The International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH) 2019

Case Study

The International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH), is a world leading non-for-profit organisation, which aims to advance understanding, prevention and diagnosis and treatment of conditions related to thrombosis and haemostasis. They initiate and promote education and outreach activities, scientific meetings, peer-review publications and standards development.

The ISTH has 5,000 members across 100 countries. The ISTH 2019 Congress was held over five days at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) providing an opportunity for researchers and experts in the field to connect and collaborate on current studies and issues around thrombosis and haemostasis. It is an annual meeting that focuses on advancing this significant medical field.

Team Melbourne

The Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) secured the Congress in less than six months, winning the bid on 26 July 2011 over two major cities, who were also shortlisted.

During the bidding process, the MCB received considerable citywide support. Club Melbourne Ambassador (CMA) Associate Professor Robert Medcalf, Ph.D., was supportive throughout the bidding process, which included presenting Melbourne’s bid in Kyoto, Japan.

Former Victorian Minister for Health, Jenny Mikakos MP provided a welcome letter for the program while City of Melbourne provided a volunteer visitor desk on site. Melbourne demonstrated its collaborative approach during the bidding journey and showcased how the city comes together for winning business events.

Why Melbourne was chosen

MCB provided a strong application together with a robust ambassador program underpinned by citywide support and the effective ‘Team Melbourne’ approach. The collaboration from the City of Melbourne, State of Victoria and MCB was highly regarded as were the carefully selected sites appropriate for the Congress needs.

Melbourne went above and beyond with partners able to provide bespoke initiatives tailored to the client’s requirements. These partnerships facilitated delegate travel and transport discount and incentives with Qantas Airways and SkyBus at Melbourne Airport.

A key decision-making influence was Melbourne’s global reputation as a leader in the health and medical sector. The city’s continued success in this field, enabled the opportunity for delegates to tap into local knowledge and innovation available in Melbourne and a compelling drawcard in attracting experts to collaborate, connect and inspire.

Logistically, the MCEC’s infrastructure and location reinforced the city as the ideal destination for ISTH 2019. Nowhere is Melbourne’s conventions and events focus more evident than along the tree-lined banks and promenades of Melbourne’s picturesque Yarra River. It’s a precinct that specifically allows delegates to make the most of every moment of their stay in Australia’s cultural, sporting, food, fashion and business capital.

“The ISTH 2019 Congress held in Melbourne was an incredibly successful event. A major highlight of returning to Oceania was obtaining an increase in first time attendees from the Asia-Pacific region. A great majority responded that attending the ISTH 2019 Congress was either extremely valuable or very valuable to them.”

Michelle Dial, ISTH Meetings Manager

Site Visits – Key Factor in the Bid Journey

In the lead up to the Congress, MCB coordinated and delivered four site visits. Site visits allow clients to fully experience the destination and understand the city’s capabilities for hosting a conference.

MCB showcases its true collaborative approach when hosting site visits, and clients can immediately appreciate how the city comes together for delivering business events.

Site visits for ISTH 2019 included tours of the MCEC, major Melbourne City hotels, National Gallery of Victoria, dinners at unique restaurants, walking tour of the City centre, accommodation provided at Crown Metropol plus many other activities and key meetings.

“Each site visit was extremely valuable in the planning of the meeting,” said Ms. Dial.

The Congress

The Congress commenced with an exciting opening ceremony and reception which included science, local culture and wildlife. An indigenous Australian song by Uncle Ian Hunter, an elder member of the Wurundjeri Wilam people welcomed delegates to Melbourne.

CMA and Associate Professor Robert Medcalf, Ph.D, ISTH 2019 Congress President, welcomed all delegates highlighting Melbourne as an ideal city for this conference.

Delegates convened to present latest basic, translational and clinical research and to discuss the diagnostic and therapeutic advances in bleeding and clotting disorders.

The Congress featured a range of ground-breaking research, innovative offerings and scientific advances to improve patients’ lives worldwide, while serving as a stage for professionals to connect with industry peers and learn from experts in the field.

Topic streams at the Congress included arterial thrombosis, bleeding, coagulation consults, new technologies, platelets, vascular biology, venous thrombosis and women’s and children’s coagulation.


Charity Run

Offering a holistic and altruistic culture for business events is becoming increasingly popular as health and wellness are now key priorities for delegates. In order to stay competitive in the ever-changing world of events, MCB worked with the client to incorporate wellness into the event and helped to facilitate a charity fun run.

On Monday 8 July, 200 Congress attendees participated in a five-kilometre charity run held at the Royal Botanic Gardens to support the World Thrombosis Day, an initiative by the ISTH. The goal was to provide an opportunity for participants to get moving and to reenergise, while generating awareness and raising over $4,000 for such an important issue.

Networking Evening:

The Networking Evening was an opportunity for colleagues to enjoy a social night and connect. The evening was hosted by Showtime Event Group who activated many of the venues and restaurants at South Wharf along the Yarra river and demonstrated the city’s capability for unique events.