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Old September 29th, 2010, 07:45 PM   #1
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So, I am thinking of going to NAB next year. Since I don't fly or travel much and have never been to Vegas, anyone have tips for the trip. I'm assuming we will fly, get a motel room and a rental car if needed. Obviously, I won't get the presidential suite and will want to watch costs. Beyond that, I'm not sure. I will want to attend all four days so I can molest as much equipment as possible.
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Old September 29th, 2010, 08:56 PM   #2
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NAB show tips

Cheap flights to Vegas aren't hard to find. The NAB keeps a list of hotels offering special show rates on their website. That being said, I've had the best luck going through tour operators that buy rooms and airline tickets in bulk and offer them as a package. Room rates are always higher during the convention because it's one of the biggest the city hosts.

The NAB has free buses that run to most of the big hotels, and while the lines are long, it's not a bad way to get to and from the convention center. More importantly, get some comfortable shoes and start breaking them in now, If you're not used to hiking 5 miles a day and standing up most of the day, practice that too.

Surf the web for weather before you leave, since it can be beastly hot or really cool and windy. Drink lots of water and stay hydrated, the dry air can fool you and leave you dehydrated even if you don't feel sweaty.

Food at the convention center is pricey and involves long waits if you eat a a normal time, and is a lot like stadium food. Eat early or late, or bring some power bars or fruit and avoid the convention chow altogether. Many booths have sweets or snacks they'll share with you if you chat them up.

And do talk to the nice salespeople... there are sponsored parties that you'll never be invited to if you don't ask, so be nice, listen attentively, and ask. Ask about swag & tschotskis too, but make sure you give them your attention and a swipe of your show ID card and you'll have better luck.

And do use that show ID card that gets you in the door, because you can avoid having to drag 10 lbs. of sales brochures around with you. Most booths would rather mail you the literature or DVD, or email you a PDF, because it means they don't have to wrangle it into the booth every day.

The show floor is so big, so loud, and so interesting you'll almost certainly hit sensory overload after the first few hours. Plan for it, and take a break outside someplace to regain your energy and focus.
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Old September 30th, 2010, 12:43 AM   #3
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Re "take a break outside" - it can as you said be beastly hot even in April - might be better to set a time limit and go back to your hotel and crash and come back the next day. Of course I live in Tucson so maybe my idea of beastly hot is different than that of some other folks!

I second the motion re wearing old shoes!

One thing I discovered was that the softwre guys are nowhere near as swamped as the hardware booths so it's a great chance to talk with the S/W gurus.

I think it's really important to plan what booths you want to hit ahead of time and work out a route.
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Old October 6th, 2010, 08:16 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Dick Nelson View Post
The NAB has free buses that run to most of the big hotels, and while the lines are long, it's not a bad way to get to and from the convention center
If you stay at a hotel near a monorail stop, you can use that as an alternate if the bus lines are long. But it costs $.
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Old October 6th, 2010, 08:37 AM   #5
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The monorail costs, but it's still cheaper than taking a cab. It's
a bit of a hike from the monorail station to the exhibit halls though.

The NAB site gives you tools making it easier to plan your days
at the show (maps, booth locators, etc.) -- be sure to use them.

Dedicate a particular day to a particular hall, such as Monday
at Central, Tuesday at South Lower, and so on. Hit your main
targets early and in order from one end of a hall to the other.

Be sure to budget some time near the end of the day for
aimless wandering, as there is usually plenty of buried
treasure in the cheap 10x10 booths at the back of a hall.

There's always several evening events and parties on any
given night. The hardest part of NAB, besides all of the
walking, is choosing which booths to visit and which
parties to go to, because there's never enough time
to do it all.

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Old October 11th, 2010, 10:37 AM   #6
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Spare a thought for the exhibitors.

For the small guy on the 10x10 he's battled through the paperwork and done the rig and the wrap, been over-charged for everything from a plant to the electrician coming to wire up an additional light, and then probably manned the booth throughout every day of the show as well. And if he is one of those at the back (a new entry into the market perhaps) then he's probably dying of boredom or despair.

As one who spent many foot-aching hours on manufacturer's stands in my day, it can be a very long day for the exhibitor's too. Unfortunately wearing old (comfortable) footwear was never an option.

Standing around on a 20x30 and talking is just as exhausting too. By the time the end comes, everyone's very happy - visitors AND exhibitors. But then there's the mass exodus and the long flight home...

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Old October 11th, 2010, 12:57 PM   #7
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Amen Amen Amen

Used to work a show where one of the days went from 10AM to 10PM. 6 to 10 was a closed session for the exhibitors to walk around and see each others' stuff - actually one of the most important events. Only good news was that they had food and drink on the show floor. My feet hated me for weeks fter that one!
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