The semi-annual American Chemical Society meeting is underway in Chicago this week. I'm not there, since duty calls here at Stately Pipeline Manor. (At one point a few months ago, I'd been invited to participate in a symposium that was later dropped. Little did I know that no one would still be employed at the Wonder Drug Factory by the time the meeting rolled around)! C&E News has a blog covering the meeting, and Chemistry World is doing the same.
I haven't actually been to an ACS national meeting in quite some time. They're pretty good-sized affairs, with several thousand attendees, although the size can vary significantly depending on where the meeting is held. There are, naturally, only a certain number of cities that can handle conventions of this size easily - we're not going to be seeing one in Bozeman, Montana or Fort Smith, Arkansas any time soon, although some people might prefer either of those to some of the cities where the meetings are actually held.
A glance at the past meeting calendar shows some locations that come up regularly, and others that pop up for reasons unknown. Boston (site of the next one in August), San Diego, Washington, and New Orleans are regular stops in recent years. Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, and Anaheim make multiple appearances, too. The venues are planned out to 2012, and those stalwarts make up most of the list, with San Antonio and Salt Lake City as outliers. Other places I can remember national meetings showing up are Las Vegas, Atlanta, Miami (not for a while, though, I think) and Dallas.
If anyone has particular nominations for best and worst places to attend one, I'd be glad (and other readers might be as well) to hear them. I'd also be interested in cities off the usual circuit where you'd like to see a meeting take place - yeah, I know, Shanghai, Pune, and Bangalore, but try to think of some others. I've heard the most gripes about Anaheim, personally, for lack of interesting sights, general character, etc., but complaints about facilities, food, and accommodations will also be welcomed. We'll get that Fort Smith booking yet.