Q&A session with exhibits chair and a FACSS organizers, Michael Carrabba.
How long have you been involved with FACSS and how have you seen it change over the years?
Carrabba: I have attended every FACSS conference since 1987. I started being part of organization of the conference in 1992.
The conference has evolved over the years as technology has changed the way we get information on a daily basis. Today, we can “Google” any subject and get rapidly large quantities of information. This has changed our exhibits from the place where attendees would get the latest information on new products to a forum where exhibitors can use their interactions to get the high quality “voice of the customer” to design their next generation products. This is also reemphasized in the way our presentation/papers are becoming the place where scientists are introducing their latest advancements which will become tomorrow’s products.
What attracted you to Louisville, Kentucky for this year's conference?
Carrabba: Bourbon of course! No, Louisville is centrally located and is within driving distance of many major universities and technology hot beds. The FACSS conference encourages students to attend and present papers. Having our meeting in locations that students can drive to helps ensure that our future generation of scientists will be able to attend.
Raman Reception Game Show has always been a crowd favorite at FACSS. What would you say is the single best feature of FACSS?
Carrabba: The ability of our attendees to network with their colleagues I think is the best feature of FACSS. We have intentionally added networking events like the Raman reception to promote interactions among our attendees.
How has FACSS fared overall in today's challenging marketplace?
Carrabba: This year has been challenging for FACSS in the difficult economy. However, Becky Dittmar, our Governing Boards Chair, has done a great job in leading the team to maintain the quality of the FACCS conference. Our program this year has almost 600 high quality technical papers. This due to the hard work by our Program Chair, Curt Marcott, who has put together one of the best FACSS program in recent memory. Also, our General Chair, Jessica Jarman, has been able to maintain our networking events to the high standard that our attendees expect and deserve. We also have a better than expected number of exhibitors this year. Clearly, FACSS is an important conference that is a must for our conferees and exhibitors.
Is there anything else Spectroscopy readers should know about FACSS?
Carrabba: FACSS is an all volunteer organization. The people who organize program sessions and the conference are dedicated scientists who believe that FACSS is a great place for “Tomorrow's Science, Today”. If you know any of these volunteers, please give them kudos for a job well done. I would also like to encourage your readers to volunteer to help at future conferences, including our next meeting in Raleigh in 2010.