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Trade Show Season in Las Vegas: Tips to Survive

Yes the countdown is on for Trade show season in Las Vegas. January until June is the 1st season. September to mid November is the 2nd one with events like Electric Daisy Carnival, Well Rounded Las Vegas & National Finals Rodeo filling in the time frame to keep our hotels packed.

If you want to visit Vegas in the “off season” it’s December 15-24. that’s it. Cheap hotels. Free buffets. Lots of Glitz.

Otherwise if you are a road warrior like we are and attend over 150 shows per year, here is what I recommend.

Invest in a really comfortable pair of shoes. Forget heels or wingtips. Yes they look good but honestly, NO one at trade shows, especially the bigger ones cares about your Manolos or Ferragamo pointed toe wing tips.

If you want to dine a specific restaurant – make a reservation. Especially in high season, many exhibitors book out entire restaurants for private dining. Use Open Table to secure you seat AND do not be late.

Put all your trade show related items in a folder and make sure you put it in your carry-on. Badge/hotel confirmation/floor plan – and yes there are apps for this BUT none of the convention centers OR hotels has great wifi and cell service. We want folks to gamble not use their phone. Side note: Map your show before you go.

If you are an exhibitor or event planner – make sure you have your logisitics, booth plan, meetup locations, and staff lists with you. A copy of your order form from GES or whoever is servicing your show, and the cell numbers of the booth staff If you are hiring local folks to staff your booth, make sure you speak to them prior to arriving – ideally meet them for coffee ahead of time. and have BACKUPS just in case. Nevada is a very low wage state and people will take another job for a quarter more. True story.

If you plan on arriving early or staying over, make sure you have confirmed those dates. Many shows are back to back and the hotels often over book. Don’t think you’ll get here and be able to check in early or extend. You might be spending the night in Pahrump.

Stay hydrated! We are in a desert and even if it is 40 degrees -its a dry cold. All the casinos have free bottled water on the casino floor so when you get a cocktail, ask for a back up water.

Enjoy yourself but don’t over do it. Nothing worse than waking up in Vegas and not knowing what you did the night before. Chances are you’ll find it on youtube eventually. We have cameras everywhere.

The girl eyeing you longingly at the bar probably will cost a couple of drinks and $300.00 for an hour of her company. and she might not be a girl. No judgement .. just keeping you informed.

Finally: Get off the strip. There is so much more to Vegas than just the 4 block area from Sahara to Russel road. Go downtown, walk around Fremont. Explore our Chinatown or go to the Pinball Museum, or the Atomic Energy Museum, or try one of the great off the beaten path restaurants that isn’t in a hotel. If you stay over, take a hike in Red Rock. Or rent a BMW motorcycle and let the desert breeze warm your soul.

Vegas Means Business but we have fun while we are doing it.