Monday, March 10, 2008

At the Exhibitor's Show, Day 1

I'm in Fabulous Las Vegas this week for the annual Exhibitor's Show, presented by Exhibitor Magazine. This 20-year-old event is aimed at industry professionals who either produce shows for companies for supply goods and services to exhibitors. There are over 300 exhibits in 2 halls along with over 200 conference sessions spanning 5 days.

I'm here on for Zachry Associates to learn, network and support one of our clients. This is a great way to get reconnected and learn about new trends and happenings in the industry. This has become the premiere "trade show for trade shows" (to borrow the line from TSEA's TS2 event, my apologies) and gets bigger each year. So far, I've reconnected with my trade show supplier roots, met with some new suppliers and potential clients and continued working on a project for a client.

The first day started (after a day of "volunteer" events) with a welcoming reception. I'd gotten in earlier in the day and ridden a courtesy shuttle in from the airport supplied by ExhibitGroup Giltspur. Walking over to Mandalay Bay Hotel from the MGM, registration was painless and straightforward. I met up with a long-time friend of mine, Gary Donatell, who now works for The Freeman Companies out of St Paul. We have a project we are working on and, since we know a lot of people in the industry, decided to take in the reception together.

The reception was a huge gathering of about 500 to 700 people. Carving stations and bars dotted the space and dress ranged from suits to shorts and tees. It was the largest event of it's type I've been to in all the years I've come to this event. I met up with contacts from Centerpoint Exhibits, Marvin Windows, Wooten Metals, Live Marketing, Derse, Brauer Consulting, Fine Design, the Term Group and Willwork.

Lesson Learned: Friends and colleagues are forever.

Classes start this morning at 8. Gotta go. More later.


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