It was the third year for Neoteryx exhibiting at MSACL US in Palm Springs, and as always it was an exciting show with new opportunities all around.
This year was all about new products for us, including Blood Collection Kits and the Flow-Thru™ Mitra® tips. While all of them got their share of attention, the show-stopper seemed to be the INTEGRA VIAFLO® with Flow-Thru Mitra tips. The red-dyed tips are lowered into solvent by the 96-well pipetting head, which aspirates and dispenses solvent repeatedly through the tips to perform the extraction, bypassing the need to use sonication and vortexing. The workflow is automated, and lab directors could clearly visualize the reduced amount of pipetting and hands-on time required by their laboratory staff.
Our corporate workshop, by Dr. Paul Janetto of the Mayo Clinic, was a hit – our largest workshop to date. We had technologists, lab directors, researchers, and the like come to see Paul discuss his work to monitor transplant patients for their immunosuppressant drug levels. His data overwhelmingly showed that patients prefer to poke their fingertips and collect small capillary samples using Mitra than to come into a phlebotomy lab for a typical venous blood draw. It was powerful to see clinical data from the Mayo Clinic corroborating that patients find microsampling easier, more convenient, and less invasive.
Considering that this was the premier mass spectrometry event in the United States, the thoughtful organization made it feel intimate. It was easy to mingle and talk; the well-planned lines for food and drink made it easy to get seconds; and the wait for the ping pong and foosball tables was manageable.
During the full day of scientific talks and discussions, the organizers make it easy to take a break and recharge. Groups of former colleagues and collaborators sit and have their lunches on the pool patio under the sun, or get in a few games of ping pong before the next talk.
Hospitality sessions give us the chance to relax with colleagues by the poolside fire or one of the lounges if you’re done with talks for the day. This fosters a friendly and convivial atmosphere, which is not always the case at large shows.
The flow of traffic and organization of the show were executed very well, as always. The lunches and coffee breaks are set around the same times every day - 10 am, 12 pm, and 5 pm - and give the attendees an opportunity to grab some food (which is always great by tradeshow standards) and mosey around the hall visiting booths and poster sessions. The posters are spread out systematically and attended at well-timed intervals, assuring that one presenter doesn’t get overshadowed by their neighbor, and giving you ample time to cover the dozen or so at that given time.
By Thursday evening, the conference-goers start to travel home, the scientific sessions are ending, and all the posters have been presented. People say their goodbyes and talk about the next show where they’ll see each other.