Technology Forum: Pittcon

February 11, 2008

E-Separation Solutions

E-Separation Solutions-02-11-2008, Volume 0, Issue 0

This month, Chromatography Online's Technology Forum looks at the topic of Pittcon and the trends and issues surrounding it. Joining us for this discussion is Michael Swartz of Synomics Pharmaceutical Services, Tom Ricci of Ricci Communications, and Kevin McLaughlin of Shimadzu.

This month, Chromatography Online's Technology Forum's topic is Pittcon and we've invited Michael Swartz of Synomics Pharmaceutical Services, Tom Ricci of Ricci Communications, and Kevin McLaughlin of Shimadzu to share their thoughts and memories of the biggest conference in separation science.

How many times have you attended Pittcon and what are some of your favorite memories throughout the years?

Swartz: I think I have attended Pittcon 20 out of the last 25 years. Getting there and back tends to dominate my memories-I?ve traveled to Pittcon via bus, in a plane that was struck by lightning, and slept in airports stranded to and fro in what it seems to be the inevitable Pittcon snowstorm. While at the show, my memories mostly center around the opportunities to catch up with colleagues and friends that I may not get to see the rest of the year. And of course, I always enjoy seeing what?s new in the technical arena. I manage to squeeze in a few talks, looking for science and trying to avoid the sales pitches.

Ricci: I have attended Pittcon 14 times - ten as an exhibitor and four as a marketing consultant for the Pittsburgh Conference. As an exhibitor, one of my more memorable Pittcons was a year when it was held in Atlantic City and we bused nearly 200 employees to the conference. Most of the employees contributed to the Pittcon effort in some way back in the home office, but never had the opportunity to attend. They were grateful to get the full experience.

McLaughlin: 2008 will be my 7th Pittcon. My most memorable experience remains my first one in 2002. Coming face-to-face with the sheer size and scope of the show has left an indelible mark. Beyond that, the aspects I enjoy most are the relationships I?ve built over the years. In many respects, Pittcon has become a time of year to become reacquainted with colleagues from within Shimadzu, other companies, and publications.

What makes Pittcon the top conference in the industry?

Swartz: The vendor exhibit is very comprehensive, and although you really have to pick and choose, the technical papers are always an attraction, both in scope and magnitude.

Ricci:Pittcon always fulfills the promise of being the one place where you can see the most recent developments in laboratory instrumentation from all of the various manufacturers and suppliers. The conference is unique because it offers such a broad technical program, providing conferees with the opportunity for education in their own discipline, as well as exposure to related sciences that may be important in future collaborative work. It?s also a great meeting place to network with colleagues, whether for personal, professional or business related reasons. Pittcon now offers 27 conferee networking sessions to facilitate further interactions.

McLaughlin:Foremost, Pittcon is still the leading instrument show. While users can learn about new developments through other means, many instruments are not released until Pittcon. This gives users an opportunity to learn what?s new, now. In addition, attendees can get a first-hand look at available instruments. If shopping for a GC, an attendee can see a number of instruments, from numerous manufacturers, at one time. From my perspective, since my company manufactures and sells a full range of analytical instruments, from high-end mass spectrometers and chromatographs to spectrophotometers and balances. Pittcon is the one show that allows us to showcase our full breadth of products. It?s an opportunity for us to show users how we can meet nearly every application requirement.

What trends in the industry do you expect to see at this year's conference?

Swartz: Faster, smaller, automated and green.

Ricci:Drug discovery and the life sciences continue to be well funded areas of research and the recent advances in these areas are being presented at Pittcon in growing numbers, both in the Technical Program and in the exhibition hall where the instrumentation involved in this work is on display. This year, among a number of leading life scientists, Dr. Leroy Hood, President, Institute for Systems Biology, will deliver the plenary lecture and receive the Pittcon Heritage Award. He also organized the Waters symposium. With a wider audience in the life science and pharmaceutical areas, we may see a more diverse group of exhibitors as well.

McLaughlin:I think we?ll continue to see a movement toward greater automation, making the instruments easier to use and manage. This will tie in, to some degree, with more advanced software that will enable multiple users to conduct more efficient analyses. Overall, in many respects, it?s all about speed and efficiency, and developing hardware and software to meet the expectations of a diverse group of users.

What does the conference's return to New Orleans mean to you?

Swartz: I have to admit, I?m apprehensive, given all that happened there after the hurricane, and the pictures I saw on the news. However, I know how much having a major conference like PittCon in town for a week can do to help a local economy. So in a way, I guess maybe I look at it as continuing to support an area that from what I?ve seen, still has yet to fully recover.

Ricci:New Orleans has always been a receptive host city for Pittcon and the return this year will help their continuing revitalization efforts. In the past three years, Pittcon has contributed nearly one quarter million dollars in support of science programs in the New Orleans area schools in the form of equipment grants, workshops for teachers and programs for students at all grade levels. It has also been great to see that many of the exhibitors and conferees are sponsoring volunteer relief programs in conjunction with Pittcon 2008.

