Environmental Factor, May 2007, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Vendors Promote Products in Spring Show
By Eddy Ball
On April 5, sales representatives from 34 suppliers of laboratory and medical equipment lined the mall area in D and E modules to show off new products, give away trademarked merchandize and convince the Institute's scientists that their products and services would outperform what's now being used in the labs.
Like manufacturers of tennis shoes, i-pods and cell phones, laboratory equipment suppliers make good use of color and eye-catching design to set their products off from the competition. Whether the products on display are the old standard pipettes and plates or state-of-the-art benchtop homogenizers and digital microcentrifuges, iMac colors are the in thing - and a great way to bring out the inner child in a customer. Even when straight lines, impact-resistant white plastic and stainless steel can't be avoided in a product, manufacturers seem to find some way to make new products "cooler" and more desirable than what scientists now have on hand.
"Cutting-edge" and "integrated" were important adjectives for reps at the fair trying to market cell culture tools for stem cell research and detection reagents and antibodies for proteomics. Because many of the suppliers at the NIEHS Spring Vendor Show were North Carolina-based, often right here in the Triangle, service and quick turnaround were also popular themes.
Vendor shows are an important part of making NIEHS science better and more efficient. New products force scientists to re-think the familiar and expose themselves to new and improved ways of doing their important work. The shows also save time by bringing different suppliers together in one venue so buyers can compare the wares displayed side by side.