Sunday: The Icebreaker

Prepping the exhibition hall. The Agilent and Elemental Scientific booths in the process of undergoing some form of accretion. Thermo Fisher Tower can be seen in the background.

Sunday was set up day in the Goldschmidt exhibition hall—a life-sized game of tetris with shifting tables, pop-up banners, and large equipment. Exhibitors and conference organizers scrambled to prep the exhibition space in time for the afternoon icebreaker.


All the of the booths occupy the standard exhibition hall footprint—the exception being the palatial Thermo Fisher booth, which looks like it could accommodate two additional floors, a swimming pool and perhaps an elevator. See my colleague Katie Pratt’s animated .gif for a 10 second tour of all the booths.


The word “icebreaker” sounded pretty refreshing on a steamy Barcelona afternoon. The doors opened at 5pm, and eddies of conveners swirled into the air conditioned hall. It was a rush of reunions, networking, and micromeetings fueled by beer and wine. To be honest there didn’t seem to be a whole lot of ice to break—most of it was probably broken long before the event started, and the hall grew loud as individuals coagulated into groups.