Posted by Emily Butler, program assistant
The Denver Convention Center’s 40-foot tall blue bear!Alongside 4,000 excited professionals, I arrived at the Denver Convention Center to exhibit at the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) 60th National Meeting. I quickly learned that the “National” in the title doesn’t fully describe the scope of this meeting, as the conference is the world’s largest gathering of both national and international laboratory animal professionals. The AALAS National Meeting is known as the event to attend for cutting-edge training and networking in all aspects of laboratory animal production, care, and use.I quickly got to work, setting up a booth stocked with information about PRIM&R’s animal research related programs. While my station in the row of affiliate organizations was dwarfed by the glitz and shine of the laboratory animal vendors’ displays, it was gratifying to welcome a steady flow of attendees, whose experience levels ranged from novice to veteran.For each curious glance cast on the PRIM&R display, I offered a quick overview of our mission and offerings. I spoke with a wide array of attendees, including local high school students, directors of AALAS-equivalent associations in Taiwan and India, and young lab animal technicians with aspirations to join the ranks of their institution’s institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC).While some visitors were quick to exclaim their familiarity (“I love PRIM&R!”) with our organization, about two thirds had never heard of PRIM&R. My goal was to acquaint those attendees with PRIM&R’s mission and programs as quickly as I could, and felt successful when an attendee walked away with the expressed intention to visit our website, attend a conference, or become a member. I kindled interest in both the 2010 IACUC Conference and the Certified Professional IACUC Administrator (CPIA), and encouraged attendees who lacked the ability to travel to visit the website for webinar and member networking opportunities.
On November 11th, I packed up the booth with a long list of follow-up questions and the satisfaction of having introduced PRIM&R to hundreds of new professionals.