The 64th annual meeting and exhibition of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) took place between December 10th and 13th, in 2022. Long heralded as THE conference for Hematologists and those in the field, the conference took place in New Orleans, Louisiana at the Ernest Morial Convention Center. As this was the second in-person conference since COVID lockdowns, the Society did an excellent job making sure that attendees, exhibitors, and speakers served a wide range of interests and subjects
Even though in-person events returned in a big way in late 2021 and throughout 2022, this conference felt lively and engaging with a large exhibit area providing room for an endless array of touchscreen and interactive exhibits as well as space to network and get to know fellow attendees. Never an organization to sit idle when the chance at improvement and innovation presents itself, the Society delivered an improved conference experience in almost every way.
For starters, the conference featured many comforts and conveniences attendees have come to expect from large, annual gatherings. Coffee bars and afternoon snacks were regularly available. The agenda and sessions were laid out in a way that was logical and served the interests of attendees. And the schedule of events made it simple for attendees to make it from one session or event to the next without feeling rushed, crowded, or lost.
A variety of sessions including poster sessions, oral abstract sessions, scientific sessions ensured there was something for everyone even though the overall slant favored HCP and pharmaceuticals over academia and research. That said, a number of certified medical education sessions made the overall agenda well-rounded and a great experience for attendees whether their interests in hematology were personal and or professional.
As always, the awarding of the Wallace H. Coulter Award for Lifetime Achievement, the ASH Mentor Award, and ASH Award for Leadership Promoting Diversity took place on Sunday afternoon. A wide range of winners were honored for their previous and continued contributions to the field.
Trends in precision medicine, an approach that includes analysis and consideration of the individual patient’s genetics when determining the best treatment regimen, were front and center at this year’s conference. With precision medicine captivating so many in the field of hematology, the ASH 2022 conference was an excellent venue to highlight this fascinating innovation in medicine.
As for the conference itself, dynamic displays and interactivity turned curiosity into wisdom. For example, one popular exhibit demo took microscopic two-dimensional slides and presented them as 3D Z-stack. Additionally, touchscreens that, upon interaction, powered content of other touchscreens and wall-displays were present throughout the exhibit hall. Essentially every single exhibit was supported with some form of digital signage, displays, and demos. This kind of support meant that, even if an attendee only had a few minutes visiting a booth, they could gather some essential knowledge and value.
With the 65th annual conference planning already underway, hematologists and pharmaceutical companies can again take comfort that next year they will have a great event where they can congregate, network, and learn from other leaders in the field.
By: Leah Cepko
Director, Strategy & Planning