Das SMACC Program and Ticket Information

Das SMACC – Berlin

The Social Media and Critical Care Conference continues to harness the immense energy of FOAM and dasSMACC in Berlin June 26-29 2017 promises to be the best one yet.

 Two of the editorial team from Injectable Orange (Ashley and Jesse) are members of the SMACC Organising Committee – so this post is both positively biased and factually correct

SMACC has seen spectacular growth since its humble beginnings. The Conference has grown from an enthusiastic idea into a global leader amongst critical care events. Whilst SMACC is primarily a high quality, academic meeting, the real reason behind this growth is the enormous and inspiring energy of the critical care community itself. A community that crosses traditional hierarchies, professional barriers and international borders. This is a community dedicated to innovation, teaching and learning. A community based around the pursuit of excellence in patient care, and a passion for sharing this as widely as possible.

What ’s in the program and registration at a glance for 2016?

We have taken all your feedback into consideration and planned for:

  • Another massive day of workshops on Monday, 26th June 2017 (WORKSHOPS)
  • A single stream format only featuring the best of the best (PROGRAM)!
  • The most incredible venue: the Tempodrom
  • Fabulous accommodation deals which are essential this year as Das SMACC is just before fashion week (ACCOMMODATION)
  • Registration details are here
  • The continued innovation and convenience of onsite childcare (crèche)
  • A bigger and better SMACC party. Yes, it will be massive.
  • SMACCrun will be back with scenic options for great running tracks near the Potsdamer Platz precinct

What Makes SMACC Different?

So, why did the SMACC conference SELL OUT all 2000 delegate registrations in minutes?

To begin with, the affiliated websites supporting SMACC represent a comprehensive list of the “who’s who” in the FOAM world. The talented clinicians behind these websites have come together and harnessed their innovation, vitality and expertise to create the SMACC experience. The strong social media connections inherent to SMACC result in an ongoing, online conversation, which in turn, empowers the delegate and enhances their experience. SMACC is focused on being a conference truly for the delegates. Delegates have a say in every aspect of the meeting, including the speakers chosen, program topics, themes and styling, social events, and the questions asked in sessions. This level of delegate interaction with the conference is unparalleled in critical care.

There have also been many positive lessons learned from the FOAM world, which have now been translated into the SMACC Conference. Lessons on how to engage, inspire and make critical care education enjoyable. We keep the talks short (15-20 minutes), choose the topics carefully, handpick speakers who we know can both educate and inspire, and discourage reliance on power point presentations. Of course, all the sessions are recorded and podcast to be released in a FREE series – creating more great FOAM!

But SMACC isn’t just about the academic presentations. SMACC is an experience. The opening ceremony, the themes of the exhibition hall and welcome events, the teas and lunches provided in the breaks and the massive Gala night, all of which are included in the one registration price, are designed to bring the group together and enhance the feeling of belonging to one critical care

Why Berlin?

Berlin is an amazing and vibrant city and has the energy capable of hosting SMACC. It is no surprise that it has become the artists’ capital of Europe. There is an intriguing combination of grittiness, openness, willingness and enthusiasm in the Berlin community, which make it a perfect destination for the FOAM community. Of course that’s to say nothing of the history, museums and bars.

Berlin is also perfectly situated in the heart of Europe to springboard any European adventure.


Das SMACC Ticket Release

Delegate numbers are capped at approximately 2000 registrations again this year  as we believe this is the best  size to maintain our FOAM community atmosphere.  In an attempt to be as fair as possible here are the basics of how it will work:

  1. Registration will open on Wednesday, 26th October at 0800 Sydney EST – see here for your local time.
  2. There will be 3 separate ticket releases: the major release will be as above on Wednesday, 26th October, a smaller allocation will be released on Wednesday, 7th December and a final limited release on Wednesday, 1st February 2017
  3. Your best chance will be with the first release, but if you really need to wait until you have leave confirmed then you can chance your hand on the February release
  4. All prior delegates will receive an email reminder the week before tickets go on sale, but there is no other preference (first in best dressed!)
  5. Owing to the limited number of spots there will be no DAY ONLY registrations issue
  6. Workshop registration also opens on Wednesday, 26th October and like last year will be on a first come first served basis
  7. If you miss out on a ticket there will be a waiting list
  8. If you miss your preferred workshop there will also be a waiting list

