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Attending Conventions in Las Vegas

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by Sonya, Mar 9, 2016.

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  1. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    There is an annual conference I try to attend when it is on the west coast. I've been to the ones in Portland, Spokane and San Diego. This year they just announced it is going to be in Las Vegas, AND over my birthday weekend.. :woot: Or so I thought.

    Once I started thinking about how I've done the conventions before, I am not sure I can do one in Vegas. Typically I'm down in the convention around 8am for coffee and some of the pre-workshop things, then classes from 9-12 and again 1-5. Dinner is usually room service as I decipher and re-write all my notes from the day. Typically there are meet-ups and evening events, but I tend to avoid them as I'm usually exhausted and my brain is buzzing with all I've learned from the day's events.

    But... Vegas. For me Vegas is sleeping in late and being lazy until at least lunchtime. Then I wander, gamble, explore and drink until 3-4am. This is not going to be compatible with the conference. Hmm.. Spokane was easy. I don't think I left the hotel, except to go eat with a friend at a nearby restaurant. Portland and San Diego had a bit more wandering, but mostly it was all conference, all the time.

    So, I'm interested in hearing from anyone who has done a conference or work thing in Vegas and how did it effect your typical kind of trip? Is it possible to both "do Vegas" and "do the conference"? I think the location being off-Strip will help me from wandering too far, but I'm afraid I'm going to over-extend myself if I try to do it all.
     
  2. NewOrleansSlimm

    NewOrleansSlimm Low-Roller

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    i go to sema every november as im in the automotive industry. with the 2 hour time difference I dont have an issue getting up early, I lay around a bit but usually hope on the monorail and get the the convention center around 9-10am...enjoy that a while...im not there for work, just pleasure but usually always find something new and interesting.

    hang out there a few hours till im hungry, ( I usually skip breakfast year round) hop on the monorail and back around 2-4pm...get some food, then off to gamble and drink till 1-2 am.

    wake up repeat
     
  3. abraxis

    abraxis Low-Roller

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    I am perhaps odd in that when i have a conference in vegas, i can be more focused on the conference in a way. ..that's because, relative to other locations, i actually feel less of a need to explore. The way i see it, I've been to Vegas in the past and I'll be there again, so i can do things i don't normally do on vegas trips such as relax lol. If it were in a location where I think "gee, idk if I'll ever be back to this place", I'd feel a pressing need to see it all
     
  4. Fligster

    Fligster High-Roller

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    The conventions I attend usually have breakfast meetings early and go to 4 or 5 pm, then evening receptions etc. I don't have a problem getting up early. I take notes using my phone or iPad so I don't have to worry about reading my handwriting later. I skip the evening stuff and do my gambling then. How it affects my normal leisure trip is that I like to play poker tournaments and can't really while attending so stick to slots and blackjack. I also either arrive a day or two early or leave a day or two later to have some normal Vegas time.

    The key to remember is that a work trip to Vegas is better than a work trip elsewhere or no trip to Vegas.
     
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  5. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    Very true! :) I think because it's off-strip, I'm more likely to just hang around the property in my off-time, which will make it easier to manage. Plus, not being there with my regular group of friends will mean that nobody will be texting me at 10am as a reminder that you can't drink all day if you don't start in the morning. :haha:
     
  6. Fligster

    Fligster High-Roller

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    what did suck was when my wife would join me and she would be sitting at the pool and I'm stuck in the conference.
     
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  7. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    I have attended two LV trade shows and I worked a booth at another show, they typically run from 10-5. I meet with suppliers, customers, and prospects. It seems as if your day is longer and more of a structured meeting agenda.

    So it sounds as if you'll need a bit of "me" time, right? I try and stay a couple of extra before or after a trade show, my airfare is already paid for, I can probably get a comp or a reduced rate.

    One trip I had my wife come out with me, but she doesn't like to share hammie time with my business obligations, so last September I came out solo. The show started on a Monday and I arrived around 10 pm on Saturday night. Had an absolute blast on Sunday answering to no one but myself and I regret not taking more "me" time. You deserve it.
     
