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Vendors Promote Products in Spring Show

By Eddy Ball
May 2007

a display from Sastedt
Two modules in length, the show featured colorful displays, such as this one from Sarstedt, tempting scientists to stop to look at new supplies for their labs. (Photo by Eddy Ball)

people standing at booths
Just 30 minutes into the six-hour event, the show was already filling up, and most of the reps were staying busy with new prospects. (Photo by Eddy Ball)

Carmen Costa
VWR International Rep Carmen Costa clearly had the saleperson's winning combination - an inviting smile and boundless confidence in her product line. "We have everything you need," she proudly announced to potential customers. (Photo 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.

Trisha M. Castranio, and Greg Scott
Appearing a bit skeptical, Laboratory Technician Trisha M. Castranio looked on as Biologist Greg Scott, center, checked out new products. The salesman stood by ready to answer questions, but he also was poised to make eye contact with new prospects. (Photo by Eddy Ball)

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