Insider's Guide

Before You Arrive

Plan Your Travel

When booking your plane travel, keep in mind that the meeting officially begins on Friday, June 2, at 1:00 PM. Before you book, read about the Pre-Annual Meeting Educational Programs that begin on Thursday, June 1, and see if they compliment your learning goals.

Select Your Sessions

Use the iPlanner to help build your itinerary and plan your daily schedule. ASCO offers over 130 education sessions and 115 scientific sessions in all disciplines of oncology. The online version of the iPlanner is available now; the mobile app version can be downloaded from your app store starting on May 4.

Expand Your Learning Opportunities

Although the Meeting begins on Friday, June 2, at 1:00 PM, ASCO offers two type of educational offers prior to its official start: Seminars and Case-Based Courses. Pre-Annual Meeting Seminars offer an in-depth and extended educational opportunity dedicated to topic of interest in the oncology community. Pre-Annual Meeting Case-Based Courses offer a flipped-classroom format focused on case-based learning. Both of these educational offerings have been approved for AMA PRA Category Credit. Learn more about Pre-Annual Meeting Seminars.

Who's Attending?

After you've registered, see who else is coming. Use the Find a Colleague directory, available through the Attendee Resource Center, to search by name, institution, and specialty and see if they're also registered. If they are, send them an email, and make plans to catch up.

Chicago is a Destination

Attend sessions by day and explore Chicago by night. Familiarize yourself with what Chicago has to offer by checking out for a sampling of how to spend your downtime and local cuisine that can't be missed.

Plan to Visit the Oncology Professionals Hall

There will be more than 500 companies exhibiting. Take a moment to review the Exhibitor List, and plan who you want to visit. Exhibits are open Saturday through Monday. Narrow down which booths you will stop by, and sample a tasty smoothie or latte that might be brewing while you're at it.

Pack Smart

ASCO attendees generally adhere to a business dress code. Packing the items below will make your Meeting easier:

  • Comfortable shoes (You'll be adding lots of steps to your pedometer.)
  • Layers (30,000 people have different ideas about temperature--come prepared!)
  • Refillable water bottles (There are water stations throughout McCormick Place.)
  • Laptop, tablet, and/or smartphone (Not to mention your chargers!)
  • Notebook, pen, and business cards
  • Your badge (If you registered by April 26, it was mailed to you!)

Prepare Your Devices

Download the iPlanner mobile app by searching for "ASCO iPlanner" in your app store. Most attendees find this app THE way to navigate the Meeting. While you're at it, install other important apps: OpenTable for making dinner reservations, Twitter to stay connected to Meeting news, and ASCO iMeeting to download and listen to Videos and Slides offline.

Test your username and password before leaving for Chicago and ensure you have access to everything you need during the Meeting. Questions? Contact ASCO Customer Service by email or call 888-282-2552 or visit Technology Assistance at Concierge Services, North Building, Level 3, Grand Concourse onsite at the Meeting. 

Download Meeting Materials Before You Arrive

The Attendee Resource Center contains key Meeting information. Find everything from Educational Book articles to your Meeting Evaluation. New this Year, attendees will be offered the option to personalize the Attendee Resource Center, simply by logging in with your ASCO username and password.

The Night Before

Charge Your Devices - and Yourself

Make sure everything is charging before you fall asleep so you can hit the ground running in the morning. ASCO shuttles start running and Registration opens at 7:00 AM on Friday, but the first sessions don't start until 1:00 PM. Give yourself plenty of time to head to Registration in Hall C and grab a cup of coffee before your first session.

Stay Flexible

Your Meeting will go extra smoothly if you keep a relaxed, flexible mindset. (Struggle with that? Try one of the Physician Wellness sessions in the S406 lobby, starting on Saturday!) Have backup plans ready if you can't make a session in time. In general, pad your schedule with extra time to arrive at your destination. Traveling inside and outside of McCormick Place can take time! Remember, Video and Slides are a part of your registration, so you can always catch a presentation later.

