My goal this year at ASH was to help the readers of our blogs feel like they were in San Diego with us at one of the largest hematology conferences in the world. For readers to feel the experience, not just read about the science, was important to me. During the conference, I took notes, photos, and videos to try to capture the experience and will share some of those here. ASH 2023 was the most attended ASH annual meeting in history with 32,000 attendees from around the world; around 4,000 of these attended virtually. To help visualize the immense undertaking that this conference requires, before the meeting, 362 trucks delivered over 2.1 MILLION pounds of materials to the San Diego Convention Center. Unbelievable!
Programs were not only held in the convention center, but at 3 nearby hotel meeting spaces as well. Ancillary meetings were held throughout the city, as hematologists from around the world network and collaborate with one another for the good of the patient.
The IMF Myeloma Voices at ASH staff attendees arrived to San Diego 2 days before our other Support Group Leaders for preparation. Even upon arrival in the San Diego airport, we saw ASH preparations already at work!
We verified our tech capabilities in all locations, set up our meeting rooms, and walked all of the ASH locations to determine the most efficient routes between locations, as sometimes, there was only 15 minutes between presentations to get from one location to another. We visited all of the different areas in the San Diego Convention Center.
Bicycle rickshaws were available between locations and the drivers were crazy and fun! Loud music and fun atmosphere helped to rejuvenate us between sessions if we needed a ride!
Some of the rooms used for different presentations, oral abstracts, educational programs, and scientific sessions were HUGE!
The SAILS pavilion was a beautiful and bright room filled with the San Diego perpetual sunshine that housed the more social aspects of the conference, including the Health Equity Studio, Wellness Studio, ASH merchandise store, head shot alley, and lots of spots to sit and network with colleagues.
ASH offered many photo opportunities throughout the conference! Robin, Michael, and I took advantage of a few before the start of the conference!
Walking through the hallways of the conference was both intense and inspiring, knowing that everyone was there for the same reason: to learn and improve the lives of hematology patients across the globe. The following video doesn’t capture the packed hallways once the convention started, but does show the immense size of the space.
The poster hall, where all of the poster abstracts were housed was overwhelming with rows upon rows of posters depicting research being done in all aspects of hematology.
Between mapping out locations and preparations, we found some tourist pearls of San Diego to share. Please enjoy these beautiful images that we captured during our time in San Diego OUTSIDE of the convention center!