It has been two weeks from my last post and I’m sorry for this. However, you will understand why when you will read this blog post! It is all for the good reasons…
I left with Yann (“the Boss”) on Wednesday December 4th, destination: Philadelphia. We had plenty of hope, but we were not aware of what was exactly waiting for us.
DAY 1: After ingesting our dose of American breakfast carbohydrates (twice) and arranging an US phone with internet connection, we arrived at the conference hall.
Can you imagine an exhibition floor as big as the Geneva Lake all packed with huge colourful and beautiful cruise ships (booths from all big international companies)? Well, that is what we found once there. Teams of twenty people assembling a single booth while, our booth was comparable with a little tiny rowboat anchored at La Tour-de-Peiltz… Our huge expectations teetered… We assembled our booth in a couple of hours and we stayed there in the freezing hall for the rest of the afternoon to send mails and work.
DAY 2: Alarm clock rang at 7AM, shower, breakfast (first pancakes of the trip <3) and then a nice walk in a semi-desert and sleepy Philly to reach the conference center. We installed our laptops, we wore our best smiles and we were ready.
People started coming to the hall around 10:30. It was overwhelming! Our booth was constantly visited by enthusiastic scientists, all surprised and curious about our technology. We never stop talking and showing the potential of our instrument, we did not have time for lunch neither. Visitors could meet and interact live with our software STEVE who behaved perfectly and impressed everyone.
A couple of members from Betzig lab came to visit our booth, curious to know more about our technology. It was an honour. At 4PM I had the chance to give a talk in a theater close to our booth. Unfortunately these talks were not really well advertised and not many people came but I got few meaningful questions and a special visit from a graduate student of Moerner lab who later on stopped by our booth for more than half an hour asking plenty of interested and interesting questions. When the security came to close the booth, we were still inside. We ended up spending the rest of the conference nights with him and his friends… It was great fun!
DAY 3 & DAY 4: The following days things went better and better with many people coming back or sending over their lab members, friends or supervisors to visit our booth. Many people were amazed by the video of Chris using the 3D Cell Explorer and obtaining a stained 3D image of a fibroblast in less than 4 minutes. STEVE was anyway always the protagonist…
I said at the beginning that we arrived with plenty of hope..Well, when we left, we were dreaming! Even our highest hopes and expectations of this trip to Philadelphia had been exceeded.
Next stop: Boston! But this is a new story… Stay tuned!
I conclude this pretty long and intense post by wishing you a very merry Christmas!