Know How to Get to McCormick Place

When it comes to tranportation, you have options: free ASCO shuttles, taxis, Metra, CTA ("L train"), Divvy bikeshare, and more. Review the list of transportation options.

During the Meeting

Pick Up Your Badge

After arriving at McCormick Place, the first thing you should do is get your badge, if it hasn't already been sent to you in the mail. You can get your badge starting on Friday, June 2, at 7:00 AM at Registration in Hall C. If you've already received your badge in the mail, swing by Materials Pickup at Gate 3. Faculty? Head to N426 to upload your presentation, and get your materials. 

Finding Your Way

Use the iPlanner mobile app (available for download through the Attendee Resource Center) to map how to get from your location to your next session. Feeling lost? Stop by one of five Information Desks, or ask a question to one of the people holding a sign with a question mark. They will gladly point you in the right direction. Concierge Services is staffed with people to help you with a range of questions from restaurant reservations, to help using one of ASCO's many apps.

iPlanner and Session Recommender

Everyone has a different lsit of must-see sessions based on their specialty. Looking for a little more guidance on which sessions might pique your interest? New this year, ASCO is piloting a Session Recommender that allows you to discover suggested sessions to help build personalized schedules.

Make Connections

Everywhere you look, there are seats set aside for you to sit down with a colleague and catch up. There are specialized lounges where you can find people on a similar path: the Donor Lounge, the Trainee and Junior Faculty Lounge, the Women's Networking Center, and the Journals Lounge.

At the end of the day, join your colleagues to Unwind on the D2 Terrace. Drinks and snacks will be available for purchase. Take in the gorgeous views of Lake Michigan while meeting friends, or making new connections.

Be Social

There's a lot going on at Annual Meeting; share it with your network. Tweet, post on LinkedIn, share on Facebook--whatever your preferenc. Stay up-to-date with the latest tweets by following #ASCO17.

Battery Low?

New this year, rent a portable phone charger to take with you to a session for only $5. Rental machines are located on East Level 3 by the Information Desk, North Level 2 by the shoe shine, and South Level 1 at the escalators going up to Level 2.5.

Power strips are placed on tables throughout the building to help you recharge while networking or grabbing a bite to eat.

Stay Hydrated and Satiated

Staying hydrated is one of the keys to keeping up momentum. Thirsty? There are water stations at the back of every session room. Hungry? McCormick Place has a lot of food options open for breakfast, lunch, and late afternoon in each of its buildings. There are tons of grab-and-go items as well as large food courts where you can find a seat. Check out the Food Section in your mobile app for a list of options.

Shop and Dine to Conquer Cancer

Take advantage of the wonderful dining and shopping opportunities Chicago has to offer and support the Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO at the same time. See the full list of the local businesses supporting the Foundation and help us raise money to conquer cancer. See the full list of the local businesses supporting the Foundation at and help us raise money to conquer cancer.

Claim CE Credits

You can claim CE credit and rate sessions directly from the iPlanner mobile app (download it through the Attendee Resource Center) or your app store (available May 10). Select the session that you are in or a session that you have attended, and choose the "Rate Session" or "Claim CE" buttons. Read about all of the ways to give feedback at the Annual Meeting on

After the Meeting

Keep Up the Momentum

Once the Annual Meeting is over, it's time to bring what you've learned back to your patients. Didn't get to every session on your list? Included in your registration fee is access to Video and Slides (available through the Attendee Resource Center), an online archive of abstracts, slides, posters, and recorded presentations from every nonticketed session.

Help Improve the Meeting

Your feedback is what fuels us. Submit your evaluation to make sure your voice is heard. We strive to make improvements each year, and the evaluation is one of our greatest tools for collective feedback.

Plan for 2018

Want earlier access to hotels next year? Consider becoming an ASCO Member. ASCO members save on registration and get advanced access to hotel reservations in October.