Entry 4 – An extreme week at CYTO
Was there any doubt that a Cytometry travel blog post in June would pertain to CYTO?
My trip to Florida actually started in Tampa, and I spent the week leading up to CYTO traversing the state meeting with FlowJo users. Even that got extreme; while driving from Orlando to Port. St. Lucie the emergency broadcasting system interrupted to tell me tornadoes had touched down in Brevard county. Just as ‘I wonder where Brevard county is?’ crossed my mind, I drove by a sign that said ‘Welcome to Brevard County’, the sky grew dark, rain began to fall in sheets and I could feel my rental car getting buffeted back and forth across the highway. Pulling over and spending more time on the edge of a tornado seemed like a bad ideas so I just drove through and fortunately popped out on the other side into the sunshine.
As it turned out my drive to Ft. Lauderdale served as a pretty good metaphor for my CYTO talk. Team FlowJo gave me the honor of doing our company talk and I decided to give a talk called FlowJo vs. Big Data on how server based FlowJo can be used to battle data that is too large and how a variety of tools within the software can be used to handle data that is too complex. At the talk, the emergency warning came in the form of arriving at the tutorial room and finding no projector or AV person. The deluge came in the form of the AV folks showing up as the talk was supposed to be starting with a projector...that would not work with my computer. So I just ‘drove through, scrambling to find another computer, scrapping the live server demo since the replacement computer wasn’t configured to talk with the server, and presenting the slides and tools from the ‘too complex’ portion of the talk. Many thanks to you if you stuck through the mix of FlowJo & the comedy hour that I put on. I ended the talk by imploring anyone interested in the server demo to visit our booth, and more thanks to all of you who did! It ended up sunny on the other side as I saw most of the faces from the lecture in the booth and went through the server demo perhaps three dozen times over the course of the conference. For anyone who was interested in the talk but unable to stop by the booth the slides are linked to here, and you can contact me at email@example.com for more information.
The remainder of the conference was another whirlwind of activity. The FlowJo and partners party was Sunday night, and shame on you if you missed it! We rented the Ft. Lauderdale Antique car museum and had a great time with a thousand of our closest friends, good food and drinks, and an excellent band. I took in a number of interesting talks highlighted by several excellent presenters at the innovations talk. I particularly found the talks by Jack Dunne of Owl Biomedical, Randy Hardy of Fox Chase Cancer Center, and Christian Hennig of Zellkraftwerks interesting. Pratip Chattopadhyay’s talk on developing the 27+ color panel for traditional cytometric methods was a must-see. And since we’re Team FlowJo we spent the week living in a mansion in Ft. Lauderdale hosting several events, including the ever important Scientific Advisory Board meeting in which we spend some time over dinner discussing where the software needs to go with those of you kind enough to offer your thoughts and advice.
I capped off the meeting by leading the post-conference run at John Lloyd Beach State park, during the closing reception. The original plan was that our president Mike Stadnisky, was going to lead the run, but happily, he was pulled away as his presentation on a use case of big data analysis in FlowJo was nominated for the presidential award. So I stepped in and led what every single person who participated will agree was an epic run. Then attended the reception smelling like I’d just ran something epic.