Thanks for the Craic, Now For DAS SMACC


If you are a nurse working in any spectrum of the care pathway for the critically ill patient, SMACC is the conference for you. If you have just woken from a coma or stumbled into the world of the interwebs, below is a brief history and taste of things to come. For the seasoned SMACCers, you will notice a radically overhauled and ultra vibrant new website – http://www.smacc.net.au

This is a truly open conference – nobody is too “special” for a coffee line conversation. What’s more two of our editorial team (Ashley and Jesse) are proud members of the Organising Committee (of which three members are Nurses!). There are few professional development activities that make you want to go back to work and lift up those around you, start a blog or podcast or just present, teach or mentor better. In a time where much of the popular online presence for nursing is tangled up with materialism and commercial self-interest we need to step up, show ourselves as professional role models interested in evidence and research and political discourse. We need to tear down walls, form communities of practice and expand our peer group far beyond the people we work with on a day-to-day basis.


On September 3rd, the SMACC Team premiered the SMACC DUB Documentary. This 8 minute video gives a great insight into what make SMACC special – the people, the connections, the knowledge and the show!

SMACCDUB – The Craic Redux from Social Media and Critical Care on Vimeo.


The program and registration details for DAS SMACC will be coming very soon. Keep up to date by following @smaccteam on Twitter or like the SMACC Conference Facebook page. If you are new to Twitter or just considering dipping a toe in, check out this guide to get you Tweeting like a pro in no time. Join the conversation!

SMACC Dublin Registration & A Call To FOAM


Follow this link for all the details about how to register for the best Critical Care Conference in the World


The countdown has begun: #smaccDUB registration opens next week! At last the final countdown has begun with less than 7 days to go until registration opens for SMACC Dublin. Registration will open on Wednesday, 28 October at 0900 Sydney AEST. Given the multitude of different time zones, the best way to be  sure you don’t miss out is to synchronise your alarms with the countdown timer on the SMACC website www.smacc.net.au
Information on the program, workshops, accommodation options, smacchendise, affiliated pre-SMACC meetings, the SMACC Kids club and registration pricing is all available now on the website – so check it out and be ready!

download-brochure-buttonDownload, print and share the Registration Brochure with your less technically engaged colleagues.

Although not a SMACC Talk, I think this brilliant call to action from my friend Dr Daniel Cabrera @cabreraERDR captures the spirit and community of FOAM and SMACC. Tear down the walls and share knowledge.




SMACCGOLD – Punk Rock, Paeds, Palliation & People


SMACCGOLD 2014 on the Gold Coast was like punk rock. Subversive, political, honest, rough at the edges and committed to thrashing out the issues that matter. Ironically, on further reflection, the second installation of Social Media and Critical Care Conference struck me as having parallels with one of my favourite speakers of the program, Deniz Tek himself – older and wiser than the Radio Birdman days, more accessible to the mainstream, less likely to punch you for disagreeing, but still able to excite, destroy unfounded dogma and put on a world class show.

Punk rock was there in spades. But I’m going to leave others to write about Weingart, Levitan and Reid, the top billing rockstars and I’m going to try and give feeling to my experience of SMACCGOLD.

The conference, for me, began on Monday night, the eve of the pre-conference workshops, sitting at what would become the unofficial SMACC Bar, having a beer with Tamara Hills (see 17 Minutes – deserved winner of the PK Talk). We were reflecting on the past twelve months since we had last met, when the bar began to fill up. As it filled we realised we “knew” these people, many of them in fact. Known from tiny little profile pictures. I had been discussing my quandary with Tamara, ‘how familiar should you be when you have not really met these people?’ I didn’t have to wait terribly long to find out. I was approached and greeted by a large smile and a proclamation of ‘You get a HUG!’ So… thanks for dispelling my concerns Natalie (@_NMay). This is what is great about SMACC. I proceeded over the next few days to build genuine friendships with people I had only held sub 140 character interactions with previously. I met many more people, some who will be great professional colleagues over distance and others that will be genuine friends.


Damian Roland and Natalie May – I’m proud to now call them friends


SMACC Running Group

Tuesday morning began with an open invite group run, organised the evening before via Twitter. Another great opportunity to meet like minded people from around the globe, but, instead I mainly ran with Roger and Cliff and my mind is certainly not comparable. It was here though that I met Damian Rowland, paediatrician, researcher, education maestro and NHS Change Day Co-Founder (@Damian_Roland). To add to that illustrious list, he can now claim to be the only man for whom I have taken my shirt off to be filmed by a room full of people. Another example of the power of social media and another person I would call a real friend after four short days.


