How to Survive a Las Vegas Trade Show
Viva Las Vegas!
It’s not just a song by Elvis Presley—it’s a way of life. Vegas is known for glitz, glamor, gambling, and business trade shows. Yes, amoungst the sky-high casinos and marquee day-clubs, thousands of upstanding professionals are flocking to Sin City to learn how to scale their global financial operations efficiently.
But with all the world-class entertainment that Vegas has to offer, it’s no surprise that your business trip might become full of unproductive distractions. So, stop! Wait! Step away from the Celine Dion tickets, and follow our fail-safe guide to surviving a Las Vegas tradeshow.
What to Expect at a Las Vegas Trade Show
If you’re a seasoned trade show attendee, then you know what awaits you here. If you’re new to the scene, this is what you have to look forward to:
Riveting Keynote Addresses
Featuring well-known industry leaders, influencers, and celebrities, these talks are usually high-level and can’t-miss!
Tactical Breakout Sessions
Speaking sessions are a great way to learn valuable skills and solutions such as future-proofing your operations and implementing the newest, innovative technology. There are multiple breakout sessions in each time block, so make sure to plan accordingly.
Conference-led happy hours are great ways to meet like-minded peers. Keep in mind, some companies that sponsor trade shows host additional events—stay on the prowl for VIP experiences and invitations!
Open between sessions, the conference expo hall is a marketplace of tools that are available to help you scale and succeed.
Networking events are essential for forging strong business alliances, but always save room in your schedule for a party (or five). You’ll probably need to unwind after the show, and most conferences host big parties with notable headliners.
4 Ways to Survive a Las Vegas Trade Show
A Vegas trade show might seem like a vacation, but we assure you, it’s not. With long, action-packed days, these are a few practical steps you should take to always be at your best:
Book a Room Through the Official Conference Hotel
We cannot stress how important it is to be close to the conference hall. Vegas hotels are expansive, and unless you’re sporting an over-active Fitbit, you don’t want to tire yourself out before the show even starts. Plus, you’ll get discounted room rates and have a central location to all the action.
Stay Hydrated & Eat Well
Seriously, you’re in the desert. Bring or buy a Hydro Flask and make sure you’re constantly filling it with water. And please, eat something other than conference food! Stock up on fruits and vegetables, host a team dinner off-site, and pepper in a few food-centric networking events.
Remember: You’re on a Business Trip
People will be posting on social media left and right—the conference might even have an official hashtag. You really don’t want that picture of you rushing the Blue Man Group’s stage trending on the #FinanceCon tag.
Between a packed conference agenda and the copious entertainment options, there will be more than enough to keep you busy. Set conference goals to maximize your available time.
3 Ways to Optimize Your Las Vegas Trade Show Experience
If you want to get the most out of your trade show experience, you need to thrive, not just survive. Here’s how to fully optimize your trip:
Set Clear Business Objectives
Just like any other business expense, there should be a clear ROI. Meet with your strategic clients that will be in attendance. Pre-register for industry-specific informative sessions. Bring back valuable information on new technology tools to your team. Have a goal for making a set number of new referral partners.
Plan Your Days in Advance
Spend a few hours pre-conference to plan your personal agenda. Be sure to purchase any conference add-ons like training classes and events before-hand. Additionally, plan your week by downloading the conference mobile app, reviewing the full agenda, and pre-registering for any priority sessions.
Follow Up Afterward
Once you’re back, resist the urge to collapse with exhaustion and share what you learned with your team. Plus, be sure to follow up with the people and companies you connected with at the conference to ensure long-term collaboration.
All right, go finish buying those Celine Dion tickets…we’ll see you in Vegas!