McLaughlin:As I mentioned, my first Pittcon was in 2002, the last year it was held in New Orleans. So, for me, I?ve come full circle. This time, with more experience, I?ll have a better handle on things and hope to enjoy the show and city more. On a personal level, as a fan of jazz, Cajun food, and the Big Easy itself, I?m looking forward to contributing to what is still one of the most unique cities in the world.

 

This month, Chromatography Online's Technology Forum The topic this month is Pittcon and we've invited Michael Swartz of Synomics Pharmaceutical Services, Tom Ricci of Ricci Communications, and Kevin McLaughlin of Shimadzu to share their thoughts and memories of the biggest conference in separation science.

How many times have you attended Pittcon and what are some of your favorite memories throughout the years?

Swartz: I think I have attended Pittcon 20 out of the last 25 years. Getting there and back tends to dominate my memories-I?ve traveled to Pittcon via bus, in a plane that was struck by lightning, and slept in airports stranded to and fro in what it seems to be the inevitable Pittcon snowstorm. While at the show, my memories mostly center around the opportunities to catch up with colleagues and friends that I may not get to see the rest of the year. And of course, I always enjoy seeing what?s new in the technical arena. I manage to squeeze in a few talks, looking for science and trying to avoid the sales pitches.

Ricci: I have attended Pittcon 14 times - ten as an exhibitor and four as a marketing consultant for the Pittsburgh Conference. As an exhibitor, one of my more memorable Pittcons was a year when it was held in Atlantic City and we bused nearly 200 employees to the conference. Most of the employees contributed to the Pittcon effort in some way back in the home office, but never had the opportunity to attend. They were grateful to get the full experience.

McLaughlin: 2008 will be my 7th Pittcon. My most memorable experience remains my first one in 2002. Coming face-to-face with the sheer size and scope of the show has left an indelible mark. Beyond that, the aspects I enjoy most are the relationships I?ve built over the years. In many respects, Pittcon has become a time of year to become reacquainted with colleagues from within Shimadzu, other companies, and publications.

What makes Pittcon the top conference in the industry?

Swartz: The vendor exhibit is very comprehensive, and although you really have to pick and choose, the technical papers are always an attraction, both in scope and magnitude.

Ricci:Pittcon always fulfills the promise of being the one place where you can see the most recent developments in laboratory instrumentation from all of the various manufacturers and suppliers. The conference is unique because it offers such a broad technical program, providing conferees with the opportunity for education in their own discipline, as well as exposure to related sciences that may be important in future collaborative work. It?s also a great meeting place to network with colleagues, whether for personal, professional or business related reasons. Pittcon now offers 27 conferee networking sessions to facilitate further interactions.

McLaughlin:Foremost, Pittcon is still the leading instrument show. While users can learn about new developments through other means, many instruments are not released until Pittcon. This gives users an opportunity to learn what?s new, now. In addition, attendees can get a first-hand look at available instruments. If shopping for a GC, an attendee can see a number of instruments, from numerous manufacturers, at one time. From my perspective, since my company manufactures and sells a full range of analytical instruments, from high-end mass spectrometers and chromatographs to spectrophotometers and balances. Pittcon is the one show that allows us to showcase our full breadth of products. It?s an opportunity for us to show users how we can meet nearly every application requirement.

What trends in the industry do you expect to see at this year's conference?

Swartz: Faster, smaller, automated and green.

Ricci:Drug discovery and the life sciences continue to be well funded areas of research and the recent advances in these areas are being presented at Pittcon in growing numbers, both in the Technical Program and in the exhibition hall where the instrumentation involved in this work is on display. This year, among a number of leading life scientists, Dr. Leroy Hood, President, Institute for Systems Biology, will deliver the plenary lecture and receive the Pittcon Heritage Award. He also organized the Waters symposium. With a wider audience in the life science and pharmaceutical areas, we may see a more diverse group of exhibitors as well.

McLaughlin:I think we?ll continue to see a movement toward greater automation, making the instruments easier to use and manage. This will tie in, to some degree, with more advanced software that will enable multiple users to conduct more efficient analyses. Overall, in many respects, it?s all about speed and efficiency, and developing hardware and software to meet the expectations of a diverse group of users.

What does the conference's return to New Orleans mean to you?

Swartz: I have to admit, I?m apprehensive, given all that happened there after the hurricane, and the pictures I saw on the news. However, I know how much having a major conference like PittCon in town for a week can do to help a local economy. So in a way, I guess maybe I look at it as continuing to support an area that from what I?ve seen, still has yet to fully recover.

Ricci:New Orleans has always been a receptive host city for Pittcon and the return this year will help their continuing revitalization efforts. In the past three years, Pittcon has contributed nearly one quarter million dollars in support of science programs in the New Orleans area schools in the form of equipment grants, workshops for teachers and programs for students at all grade levels. It has also been great to see that many of the exhibitors and conferees are sponsoring volunteer relief programs in conjunction with Pittcon 2008.

McLaughlin:As I mentioned, my first Pittcon was in 2002, the last year it was held in New Orleans. So, for me, I?ve come full circle. This time, with more experience, I?ll have a better handle on things and hope to enjoy the show and city more. On a personal level, as a fan of jazz, Cajun food, and the Big Easy itself, I?m looking forward to contributing to what is still one of the most unique cities in the world.