  8. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    My husband's trade show is usually in Vegas every couple of years (though, due to what I'm sure are political/cost issues, it was there in 2013 and won't be there again for the near future. And when I say "political", I mean between the organization and the convention space, that's all)

    Anyway, I actually love going to the trade shows in Vegas. My first trip with my husband (then boyfriend) was to Vegas for his trade show (1999 ;-) We go a few days early - we're exhibitors so we need to set up the booth - but that gives us a couple days to see a show, shop, maybe gamble (neither of us gamble much any more - just lost interest) Then on show days we get up and have breakfast, are in the booth by 8 or 9am (times vary) We do try to stay as close as possible but in a hotel with a fridge. The first few times we were at Mandalay Bay and stayed there or thehotel. Last time it was at Venetian - ugh - and we stayed at TI. We need a fridge because we take salads for our lunch during show days - we rent a car and will run to Trader Joe's or other grocery for salad fixings. After the show ends (5pm) we might have a drink with friends, maybe dinner (usually not - we don't have to schmooze in our free time as part of this trade show) We did a lot of happy hour timed dinners in 2013. Then maybe gambling, but probably back to our room, a little work (I need to catch up on my own work emails at some point, since I work for my husband at the trade show but that's not my real job) The show only lasts 3 days, we pack up on the last day and probably stay in town another day or two - it's just too annoying to try to get a flight out that same day, no matter where the trade show is being held.

    We pretty much have the same routine no matter where the show is - we add extra time for fun (Vegas, New Orleans, ORlando) but during the show days, we just work - save the fun stuff for before or after the work part of the trip. I have no problem separating in my brain. Mainly because I'm too tired at the end of a show day to think about having much fun....
     
  9. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    PS Alternatively, my husband only comes to my academic/professional conferences about half the time. Because he has to find ways to occupy himself alone for 2 or 3 days, vs his shows when we're doing something together all days. So when my conference was in Portland and Austin, he was happy to come. But Bethesda, MD? No, not so much! And he's opting not to come to Orlando with me this year because we'll be in Orlando for his trade show next year.....
     
  10. irishdave

    irishdave VIP Whale

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    But it's soon true, you should never forget this!!
     
  11. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    I can't forget. CoasterKikky won't let me. It's probably good that The Buffoons won't be there at the same time, although I'd love to spend my birthday with them, because the text messages from the cabana would be torture if I'm in a lecture hall.

    This is really a series of lectures and classes for 4.5 days. We meet once a year to learn stuff, one year in the east and the next in the west. I have some favorite speakers that I always make a point to see, but I'm also drawn to the more science based track and those can be pretty intense.

    I'm going to have to see how it goes between now and then, but I'm hoping to go. I just need to adjust my Vegas-expectations and actually show up for the lectures. Probably should make a point to be sober too. :)
     
  12. DeadManHand

    DeadManHand Low-Roller

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    I have done conferences and trade shows for decades in Vegas before I retired. As an attendee I think you will be fine as long as you do not do too many cocktails in the evening, really no different than if you are stuck in a hotel room anywhere in the US attending a conference and bored so you hit the hotel bar.

    The difference in Vegas is that there is a lot more fun things to do during your evenings than emails, dealing with work issues, etc. in your hotel room or sitting at the bar, especially if you are staying at a hotel/casino. Reduce your daily gambling expectations but extend your trip so you have casino and party time to look forward to once work is over.

    Personally I had to do extensive customer entertaining every evening so during the conferences I attended I really could not hit the casino much until it was over. Knowing the prize was waiting once the speeches and dinners were over made the wait less stressful for me.

    A tip for others attending conferences and trade shows. If you are in management, DO NOT stay in the hotel where the conference is, instead stay somewhere nearby. I quickly learned that I did not want to know what the people that worked for me were doing in the evenings. Reason being, if I did know what they were doing, and it was in violation of our corporate code of conduct, then I was obligated to take appropriate action. My way of keeping what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.
     
