“What is exhilarating in bad taste is the aristocratic pleasure of giving offense,” wrote Charles Baudelaire.
“He’s totally talking about Vegas,” said a person who has recently visited Vegas.
Love it or hate it, Las Vegas is the standard bearer of American trade show cities, built from the sands up to accommodate the traveling masses intent on finding entertainment. You might thrill to the palpable excitement of Las Vegas Boulevard, or you may prefer to camp out with copious room service between shows. Be you aficionado or martyr, consider our best Las Vegas trade show insider tips for life beyond the exhibit hall floor.
Get to Rest
The moment you step out of McCarran Airport, you’re greeted by an exquisite dry heat and a line of complimentary shuttles. Likely, yours is among the herd (or will be, if you wait long enough). Ignore it. Instead, grab a Lyft or Uber to your hotel. You’ll get to your rooms—and peaceful moments—that much faster. Better yet, ask your driver to take Swenson and Paradise as a short cut to the Strip.
If you covet the peace and quiet away from the center of town, try the Elara Hotel. Don’t forget to ask for a luxury upgrade.
Get to Dine
Meat-eaters can glory in a multitude of Vegas-style steak houses. If you want something more haute cuisine, we suggest the filet and a wedge at the first bar on the left inside Smith and Wollensky’s on the Strip. For a feast that indulges all your senses, try Rose. Rabbit. Lie. in the Cosmopolitan, a modern supper-club offering a cabaret with refined bites like hackleback caviar tacos and expertly made cocktails (plus full vegetarian and gluten-free menus).
When it’s 5:00 am and you haven’t eaten for 12 hours, ask your Lyft driver to swing by a drive-through for food. Sometimes fast and satisfying is far more important than a gourmet pedigree.
Get Some Air
Mandalay Bay is the mecca for trade shows, and odds are that you’ve stayed there. When it comes to show time, why trek through the expanse of the casino and its nicotine-infused atmosphere? Heed our advice and take the outdoor connecting path from the hotel to the convention center. You’ll get a few minutes of desert sun and fresh air. Go down to the pool level of the hotel—you’ll see the access path from there.
Get to Business
Las Vegas hosts as many as 22,000 trade shows a year, and its resources are plentiful. The city is home to at least five brick-and-mortar Best Buys within a short drive of the Strip. Better yet, use TaskRabbit to get your last-minute HDMI couplers, speakers, cables, routers and more.
For around-the-clock graphics printing with full digital and fabric capabilities, keep Color Reflections on your phone. Last-minute print and mail jobs can be done at FedEx, located at 395 Hughes Center Drive, near the Las Vegas Convention Center. If you’re a Business Amex holder, you can also enjoy the American Express lounge at the Convention Center.
Get Some Perspective
And when you just want a breather? Put business aside and check out the Neon Museum for an unforgettable tour of old casinos. It’s bittersweet, surreal, silly, garish, and poignant all at once—exactly as Vegas, the desert, and the echoes of Baudelaire might intend.
All of these tips are designed to make you a happy marketer. Customers – they’re looking for a bit of joy, too. Raise the happy bar on your next campaign with The Marketer’s Guide to Joy.