The International Symposium on Endovascular Therapeutics (SITE) is an annual international symposium based in Barcelona, Spain, with its focus in the Spanish vascular world. Vincent Riambau, founder and chairman of SITE, spoke to Vascular News about founding the meeting, how it has developed in the 19 years since, and what sets it apart as a vascular symposium.
How have you seen the meeting develop and change since its inception in 2000?
In 2005, we introduced competition sessions, with attractive educational awards for the best challenging case, the best free paper and the best poster presentation. We increased our attendee spectrum attracting delegates from all the Latin American countries, and other different nationalities up to 54 countries in the last 2017 edition. SITE provides high performance simultaneous translation system (Spanish-English-Spanish) in order to facilitate the oral communication, discussion and interaction amongst all the participants.
Where did the concept for the SITE meeting come from?
Many years ago, at the end of the 90’s, our group in Barcelona and other colleagues in San Sebastian, initiated two very similar, small international, multidisciplinary meetings in both cities. At that time, when the endovascular techniques strongly emerged in the vascular arena, both groups were the most active in our country in that field and we needed to interchange our experiences with other selected international experts and share all this information with the rest of the Spanish vascular community. Very soon, we realised that it could be more effective being together in one single annual event. That idea became reality in 2000. In 2005, we decided to make up one single multidisciplinary event in Barcelona, every other year, in order to have enough time to collect new endovascular techniques and emergent technology and avoid an overcrowding of endovascular meetings in the international calendar. SITE is now the largest endovascular meeting in the Iberian peninsula.
Since 2014, the SITE symposium alternates with the SITEupdate—a one-day expert meeting with the objective to identify current limitations and propose future directions to stimulate research and development.
What sets SITE apart from other meetings of its kind?
SITE allows very compelling discussion periods that are strictly respected at the end of every session. SITEupdate sessions included in the SITE programme, are just focused on hot topic discussions about unmet needs. SITE offers many competition sessions related to challenging cases, free papers and poster presentations for different sectors. More recently, SITE included in its mission list, in accordance with the Endovascular Foundation, to identify and promote young talented physicians with specific educational grants and more personalised workshops and opportunities. SITE and the Endovascular Foundation should aid and buttress the next generation of endovascular specialists.
What are the main highlights for the upcoming SITE 2019 meeting?
The 2019 programme will include hot topics, (technical innovations, evidences, updates), disaster cases (the worst case in my life) and top secret sessions (tips and tricks) presented by expert faculty; cases in a box, free papers, a great debate and a session with a SITEupdate flavour to discuss specific unmet needs will complete the first day. On the final day of the programme, we will have some joint sessions with the China Endovascular Course. For this reason, we will include a new simultaneous translation system (Chinese-English-Chinese).
The main programme is running in one main auditorium. Very few simultaneous sessions are scheduled. All the participants can get the most practical updated ideas, burning challenges and future directions concerning all the endovascular fields within two and half days.