The 2013 Annual ISLFD Midwest Chapter Meeting was another very successful event. We enjoyed record attendance with 125 attendees from 60 different companies and universities. Feedback from the attendees was very positive. Several prominent participants who attend many meetings every year noted that the ISLFD meeting was one of the best (if not the best) organized meeting they had ever attended. This praise reflects the hard work and growing size of our organizing committee. Other areas receiving positive feedback were as follows:
- High caliber speakers and presentations
- Variety of topics
- Low price
- Good food
- Updates on recent innovations
- Size of audience
- Arrangement of seminar topics
- Quality of facility
- Level of interaction among participants
- Tightly focused presentations
- Substantial break times for discussion
- Size of room – large but intimate
- Audience enthusiasm
We included a new meeting component this year by providing complete funding for students to travel to the event and contribute a poster. Seven students took advantage of this opportunity. They enthusiastically welcomed the opportunity to participate in the meeting, and other participants told us that the event was enriched by the student participation. We consider fostering education of future lyophilization practitioners a core responsibility of the society and will work to expand the number of student travel sponsorships and poster presentations at next year’s meeting.
We were also proud to provide (for the first time) all attendees with a USB flash drive containing all presentations. The flash drives were donated by one of the vendors (SP Scientific).
Our main area of focus for improving the event next year will be to ensure that the meeting space continues to better accommodate the needs of our large audience. In particular, we need to ensure that the presentations are highly visible for all audience members. We take pride in feeding our guests well, but we were also reminded to make sure we have more healthy snacks.
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