Me stripped bare in front of a hoard of new Video Case Study experts in the #edusmacc workshop

I will write a separate post on the Education Workshop, but needless to say, anything Chris Nickson touches turns to GOLD so it was pretty awesome (Grilled My Corn).

My approach for managing the challenge of four equally brilliant concurrent sessions with clashes of massive proportions, was to generally avoid the main arena (as I know these were all being filmed) and head to areas of particular knowledge weakness or curiosity. This yielded some of the most powerful experiences I have ever had in an audience. Hands down, my favourite session of the Conference was the Paediatrics session on Day 3. A little tired and emotional (post conference dinner shenanigans( and missing my kids, I pitched up to a session on Paediatrics, ready to learn, but largely to see Natalie present (much anticipated text free slides) and also watch Greg Kelly, Gold Coast Intensivist and Westmead Palliative Physician as he had said a number of things that resonated with me in the End of Life plenary on day 2. Man was I blown away. Both Natalie and Greg were playing to a packed audience, standing room only (check out Vine Clip of packed house). I learned a great deal from Natalie on tips and tricks for looking after sick kids, but it was more than that. The care and compassion that was emphasised, it was evident that there was more than just an excellent clinician on stage. Then, the surprise packet, Greg Kelly, hands down my favourite talk and ensuing Q&A of the entire conference. I was in tears. Greg traversed his experiences and advice for caring for the dying child.

Greg urged us to:

1. See clearly – Benefits vs. Burdens not Withdrawal vs. Everything),

2. Discuss compassionately & honestly, allowing families to make loving decisions,

3. Act confidently. Know death and commit to spending at least 15 minutes in the room with dying patients to understand what death looks and feels like.

I have Storified the tweets from Greg’s talk and they are well worth a read (When Children Die)

If nothing at all else this session made me realise how lucky I am.


My beautiful kids

So, my experience of SMACCGOLD was dramatically different in comparison to SMACC 2013. I don’t know how much of this was me and the point I find myself in life, work, family and self and how much is actually because of skilfully and elegantly crafted conference program with amazing speakers (I suspect quite a portion of both). I don’t think comparisons between last year and this year or SMACC and other conferences are particularly beneficial. What I will say that my three take home from SMACCGOLD 2014 are:

  • A brilliant speaker, is brilliant regardless of profession
  • Critical care is about people and their ability to think and appraise the information at hand critically
  • Close to half of what we do now is wrong, but keep acting on the best and most plausible evidence to hand

In closing this post, I wanted to give the last words of acknowledgement to Greg Kelly. When asked an excellent question by an audience member as to advice on tips for dealing with the sudden and unexpected death of a child, Greg replied ‘Come to work as a human, remember that the patients and families you are dealing with a humans and everyone is doing the best they can’.



Talking SMACC – A nurse eye view.

In what felt like being part of a spectacular experiment, the SMACC 2013 program launched in style with an opening plenary to end all others, imploring us all to consider what make critical care so different? For the uninitiated, SMACC 2013 was the inaugural Social Media and Critical Care Conference, held at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre 11-13th March. It was a gathering of passionate healthcare providers who engage largely in social media and whose day jobs are mostly in critical care. The build up was the most amazing multi-pronged social media campaign I have seen and the conference exceeded all expectations.

First of all, I need to declare something. I am a male nurse. I am well accustomed to being in the minority. Even in critical care, my gender predisposes me to being the lower number in a ratio of 5:1. From a very superficial analysis of attendance at SMACC 2013, I would estimate about 20-30 maximum representation of nurses at a conference of approximately 600 delegates. This is ok. I heard whispered (tweeted) laments of imbalance in the program. Who cares? Am I a self loathing nurse? No. Am I a frustrated wannabe doctor? Also no. The jobs are different. I know, who’d have thought? Does it make me a SNAG? Well, my wife thinks so.

