Over 2 weeks in July 2022, the Urinary Tract Infection Global Alliance (UTIGA) hosted the 4th Clinical and Scientific Advances in Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) meeting. This conference was back after a 3-year hiatus caused by COVID-19 and, owing to the pandemic, the organizers decided to use an innovative online platform to hold the meeting.

The Gather video platform has been designed to promote the human element in virtual interactions. For conferences specifically, this platform provides a customizable space that “transforms your event into an immersive experience that captivates attendees from start to finish”. Hosts create a space that suits their needs and participants create an avatar that can move around this space and interact with other attendees, reminiscent of an in-person meeting. The decisions to hold the meeting in the Gather platform and spaced over 2 weeks enabled the best attendance of the conference to date, with a truly global participation.

The programme included an excellent mix of talks, panel discussions and poster sessions, as well as dedicated career development sessions for early-career researchers. The conference overall had a real focus on promoting and supporting early-stage researchers, which was great to see.

The panel discussions on the clinical management of UTI and the importance of antibiotic stewardship were particularly interesting and informative, providing insights into the unique challenges of UTI diagnosis and treatment in different settings.

The talks and posters were wide ranging, from understanding the molecular biology of UTI pathogenesis to clinical manifestations and management implications, making the topics of this conference truly bench to bedside and enhancing understanding of this important disease.

In conclusion, this meeting was innovative in content and construction and the future of research in UTI is bright.