ASH or ASCO–New Orleans, Chicago or Orlando. Things all work pretty much the same. Find a place to park. Walk miles to get to registration. Wait in line. Walk around looking lost, carrying a big, overstuffed black shoulder bag like everyone else.
Registration was uncharacteristically easy today, so no problems there.
This year’s annual American Society of Hematology meetings are at the modern Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.
The place is huge–one of the largest in the world. But all things considered, it is fairly easy to get around and well designed.
The most meetings are in the West Hall, located in the middle of the complex. In the middle is a large, bright, glass covered five story atrium. To one side are the exhibits and past the large exhibit hall are the poster sessions.
The press room is conveniently located directly across from the exhibit hall.
On the other side are the general (oral) sessions. The walk from one end to the other is about a third of a mile–not so bad. At the larger ASCO convention in Chicago this summer, one had to traverse long corridors, cross Lake Shore Drive and literally walk one mile or more to get from one end of the convention to the other.
This seems more compact. There are also meetings at the impressive Peabody Hotel across International Drive. It takes a lot of space to keep over 20,000 hematologists, oncologists, researchers and clinicians busy! Still, attendance here is only a fraction of those at the ASCO oncology meetings in Chicago last June.
Like ASCO, this is truly an international meeting. As I write this, no one near me is speaking English. To my right sit’s a very young looking Japanese M.D.–he can’t be more than twenty five years old. To my left stands a group of five well dressed, French speaking men and women, waiting for the exhibition hall to open.
You hear French spoken here a lot. Sometimes I feel like I am at the winter Olympics, where French, along with English, is one of the official languages. You know–when you hear everything repeated in French at the medal and closing ceremonies.
I ate a good breakfast, have my comfortable shoes on and I’m ready to go!
Of course I am having trouble with Internet access outside the press room. I will check-in head back there later today around 4 PM.
I had start walking and get to work! Feel good and keep smiling! Pat