2014 Review of Spectroscopic Instrumentation Presented at Pittcon

May 01, 2014

As we do our annual review of new spectroscopy products presented at Pittcon, it is natural that we also look at how many people attended Pittcon this year, as well as how many companies exhibited there. This year, final attendance (read from the Pittcon website, a somewhat better comparison than using Thursday's figure, as I did last year) was 16,255, compared to the final 2013 attendance, which was 18,197. A breakdown of the attendance by attendee type, and comparison with previous Pittcons is found at the following link: http://pittcon.org/exhibitor/exhibiting-at-pittcon/#stats. This link seems to change somewhat from year to year, so it's important to keep the pointer up to date. For those who are interested, there are also breakdowns of the attendance by country, and (for the United States) by state.

A somewhat more detailed list of exhibitors is available in an Excel spreadsheet at: http://pittcon.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Exhibitor-List-2-25-14.xls. From this list we find that there were 946 total companies present. Last year my review claimed 3586 companies; it's well-nigh inconceivable that there should be such a drop from one year to the next. I think it's more likely that last year I made a mistake and reported the total number of booths as the number of companies. Another list, of companies new to Pittcon, is found at the following link: http://pittcon.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/New-Exhibitors-2-24-14.xls. According to these lists, there were 120 of these "newbies."

The number of exhibitors of spectroscopic instrumentation is somewhat difficult to pin down. I compiled my list by using the product locator, and entering the various types of spectroscopic instrumentation, which then caused the product locator to respond with the number of companies found under each category. This is still a far-from-perfect way to count companies, since several of them are included in more than one category, whereas other spectroscopy vendors were not found in any of the categories I searched for using the product locator. Nevertheless, this is the method I used for what I consider the major categories. Here are the results (in alphabetical order):
Accessories: 194
Atomic spectroscopy: 73
Components: 50
Electron spin resonance: 20
Mass spectrometry: 223
Mid-IR: 82
Near-IR: 111
Nuclear magnetic resonance: 59
Raman: 56
Software: 88
UV–vis: 87
X-ray: 44

Of course, this listing contains far too many companies for me to visit them all. I was able to contact and get information from only a small fraction of the companies listed above. I can only hope that I didn't miss the ones with the most worthwhile new offerings.

It is exciting to see that all of the winners of the Pittcon Editors' Awards were spectroscopically related: the Gold Medal award was given to Texas Instruments for its DLP Spectroscopic chipset; the Silver Medal was awarded to Waters for the Acquity QDa mass detector; and the Bronze went to AB Sciex for the CESI-8000 ESI module. Congratulations to all the winners!