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My view of critical care, is that we are meeting patients and, more often, their families at the lowest moment in their life, isolated, scared, confused and disempowered. Hospitals swallow people and turn them into bed numbers. I see the role of the critical nurse as something different all together. If in any way I can make the darkest time of someone’s life more bearable, I am up for the challenge. I have had more rewarding moments from facilitating a good passing than resuscitating a patient. One of the most fulfilling moments I have experienced was when caring for an elderly man, whose prognosis was awful and cessation of treatment was imminent. His family, who I had come to know as jovial and upbeat people even at the worst moments, where all in huddled around the bed in awkward silence (I know, breaking the rules, be damned the 2 visitors only epithet – I’ve had to sit in an ICU waiting room, it is rubbish). Taking a chance and trying to read my audience I asked “what sort of a bloke is Bob? (pseudonym obviously). I haven’t really had a chance to meet him properly, he’s not been real chatty (he was invasively ventilated and unconscious). The sons and wife burst out laughing and I breathed a sigh of relief at what could have made me come off as an insensitive moron. “He is the sort of bloke who would love that you just said that.” “It’s not a church”, I replied, “you don’t have to be silent and there is no right or wrong way to deal with the fact that Bob is in this predicament.” That was enough to start the ball rolling with funny anecdotes about Bob’s life, tales from his profession, laughter and tears for the rest of my evening shift. Yes @emcrit “We are critical care”.

We don’t just instil fluids (not too much or the wrong ones thanks John Myburgh). We don’t just give propofol (the devil’s semen, thanks Cliff Reid), it’s not all about Ketamine and airway (Sorry Minh) and we don’t just use complex gadgets like transpulmonary thermodilution catheters (Roger Harris had everyone squirming in their seats for different reasons with this talk). I love to learn the physics, chemistry and biology behind the interventions I deliver. Not because I wish I was a doctor, but because it makes me a better nurse. It makes me a better data gatherer and analyst. It reduces the cognitive load and turns things from complex tasks I didn’t understand into planned executions of a bigger overall strategy. It makes more able me help save lives. It makes me quicker and more efficient, which means I get to sit on my butt and do nothing? No, it means I can talk to my patient and family. It means I can use that extra time to check and recheck for things that could go wrong and it means I can fill that time with more learning.

I love to learn from other nurses. This is one of the best things I have been given by the world of social media and it’s application for things other than posting selflies and pictures of food. This is why I got so much from SMACC and this is why I am happy to be in the minority. Meeting the likes of Ian (@impactednurse) and Kane Guthrie (like me has no fancy Twitter handle) among others at SMACC, my passion for being a critical care nurse found a bit of a counterpoint.

A common theme from SMACC 2013 was questioning dogma and being a subversive campaigner for change. For these two reasons, I don’t think much needs to change in the world of #FOAMed (other than maybe offsetting the cost of free – donations anyone?). How can you regulate change? How can you formalise subversion? My humble thoughts… why would you want to? On this theme of subversive ideas, my applause go to super nurse Sarah Webb, Resuscitation Coordinator at Royal North Shore. Getting up in front of a room full of emergency and intensive care physicians and pointing out that nurses too can make excellent leaders in resuscitation. The data on comparing ICU and ED Nurses and other disciplines certified as ALS providers at RNS was a moment that caused embarrassed gasps from the heavily under represented medical fraternity.  To confront this topic with style and grace (and a calm exterior) was pretty damn impressive. So to those who were concerned that nurses were under-represented at SMACC 2013, you probably weren’t looking in the right rooms. How about we do something about it and shout it from the rooftops for SMACC 2014. Lets drag our colleagues kicking and screaming into the world of Life In the Fast Lane, ICN, Impacted Nurse and the other plethora of great resources that can help broaden our often specialised focus and provide some insight into areas that are different from our own environment.

The measure of a successful conference is a feeling of reinvigoration for your work/cause and even with snot and sore throat, I returned with passion to teach today. I feel motivated, if not obligated to add to the bank of resource, thought and comment as we move to a new world of true evidence based practice rather than journal/eminence based. In all disciplines this is vital.

My only regret from SMACC 2013 was that, as a simulation educator, I missed Sim Wars (SONOWARS was a spectacle to behold), but lo and behold I can watch it for free http://prehospitalmed.com/2013/03/15/simwars-smacc-2013-download-280mb/. To finish up, I can genuinely say I understand the concept of FOAM now. To quote Scott Weingart, “don’t just dip your toes in, jump in the river and try and drink it!” I am thirsty for more, bring on the videos of all the awesome sessions I couldn’t see and bring on SMACC 2014.