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CCSA Issues of Substance event coverage

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The 2021 Issues of Substance conference was attended by more than 750 online participants. To help the key themes and takeaways reach even more people, the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) asked Ascribe to attend the virtual event, take detailed notes and write an easy-to-read summary report.

How Ascribe helped

Issues of Substance is CCSA’s flagship event, held every other November as part of National Addictions Awareness Week. It aims to strengthen Canada’s response to substance use and addiction by sharing research and best practices related to substance use disorders, prevention, harm reduction, treatment and recovery. The 2021 edition was held entirely online, with the virtual format allowing people across Canada as well as international delegates to participate.

Ascribe was brought in to audit the event and produce a concise, public-friendly report summarizing the key themes and takeaways. A pair of Ascribe writers attended all three of the half-day sessions — the “fly on the wall” capturing detailed notes during the keynote remarks and plenary sessions.

The conference also featured more than 100 posters and presentations covering a vast range of important topics. CCSA’s livestreaming platform made it easy for attendees to choose the ones they wanted to attend based on their interests. This also meant it was impossible for any one person to take in everything the conference had to offer, which was another reason for the summary report. Our initial approach was to summarize every poster and presentation, working from abstracts provided by the presenters. However, this resulted in a report that was far too long and not easily scannable. To address this, we condensed each poster and presentation into a single bullet point highlighting the most important finding or result, with sets of bullets grouped together by a shared topic or theme.

The final report, about 15 pages long, was published on the CCSA website in April 2022. With its brief but engaging summaries of the main sessions, along with impactful quotes from the speakers and stats from the post-conference evaluation survey, the report was well received by the client.

Deliverable: Conference Summary Report

Our process:

  • Capture template
  • Live notetaking of keynotes and plenaries
  • Detailed content outline
  • Writing and revisions

Learn more about our event coverage and reporting service!

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