Strategic Accounts Manager Graham Wilson and I were delighted to attend the annual Waters Inform 2012 User Conference from Monday, May 7th until Thursday, May 10th. This event’s location usually alternates between Europe and the U.S., but this year the meeting took place at the Hilton Diagonal Mar in the beautiful city of Barcelona. As a long-standing partner of Waters, LABVANTAGE has been attending the annual inform event since 2007.

The chosen venue was the modern Diagonal Mar Hotel, in a pleasant area close to the beach, on the east side of the city. Graham and I traveled early on Monday to give us time to assemble our presentation area and enjoy the build up to the event. Just under 200 delegates attended this year’s meeting from all over Europe and the U.S. In addition, there were approximately 50 Waters representatives to provide training, presentations, and workshops. As always, the agenda was full and varied and offered something for everyone from laboratory users to IT and networking specialists.

We attended two vendor workshop meetings on Wednesday. Our presentation, “An Empower Centric Approach to LIMS – Catering for the Chromatographer,” explained and discussed the possibilities that allows the Chromatographer to work with LIMS data from within their natural environment, Empower. We showcased the benefits and features available through the integrated Empower interface now available in LABVANTAGE V6, which included a short, live presentation of the software. Both workshops were well attended and well received.

As usual, Waters’ organization and hospitality were exceptional. They planned an off-site event for Tuesday evening, in which delegates boarded a fleet of coaches to travel to Finca Mas De Sant Llei, a traditional Spanish country house and gardens near Granollers. The venue is popular for weddings and it is easy to see why; the warm summer temperatures and stunning gardens made for a most enjoyable evening. There was a choice of traditional Mediterranean food and we were entertained by a troop of “Catalonian Castellers”. These brave people of all ages build human pyramids up to 10 layers tall.

A lavish gala dinner took place on Wednesday evening, in the ballroom, at the hotel. After dinner, traditional Spanish music and Flamenco dancers entertained the audience. A lucky few were even invited to join in the fun.

The conference ended after lunch on Thursday. Next year’s event will be held in the United States.

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