A vital part of academic research is networking, and one of the ways researchers share their work is at professional conferences. Universities and departments sponsor these conferences where groundbreaking papers are given (usually long before publishing) and colleagues from around the world share insights. The University of California Los Angeles has world-class scientists and other thinkers in its ranks, and Los Angeles seems a natural hub for gathering great minds for this important mode of networking. Unfortunately, UCLA has lacked meeting facilities on par with the caliber of its faculty and research labs. That is about to be remedied, thanks to a commitment by the UC Regents and a generous donor pledge to build a new conference center with a 250-bed hotel right on campus and near existing facilities. According to UCLA Chancellor Gene Block:
"Our goals are to foster the exchange of ideas, contribute to the preeminence of UCLA as one of the world’s great research universities and allow UCLA to compete with other top-tier institutions for major academic conferences."
[The newly-approved design for the future Luskin Conference and Guest Center on the UCLA campus]
In a UCLA Magazine article exploring the need for expanded conference and lodging facilities on campus, faculty and administrators were overwhelmingly supportive of the current plan, citing frustration with having to hold events off-campus, book meeting and conference rooms at the Ackerman Union too far in advance, and miss the opportunity to show off the UCLA campus itself to visitors who wind up staying at the airport or in town. Originally the new facility was conceived of as an expansion of the Faculty Center, which would have been torn down and rebuilt, but many faculty voiced an attachment to the historic building and said they would prefer to keep it and expand elsewhere. The UCLA School of Public Affairs received a huge donation from the Luskin family last year, which included a conference center component (see our blog on the topic). It seems the latest plan is a happy compromise of the two building needs.
The Meyer and Renee Luskin contribution (of $40-50M) will go to help construct the new Luskin Conference and Guest Center, where School of Public Affairs events will be held along with other research, community, and perhaps even tradeshow events. The hotel will only be available to those with university-related business, and its rates will be kept as low as possible while still supporting the center without outside funding. Some facts about the future conference and guest center:
- Will be located at the site of what is curretly Parking Building 6 (see map below, at the center of campus and very near the Ackerman Union
- Will supplement rather than supplant existing guest and meeting facilities (which are often overbooked and not large enough)
- Projected to break ground in summer 2013 and open in winter 2016
- Will be 7 stories tall, with 25,000sf of meeting space and 250 guest rooms
- Will include a restaurant, business center, and fitness center, along with underground parking
[Central location of the new facility, courtesy of the Luskin Conference and Guest Center website, which offers a larger version of the above map]
What will this mean for our BCI Biotechnology Vendor Showcase exposition currently held on the UCLA campus at the Ackerman Union? We can't say for sure yet, but our initial thought is that it can only be a good thing to have more rooms available, more facilities to choose from, and better infrastructure for events of any sort. Furthermore, we agree with the engineering professor who said (in the Magazine article) that the modern conference and guest center is "essential to promoting UCLA as a global brand...[and] is especially critical to promoting interactions across the Pacific." And insofar as the new center creates even more of a faculty hub in the center of campus, that can only make our events more popular and convenient.
Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. will be holding its 29th Seminnual UCLA Biotechnology Vendor Showcase expo event next on campus October 4, 2012. This professional show is an excellent connection opportunity for life scientists and lab equipment specialists to discuss the latest lab technologies. The UCLA BVS event is the largest of three BCI tradeshows held over a three-day period in the greater Los Angeles area:
- 10/02/2012 -- 12th Annual BRPF event, UC Irvine
- 10/03/2012 -- 7th Semiannual Front Line event, University of Southern California, Health Sciences Campus
- 10/04/2012 -- 29th Semiannual BVS event, UCLA
For information on exhibiting and a 1-page funding report, click this button:
Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. is a full service event marketing and planning company producing on-campus, life science research tradeshows nationwide for the past 20 years. We plan and promote each event to bring the best products and services to the best research campuses across the country. Visit our website for information about upcoming shows in your area and to register to exhibit or attend. Or call to talk to one of our friendly, knowledgeable sales associates.