Brief Report: BPC Vendor Presentation Fair
(BPC Newsletter Brief Reports are quick, up to the minute summaries of happenings on campus relevant to the postdoc community.)
By Zev Einhorn, Ph.D.
At the start of every academic year I get really excited thinking about the rush of scientific and social happenings I know are roaring back into full swing after the typically quiet days of summer. Adding to the roster is a suite of events brought to the larger scientific community by the passionate postdoc volunteers of the Biomedical Postdoctoral Council (BPC), who go into overdrive to kick off the year with our Research Symposium, social mixers, career trainings, and other programs. The starting lineup of BPC events began with our Vendor Presentation Fair, which happens biannually and most recently was one of our largest to-date. The fair is the BPC’s primary fundraiser, but it serves a larger role than just a revenue generator. Chief among them is facilitating relationships between vendors and researchers. Of the hundreds of attendees, nearly a third started on campus in the last six months and came seeking the tools and services they need to begin their projects. A common misconception of vendor fairs is one of aggressive sales people pushing their wares and spamming us. The reality is very different. To quote William Dombro of Worthington Chemical and participant in this last fair, “We know how to get orders prioritized, we know who to ask for technical information, we are able to find out-of-date parts, and when you are ready to move on we know who the good recruiters are.” In other words, the nature of their business is to make sure we succeed, and to do so they listen to our scientific problems and connect us with relevant resources. In my own experience, I have often been connected through vendors to other researchers on campus who have used similar technical products and are happy to share their knowledge. Beyond connecting scientists with vendors in an authentic way, there were also several raffle prizes up for grab and one lucky winner got a FitBit grand prize and a chemistry cocktail set. And of course there was a metric ton of pizza, the ultimate marketing tool to attract scientists. The team is looking forward to next fair and all the great events the BPC is hosting this year.
The vendor fair has been dependably steered for years by Terry Cathopoulis who worked closely with the other members of the team: Morgan Kibler, Thomas Porturas, and Zev Einhorn.