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EAS Leans Toward Spectroscopy and Outgrows Somerset.

The 37th Annual Eastern Analytical Symposium and Exposition (EAS) continued to follow a generally technical, from-the-laboratory-looking-out approach toward analytical instruments, with particular emphasis on spectroscopy. Its collection of technical sessions, various courses, and product exhibitions continued to expand, providing valuable perspectives on developing applications and viable markets. This expansion has also pushed EAS to seek a more flexible setting in the future.

EAS was held November 15-20 at Somerset, New Jersey, the same place it has been held since 1990. Next year, EAS will be held at Somerset November 14-19. The show's attendance of 5,362 was similar to last year's. Approximately 1,300 exhibitors attended, representing over 250 vendor companies.

This year was the 30th anniversary of commercial FT-IR instrumentation. EAS marked the occasion with a set of technical sessions focused directly on the technique, including a full two and a half day symposium on the pioneers of FT-IR, which was well attended, according to Susan Kirby Friedman, president of the governing board of the 1998 Eastern Analytical Symposium, Inc.

The technical program at this year's EAS consisted of over 660 oral and poster presentations, and the graph at right depicts a distribution of the more common instrument subjects presented. As can be deduced, the show's focus continues to lean in the direction of spectroscopy, as it has throughout its history; spectroscopic techniques accounted for approximately 45% of all technical oral sessions at the 1998 show. Another striking note of interest is the emphasis placed on NIR. Despite the extra sessions added this year to highlight FT-IR and its 30th anniversary, NIR still surpasses it as a topic for oral technical sessions.

A member of the program committee for oral technical sessions commented on the substantial attendance for the microscopy, chromatography, chemometrics, pharmaceutical, and forensic sessions (the latter of which, several attendees have expressed particular interest in seeing expanded). This year, EAS attempted to strengthen its offering for drug discovery analytics, and according to the committee member, this appeared to pay off, with high attendance recorded at such presentations as "Mass Spec in Drug Discovery."

The full day symposia on HPLC, GC, and NIR, each represented a new approach to content, as EAS attempted to provide a perspective on more established techniques that emphasized the progress made in those fields over the past several years, particularly in terms of applications and markets. As Ms. Friedman put it, EAS was attempting to highlight those techniques from a practical standpoint as opposed to a technical or theoretical one.

EAS also continued this year with its conference-in-miniature program, a particularly useful tool for conferees. All sessions related to a technique of interest were listed together in the show program. In addition, all sessions for each of the fourteen techniques are scheduled so as not to overlap.

Because of EAS's technical focus, the exhibition of products received less emphasis and few manufacturers unveiled new products at the show. Of the few new products on display, the most prominent was Perkin-Elmer's new Spectrum One, a compact FT-IR system with a user-friendly emphasis (see article page one). Mattson, a subsidiary of Thermo Optek, introduced its Momentum FT-IR microscope system close to the time of EAS and had the system on dispaly at the conference. The system includes a new optical design which provides high sensitivity and precise spatial resolution. Thermo Separation Products introduced an optional 1-cm pathlength version of its LightPipe flowcell, to be used with the company's UV6000LP photodiode array detector. It's no surprise that all of these new products involve spectroscopy.

Despite the continuity that EAS has established by remaining at Somerset for the last nine years, the show is moving to the new Atlantic City Convention Center in 2000 and 2001. The show has grown since it came to Somerset, and space has become too limited. This represents the primary reason that EAS has chosen to move the show to Atlantic City, according to Ms. Friedman, who elaborated by saying that EAS was striving for managed growth, taking small steps in order to control the growth of the show.

While the technical focus may have robbed some emphasis from the show's exhibition, EAS gives instrument manufacturers the opportunity to explore end-users' perspectives on how instruments fit into their specific applications.
Pie Chart: EAS 1998 Technical Program: Distribution of Most Common Instrument
Hyphenated GC4%
*Includes technical sessions, but not poster sessions

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Publication:Instrument Business Outlook
Date:Nov 30, 1998
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