaded over 3 million times from 160 countries and new records were set on Twitter.

Das SMACC was our latest event, held June 2017 in Berlin’s Tempodrome. This was further evolution of SMACC; we chose a concert venue rather than a convention centre, we kept everyone together for a single stream event, and we had themes evolving over the three days of the conference. The Berlin Bear, the Tempodrome, Berlin street culture and the incredible dance performance from the opening ceremony themed the event, which we felt was our best effort yet. We sold out the 2500 tickets in hours and there were over 86,000 tweets from 8,500 participants generating 183 Million Twitter impressions.

What’s next?

After the success of the single stream format at Das SMACC we will continue to develop this concept. Sydney’s International Convention Centre (ICC) Theatre is a brand new purpose built performance venue guaranteed to inspire and excite. The main program will be supported by 2 days of mini-congresses and workshops so that delegates can tailor a learning experience that meets their individual needs. Following the pre-conference workshops the main program develops four content streams over the three days to scaffold each to a conclusion on day three.

New speakers, new content, new formats and more diversity in the faculty will make 2019 our best SMACC yet.

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