A “Taste of Roanoke Street Fair,” similar to this event held for attendees at the Collaborating Across Borders conference in 2015, will be held on Monday, June 10 in Downtown Roanoke for attendees of the International Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE) annual meeting.

The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine will host the 2019 International Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE) Annual Meeting in Roanoke, Virginia, at the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center on June 8-11.

The conference has more than 650 people registered, coming from across the United States as well as a dozen other countries.

Originally, the conference was expected to attract 500 basic science and clinical educators to Virginia’s Blue Ridge, but that goal was met two months prior to the conference start. Additional registrations are still possible.

Pre-conference workshops will begin during the day on Saturday, June 8. The conference officially kicks off Saturday evening with an opening ceremony and reception beginning at 6 p.m. The next two days, Sunday and Monday, June 9-10, begin with a keynote presentation, followed by concurrent sessions throughout the day.

Conference attendees will get a special look at Roanoke on Monday evening, June 10, from 5:30-7:30 p.m., with a “Taste of Roanoke Street Fair,” in Downtown Roanoke’s Market Square.

The conference planners, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge, and Blue Ridge Catering partnered in planning the special event to showcase our wonderful city. A dozen local vendors will provide signature tastings to give guests a flavor of Virginia’s Blue Ridge with local beer provided by Big Lick Brewery. Live music will be provided by the Roanoke-based band, Appalachian Soul. Roanoke Mayor Sherman Lea, Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge President Landon Howard, and IAMSE President Richard Vari will give brief welcome remarks at the event.

The conference continues at the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center during the morning of Tuesday, June 11, with awards and a closing ceremony by mid-day. About 50 attendees signed up for a “Grand Extravaganza” following the official close of the conference, which will showcase more of the beauty of Virginia’s Blue Ridge with a hiking tour of Peaks of Otter in Bedford County followed by dinner at Ballast Point Brewery in Botetourt County.

Richard Vari, senior dean for academic affairs of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, is the current president of IAMSE. IAMSE is a nonprofit professional development society for health professions education. The organization seeks to promote “excellence and innovation in teaching, student assessment, program evaluation, instructional technology, human simulation, and learner-centered education.”

The medical school worked with the City of RoanokeThe Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center as the conference host site, other hotels for lodging, Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge, and the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport to put together the successful proposal to host this conference.

Last year’s IAMSE annual meeting was held in Las Vegas, Nevada; next year’s annual meeting will be held in Ottawa, Canada