Q: What are the key benefits of being an LPA member?
A: An important reason companies join the Laboratory Products Association is for the market data we provide, covering lab purchasing trends, data analysis, and breakouts of specific categories like Chemicals, Reagents and Kits Market, Consumables, as well as varied lab products and furniture, end-user surveys from areas such as academic, government, biopharmaceutical, industrial, and clinical markets. Also, having multiple opportunities to engage in business networking with senior leaders from LPA Member companies is another key benefit to belonging.
Q: How does a company go about becoming an LPA member?
A: The interested member usually sends us a completed membership application, which we then forward to the LPA Board of Directors for approval. As long as the prospect meets the membership requirements, i.e., a company that manufactures or distributes laboratory products, the company may begin enjoying membership benefits right away, with a complimentary pass for the first attendee at either our Spring or Annual Meeting!
Q: What’s new with the LPA?
A: The LPA recently became involved in Government Affairs and has partnered with a consulting firm to provide legislative and regulatory advocacy for the members. In regards to market information, in addition to our North American Lab Purchasing Trends Survey, we now have a European trends survey. We also offer meeting rooms at international shows like analytica and ACHEMA for LPA Members to hold private meetings in a shared space and take a break off the busy show floor.
Q: What are some of the key challenges your members are facing?
A: I think in a world of technology taking over, many of the older companies are finding it hard to keep up with the pace. New companies have the advantage of starting fresh with the technology at hand, while older companies who require overall system overhauls seem to need another overhaul by the time the last was implemented!
Meeting the right people is key for B2B transactions amongst members, which is why the LPA holds several meetings throughout the year, as well as create networking and meeting spaces for our members at other meetings. New members should find it easy to navigate the members-only directory to not only find who they’re looking for, but also contact and set up times to talk beforehand. We want members to make the most of their limited face-to-face time.
An issue I personally see for our members is the amount of time they travel and how to create a healthy balance while doing so. We are going to be discussing corporate wellness at our upcoming Spring Meeting, with a former LPA member presenting the reasons and ways to implement wellness programs for their employees.
Q: How do you help them with those challenges (other than the ways you mentioned above)?
A: It truly is our goal to identify and educate our members on issues that currently affect them or may impact them in the future. Aside from the above, we survey our members regularly so that the association is clearly meeting the needs of its members.
Q: What are the LPA’s plans for the future?
A: I am dubbing 2016 the year of membership–we usually rely on members’ word-of-mouth to find new LPA Members, but this year, Clark Mulligan, president of the LPA, and I plan on revamping our efforts to help the LPA shine. There is a lot to offer for companies in the laboratory products arena. Aside from the networking and market data, the relationships members garner within the association can last a lifetime and we have seen it time and time again. While the business world may be fluid, with many members going from one company to another, the constant seems to be their appreciation of and return to the LPA for that connection that cannot be mirrored anywhere else.
We are also planning a centennial celebration for 2018, which I think is awesome. The LPA was founded in 1918 as the Scientific Apparatus Makers Association (SAMA). We are forming a committee and calling on past chairs and active members of the LPA community to volunteer their time and ensure the LPA is honored for this achievement in time!
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
A: For those who are on the fence about investing in membership, I encourage you to try the LPA. I sincerely believe face-to-face business not only helps a sale along, but it is the most basic need in the world, that to be seen and heard and to connect with other people, which I think the LPA provides our members. The LPA strives to provide that for members, creating a lasting impression and improving the experience overall.
For more information about membership with the LPA, please visit www.lpanet.org/join.