New vendor show in the Mid-Atlantic region

Hello all,
Since the LRIG shows in the mid-Atlantic and southeast regions are non-existent, I am thinking about holding a vendor show in these regions on our own. Do you all have an any interest in having a show?

  • Dave
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Hey Dave, Fonda (former Agilent rep) has mentioned this a few times to me. In the RTP area I think it would be worthwhile but I’m not sure what kind of attendance you’d get. Much of the lab work done down here is closer to GMP work than discovery work. My experience is there’s much less lab automation the closer to GMP you get. :frowning: But then, of course, there’s also the clinical work from companies like Grail and LabCorp where they’ve invested heavily in automation, soo… :person_shrugging: ?

But, with Tecan down here and Hamilton has a small office it might not be difficult to get a critical mass of vendors to shows up. LRIG used to be well-attended at the Sheraton in RTP many years ago and then it just fizzled.


Where in the mid-Atlantic are you?

There’s definitely an LRIG NYC presence that folks are trying to push and may continue to grow in light of recent city investments.

There was a FutureLabs show in Raleigh at the end of 2022 that I thought was very well attended and indicated that the region could support further automation events. They also have regular Triangle Biotech Tuesdays that typically have 75-125 people on average and it’s a good mix of biotech, academia, pharma, and vendors.


@luisvillaautomata We are in the DC Metro area but cover the US. NYC LRIG has been holding many shows and meet ups in their area. For some reason, the DC Metro and Southeast have dropped off and are incommunicado when I reach out. I am at the point where I am going to put together my own show. Many customers and vendors in the area have expressed interest.

@EricSindelar_Hamilton I wish I would have seen this earlier. I might attend the next meeting and gauge the interest.

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It seems like they could potentially use a Southeast Chapter chair.

There’s also apparently a DC Metro chair… (link)

Have you tried to reach out? Maybe you can message @AndyZ on here

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@luisvillaautomata I have tried to reach out to the DC Metro chapter heads in the past but no one returns my inquiries. I spoke with Andy last month. I am not sure what is going on so, I am looking at our options for our own show or forming another vendor showcase.

I’d definitely be interested for the RTP/Southeast area.

I think I can speak for our MidAtlantic Lab Solutions rep and say he’d be interested as well for the DC side of things


Hi all,

Yes, Dave and I have spoken several times about the LRIG NJ, LRIG Southeast, and LRIG DC Metro chapters. Thank you Dave, for reaching out. I’m always pleased to talk with our members about LRIG.

LRIG has an interesting and sometimes challenging organizational structure. Our chapters are separately incorporated and operate with their own independent local boards/committees. LRIG is essentially a federation of like-minded not-for-profit groups with a common mission “to provide and facilitate instruction for both self-development and the benefit of the laboratory automation community”. We have ten chapters in North America (including our newest and very successful national Canada chapter). LRIG is run entirely by volunteers without compensation. We have a few contractors who help with legal, accounting, and meeting facilitation; but they are paid by the hour and are not salaried.

It’s a flat organization with essentially no/low personnel cost. That’s why the meeting attendees don’t pay a fee to enjoy meetings, members have no joining fee, and automation providers pay a relatively low cost to exhibit at our meetings. Our focus is on providing maximum benefit to members, including those who can’t attend the more expensive annual conferences like SLAS, ISBER, and the like.

The downside is that without an overarching, centralized, top-down organization, LRIG is extremely dependent on the local chapter leadership. As you all know, people move from one company to another, often changing location in the process. They also may get elevated to higher positions, changing their focus away from lab automation. Companies close or move sites. Technologies rise and fall over time in a region. This sometimes results in a loss of leadership and energy in particular regions.

We’re always looking for energized leaders to join the local chapters to help carry the LRIG mission forward. Consider this a request - if you would like to help your fellow lab automation professionals, please reach out and I’m happy to connect you with LRIG chapters. We also get requests frequently to start new regional chapters, as we did with Canada.

With regards to the chapters discussed here —

LRIG New Jersey (formerly Mid Atlantic): Our LRIG NJ Chair, Chi Yun, moved to NYC to start the very successful LRIG NYC chapter. Chi’s move was followed closely by the pandemic. The chapter, like most, was quiet through the pandemic. During the pandemic, LRIG NJ lost about half its committee and had some difficulties starting back up. The good news there is that we are planning our next meeting at the Sampled site in Piscataway NJ which will include exhibitors, presentations, the ever-present free food and beverages, and facility tours. The meeting date is still being arranged but it will be in the next couple of months. Dave, I think I mentioned this to you during our chat. We can use some committee members for this chapter so please put your hand up if you can help!

LRIG Southeast: As John mentioned, Southeast was a very active chapter years ago. It did slowly fizzle out, reducing the number of meetings until it just stopped meeting. There is a leadership core of at least six members, including Fonda Newcomb, Scott Klayner, and others who are going to start fresh with a new organization. Josh Bauer of the Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology has volunteered to Chair. The leadership core met at SLAS to keep moving forward. It’s early days but I expect this chapter will re-emerge.

LRIG DC Metro: This chapter has surged and subsided at least three times that I can remember. It has been quiet but they did have a networking event in Feb 2023 in Gaithersburg MD. Scott Depee, who chairs the chapter, just started a new position and likely has his hands full. I’ll message him about communicating with you, Dave.

Again, if folks are interested in having LRIG meetings in your region, the most powerful thing you can do is volunteer to help. You don’t have to be a full committee member, there are always many small tasks that need to be done to make a successful meeting. You know what they say “Many hands make light work”.

Thank you all for your support of LRIG and the lab automation community.

Andy Zaayenga, Executive Chair
Laboratory Robotics Interest Group (LRIG)


Awesome update, thanks Andy!

@AndyZ Thanks for the reply. I have tried many times to reach out to the local LRIG heads and get zero response. I have tried email and LinkedIn. I would love to volunteer for any of these LRIGs. How can we get a response from the leaders of the local chapters? No one ever gets back to me? Can you please advise on how to get in touch with someone? This is why I am inquiring to start a new vendor show in these areas.

Hi Dave,
Speaking for LRIG NJ, we would love to take you up on your offer to help. We’re just pulling together the planning for the Piscataway NJ meeting. I’ll send you a message offline. Thank you for your support of LRIG, and for your willingness to volunteer.
All the best,
Andy Z