Interview with Prof. Dr. Martin Dichgans

Director of the Institute for Stroke and Dementia Research (ISD), Hospital of the University of Munich

In the medical sector, Messe München has established itself among guest organisers from all over the world. We offer a state-of-the-art congress centre with directly connected halls and a team with years of experience in major world-class events. In the interview, Prof. Dr. Martin Dichgans goes into more detail about the advantages of Munich as a location and the locations of Messe München for medical congresses.

Europe's leading forum for advances in research and clinical care for patients with cerebrovascular diseases is taking place in Munich for the first time. What are the current prospects for this year's ESOC?

We expect an outstanding congress with excellent science and a large number of participants. The scientists and visitors come from all over the world. The Congress of the European Stroke Society (ESO) has meanwhile developed into the leading international stroke congress.

To what extent is the ICM – International Congress Center Messe München particularly suitable for medical congresses?

With the ICM we have the possibility to realise event formats of the most varied form—from plenary sessions with over 4,000 participants to intensive workshops for only 40 scientists—and in addition there are central and easily accessible exhibition and poster areas. This creates a compact congress format that facilitates intensive exchange between scientists.

What highlights can the participants of the congress particularly look forward to?

First and foremost, the large clinical trials, the results of which will be presented in the "Large Plenaries"—large, international studies on clinically relevant endpoints. In the context of a clinical trial, endpoints are the results obtained in each case. Some of them will have an influence on therapy guidelines and thus influence clinical practice. We are all curious, because we do not yet know the results in detail. The presentation will take place here in Munich for the first time. You can really look forward to it! In addition to the outstanding scientific programme, ESOC offers a comprehensive continuing education programme on current stroke care with workshops and symposia.

What does it mean for you personally, but also for the University Hospital of Munich and your institute, the Institute for Stroke and Dementia Research, to welcome ESOC to Munich?

We are very pleased that the European Stroke Society has chosen Munich as the congress venue. This is certainly also due to Munich's attractiveness and international visibility as a science location. For the LMU (Ludwig Maximilian University), the Munich University Hospitals, and the researchers here in Munich, this is certainly a success and an important event. I personally look forward to seeing many colleagues and friends again.

Why did you push for the congress to come to Munich?

Munich has established itself as an internationally recognised scientific location for stroke medicine. I think it is important that people in Munich come into contact with the topic, that our colleagues from all over the world get to know Munich as a city, and that scientists exchange information about stroke here locally. Munich offers excellent science with its universities TUM and LMU.

How important is the supporting programme at such an event, such as gala dinners or networking nights?

Very important. Gala sounds like a huge event now. It isn't. We try to create a setting where scientists and congress visitors can exchange ideas over dinner and in other settings. Such informal meetings can lead to new scientific collaborations and clinical issues, so they are an important element of congresses.

Are there special features that apply to medical congresses in particular?

Yes, I think so. At the centre of such congresses are typically the large international clinical trials already mentioned, which change clinical practice.

ESOC also places the topic of sustainability centrally in the congress focus. Which aspects would you like to point out in particular?

Yes, we have given a lot of thought to this. In the Presidential Session there will be a lecture by Christian Schulz on "Planetary Health—Adaptation, Mitigation and Resilience in Health Care Systems". We are focusing on travelling by public transport, not using disposable items, providing local food, and much more.