Thank you, goodbye — see you next time!

Well, what an incredible five days this has been for me. I came in to this experience not knowing what to expect at all. At first I found it all so overwhelming — the crowds from around the world, the number of sessions on a variety of topics, the language barrier and just the general buzz of it all.

It didn’t take me long though to acclimatise to it all and I swiftly found my rhythm — choosing sessions to attend that were both directly related to my day-to-day work and on topics that were of personal interest. A happy side effect of this experience has also been that I feel my English has improved dramatically!

The highlights of ISTH2017 (and my first ISTH congress!) were definitely:

· All the Berlin bears dotted around the venue — they really are works of art

· Realising that there are loads of people, from all over the globe, interested in haemostasis. I previously believed that it was a small field in the medical/scientific world and it’s been eye-opening to realise just how many others love this field too

· The exhibition booths have been really impressive and the variety of interactive experiences/learning tools has been amazing. The possibilities for this type of technology to go beyond congress and transition to educational tools are endless. The virtual reality headsets and experiences were a personal favourite activity on different booths

· Seeing my old laboratory devices displayed on one of the booths was also great — it meant a lot to me to see other delegates taking an interest. Either those from my generation remembering using them themselves and younger delegates questioning what they were and learning about the ‘old’ technology — which still works by the way!

My ‘old’ equipment in all its glory

So I would like to say a huge thank you to all of those people that I have met the last five days, and to all of you who have been following my experiences through this blog. It’s been an absolute blast and I can’t wait to come back to another ISTH congress in the future.

See you next time,

Dirk

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