Commentary, EMS Today

Editorial: The Future of EMS Today

Mike MceVoy
JEMS Executive Editor Mike McEvoy

In March 2013, a conference in Sydney, Australia, changed the landscape of medical conferences worldwide.1 The first annual Social Media and Critical Care (SMACC) was purposefully redesigned, opening with a typical, boring presenter who was promptly tossed from the stage by a hulking wrestler. In the years following the first SMACC, the organizers evolved their conference to create an incredibly immersive experience for attendees, selling out registrations year after year. While SMACC ended in 2019, it left an indelible mark and taught many lessons to educators.

EMS Today recognizes the changing landscape of medical education and like SMACC, recognizes the need to provide more immersive experiences including hands on opportunities, shorter sessions, greater interactive themes, enhanced use of social media, more occasions for networking and socializing and exploring newer and better ways of sharing presentations across our digital platforms.

To that end, you will continue to see EMS Today evolve. This year, from March 2-6 in Tampa, Florida, we have only a handful of sessions longer than 60 minutes.  We have multiple preconference, hands on, beta classes from NAEMT, a full day leadership academy and half day sessions on emerging infectious diseases and an educator test development workshop taught by the National Registry.2 

There are conference sessions for every type of EMS provider and administrator including cadaver labs, classroom sessions using virtual reality, a simulation lab in the exhibit hall, research poster presentations and the spectacular JEMS Games final competition on Thursday evening preceded by a tailgating event in the exhibit hall. Network at an exhibit hall social on Wednesday afternoon followed by the Zoll Shockfest Wednesday evening. There are lunch and learn events as well as breakfast roundtables. 

Our call for presentations for EMS Today 2021 will open shortly. Scheduled March 9-13 in San Antonio, Texas, we will be asking speakers to submit talks about topics we know you want to hear. If you want to contribute to our list, please shoot me a message at [email protected].  I look forward to seeing you at EMS Today in Tampa this March!


1. S.M.A.C.C. The History of SMACC. Accessed January 28, 2020.

2. EMS Today – The JEMS Conference and Exhibition.  About EMS Today. Accessed January 28, 2020.