I was only there a day, but it was worth the trip.
I caught a keynote address by Robert Langer, someone who I was aware of (with over 1100 published papers, everybody should be aware of him) but had never heard. Being a keynote address, he didn't talk about any new discoveries, but instead pulled some highlights from his long career, and a few jokes. If you ever get the chance to hear him, go.
My favorite technical paper was from Arnold Lustiger of ExxonMobil on that strange nemesis of plastics, "Environmental Stress Cracking" (something I've blogged about before), and given the active discussion that followed (and wouldn't stop even after the session was over), many other people liked it as well. In a nutshell, Arnold was able to rationalize why certain blends of polymers are able to improve their performance in this testing.
The Exhibits included many of the usual suspects, but I really liked the 3D microscope from Hirox (their booth was right across the aisle from our booth, so we had lots of time to drool at the images and try to justify why we needed one) and the GPC-IR instrument by Spectra Analysis. Putting a IR on a GPC is not something I had ever thought of, but if you are looking at copolymers and want to see if the compositions changes with molecular weight, it's an easy way to go.
I also met quite a few other vendors that didn't necessarily have some new breakout gee-whiz toys, but just good basics that we need to replace in our lab. I'm amazed that I still had 30 people show up for my talk, given the lateness of it in the show. Thanks to all of you (and for showing up here as well.)
My favorite part of travelling is having hours and hours of uninterrupted time to catch up (even if just a wee-bit) on the stake of technical papers that pile up on my desk. (Today's Dilbert will be blown up, framed and prominently displayed on my desk - forever.) So you have that to look forward to in the coming day's entries.