Sad news from the May 2016 FDP meeting

I’ve been attending the FDP meetings for years now. I’ve found it to be an excellent source of information about what’s going on in the field of research administration. There’s a small group of other vendors who’ve also been long standing participants and we all share a common trait… we don’t do SALES at this meeting. I’m so opposed to it that I don’t carry business cards with me, in fact I was chastised by a friend when someone asked me for a card at the January meeting and I announced this. They said to me “you have to give people your card, you’re a vendor” to which I said “not here I’m not, I’m here to learn”.

Well folks the golden age of FDP is over in my humble opinion. The last few meetings a number of new vendors have started attending and it’s like watching a feeding frenzy. They’re bouncing from person to person asking them what systems they use, pushing products and services and ruining the casual collegial atmosphere we’ve enjoyed for years. This was the one conference I could attend where people could share ideas without being harassed and I’m sorry to say that appears to be at an end.

I wish these newcomers understood that they’d be welcome if they showed just a little courtesy. If they only knew how the many friends I’ve made are turned off by their approach. But then again they probably think it’s worth it to annoy 99 people if just 1 will listen. That seems to be the train of thought they accept, maybe I’m just not doing what I “should” be doing but if that’s what it takes I’ll live with being one of the folks that just enjoys learning and making friends. They’re good company to be in.

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