Leaving (for) Las Vegas: Three Cs to Consider Before The PPAI Expo
After five trips to the Nevada desert, that's still the best advice I've heard, but I've learned a few other things worth mentioning:
- No one in Las Vegas knows how to make a good Manhattan
- Dress shoes are not made for trade show walking
- You need to have a plan
It's a few weeks out, but I'm already planning my schedule for the first week of January. There is simply no other way to tackle the enormous volume of options for you in Las Vegas. You can organize your itinerary however you'd like, but I find it easy to break everything down into simple steps and tackle them one at a time. Here's a few easy-to-remember points to plan before January 2.
Calendar: Starting on January 2, you will surrounded by education sessions, keynote speakers, networking events and parties. Once the ribbon is cut on the show entrance, you'll then have three days to walk two floors and see hundreds of suppliers and thousands of products. Somewhere in there, you need to meet with your preferred suppliers and discuss plans for 2012. And, oh yeah, you're in Las Vegas. You might want to do a thing or two while you're there.
To avoid option paralysis, create a calendar for yourself of what you'll do each day. The PPAI Expo PlanIt is a good place to start. With it you can see who is exhibiting and where, as well as view the schedule of events. Export the calendar to your iPhone and you'll never miss a thing. Or if you prefer to use a different smartphone (Android for life), most have easy-to-use calendar apps that can alert you when an event is about to begin. Whatever you choose, make sure to include any late night plans and parties, and to leave gaps in your schedule for the unexpected. Do this now so you don't need to think about it once you arrive in Nevada. You'll have plenty to deal with then.