A Primer on Walking the NAB Show Floor

March 19, 2011 lead

By Nino Giannotti, EFPlighting.com

After attending NAB more times than I care to admit, here are a few suggestions that I can give to new attendees in order to make the event a positive experience

  • First the logistics, the place is BIG and there’s a lot of walking going on. We are not salesmen, we are buyers, so we don’t have to impress anybody. They don’t care what you’re wearing – they only care about how much you have to spend. Dress comfortably.
  • Do your homework before leaving for Vegas. The NABshow.com site has a wealth of information on how to get the most out of your trip there.
  • There are thousands of exhibitors. I saw a statistic that if you are planning to visit each one and providing that you’ll be attending the show for the duration (Monday through Thursday)  you will have less than 90 seconds to spend at each booth.
  • Make a list of your priorities and visit first those vendors that you are most interested.
  • Make an itinerary so you don’t waste time crisscrossing the floor.
  • Most exhibitors are grouped by category in the same hall.
  • NAB also has a smart phone app for the show. It’s a good one. It gives you a list of all the exhibitors in alphabetical order and by hall location (there are four huge halls). The app also gives you contacts, web sites and floor location for each exhibitor. If they could only have a GPS for inside the halls…… but I’m sure it is in the making.
  • Get a big breakfast before you get there. There are a few cafeterias and Starbucks inside the convention center. The lines are endless and the food is expensive and poor to mediocre. Typical of convention catering.
  • Bring a backpack to put all the literatures you’ll be getting from the vendors as well as the many free magazines. If you use the hand bags that you can get there for free your arm will be ready to fall off by mid afternoon.
  • If you plan to fly out right after the show they have a great bags check-in that you can leave your luggages.
  • Hotels in Vegas this year are the cheapest that I’ve seen in the last 30 years. With the tragedy in Japan I’m sure that the international attendance will be lower. I’ve seen many hotels cheaper today that they were one month ago thus offsetting the higher air fares; so waiting might be a good thing.
  • There are buses that leave regularly to and from the convention center to every major hotel, they are free as long as you have your badge.
  • Stay away from the slot machines.

Please feel free to add your own suggestions.

One comment

  1. Kari says:

    Really good post, Nino! Actually, the NAB Show app does have a GPS Locator feature: http://www.nabshow.com/2011/about/mynabshow.asp#mynabmob

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