Notes from BIO 2009: Limited Swag but Plenty of Hand Sanitizer

As numbers for the BIO show were significantly down this year, sadly so was the swag. My first BIO show, I found myself trying to convince an American Airlines flight attendant that it would be okay for me to bring 5 carry-ons because I would just sit with them on my lap. After that show, I came home with t-shirts, beach towels, fancy organizers, book lights and anything else I might have been able to grab on my way out of the show floor. This year's BIO show was a little more subdued. The standard trade show give-aways were everywhere: pens, pins, bags, water bottles, and many booths just had daily raffles in lieu of giveaways. And there was also plenty of hand sanitizer to go around. It was borderline overkill with sanitizing stations at every entrance/exit and all over the show floor, but apparently Georgia got the Swine Flu memo and didn't want to mess around.

I did spend a few minutes at the 'Invest in Austria' booth having my caricature done by a cartoonist while I enjoyed strudel and listened to tunes from 'The Sound of Music' blaring at ridiculous decibels from the booth speakers. Speaking of BIO's international booths, they did not disappoint when it came time for the day's closing receptions. I dined on exquisite Indian food, pretzels and beer at Germany, quesadillas and guacamole in Mexico and chocolate tasty desserts in Belgium. I will take international food and drink over beach towels and t-shirts any day.

My BIO-end swag bag: pink floam from mhbh, an IPOD workout arm band from the Mayo Clinic, a hand-carved mask magnet from Korea, a lint remover from Italy, a hand-charged flashlight from the law firm of Edwards, Angell, Palmer & Dodge, a lighted yo-yo, a rubber fried egg (sunny-side up) from Novo Nordisk "Proteins: They're not just for breakfast," a biodegradable trash bag/rain poncho  from BioKorea and enough free cappuccinos in my system to keep me energized for weeks.   

Did you get anything good?