  13. rcc4au

    rcc4au Low-Roller

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    At least one of our multiple trips each year is for a conference my husband attends for work. I am not a big pool person, but I will take some time to sit by the pool occasionally. I tend to do the things that I'm interested in that I don't suspect he'd really care much for while he's conferencing. When he's done for the day, we usually find somewhere to eat, see a show, and/or gamble. He doesn't seem to mind too much that I go out on my own and explore!
     
  14. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    Yup, it is a different kind of trip if you have to attend a conference or convention. This past January I attended the CES show. I got in the night before so I played an hour or two and then went to sleep by 12. Got up at 6:30 for breakfast and to do my things before the convention, then drove to the convention at 7:45. Because of traffic and taking the shuttle bus to the LVCC I didn't get to the convention until 9:30. Didn't realize that the first day the CES started at 10 so I was actually a little early.

    Stayed at the convention until 6, then took the shuttle bus back to my car and picked up dinner and got back around 8. I played for a couple of hours again and I went to sleep by midnight. Next day, same routine but I played a little more and went to sleep at 1:30. The day after that it was similar but again stayed up later to play.

    Overall I really didn't play that much, probably less than 8 hours for the 5 night, 4 day trip. But then my trip was more of a "hit and run" type, get in the night before and leave the day after the last day of the convention so not much time to do things I normally do in vegas.

    I normally stay on "Hawaii" time, 2 or 3 hours difference so I usually go to sleep around 3 am and get up around 9 am but with conventions more or less I stay on vegas time.
     
  15. johnvic

    johnvic VIP Whale

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    I am attending a conference, NAB, in Vegas in 2 weeks. Years ago I worked for a manufacturer and worked NAB, and that was before I was a Vegas person. But this year my plan is to attend the conference during the day and focus on the conference. At night I'll eat with friends, most likely I will not go to free dinners sponsored by manufacturers. Nothing is "free", I wanna enjoy my dinner, not work. I do plan on getting some gambling in at night. The truth is, I am fine being alone in Vegas drinking in gambling. Especially after a day of walking around a convention center.
     
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  16. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    My wife and I both worked in broadcasting and attended the NAB show for about 8 years. But, we did it on our own and work had nothing to do with it. Well, they got us the Visitor Passes.

    We paid our own airfare and the rooms were comped, so we could come and go as we pleased and didn't have to file a report at the end of trip.

    Our usual MO was to go in the morning and collect all the free stuff for 2-3 hours, then get the hell out of there and get back to gambling and drinking.
     
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  17. UTE

    UTE Plastics

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    When faced with the same dilemma I chose to do both - by arriving a day or two early. Or, by staying a day or two after the conference. You're going to be there anyway, adding a day or two at the beginning or end of the trip - especially if a weekend is included - can make it work.

    Bill
     
  18. billduhcat

    billduhcat Low-Roller

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    The whole "work hard play hard" thing is what makes conventions in LV especially fun for me, but my normal trips are not totally crazy anyways.

    Conventions in LV are usually my most fun trips there; getting away from work for a week without burning vacation time, (generally) interesting convention topics, having dinner in LV, and then adding an extra day or 2 after the vacation to stay in town for fun = a perfect week.
     
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  19. jack1057

    jack1057 Low-Roller

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    Went to a 5 day convention several years ago. Worst trip ever! Had to be up and at Convention Center by 7-8am every morning and didn't get finished till late in day. Meanwhile my wife was gambling, shopping and doing spas. I was able to convince her to go back about 6 weeks later so I could have a fun trip too! And I had to wear a suit all week!
     
  20. bedaniels

    bedaniels Low-Roller

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    I had a professional certification class in Vegas several years ago. While the rest of the class went to lunch I hit the craps table and won about $800. After I returned to the class people asked why I wasn't at lunch and I explained where I was and showed off my winnings. I ended up that evening at an Excalibur dice table low rolling with the fun people in the class and teaching them how to play craps. Loads of fun and great way to network. Only in Vegas!
     
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