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Trade Show in Las Vegas

I got the opportunity to attend my first trade show in March in Las Vegas for my new online seller business. To sell, you actually have to have items to sell and the trade show was a chance to meet hundreds of wholesalers as well as attend numerous seminars on the business. I knew the educational opportunities alone would be worth the trip so I hired a sub to guard my gate and hopped a plane. Las Vegas is one expensive place but I managed to find a reasonable hotel, The Mardi Gras, within walking distance of the convention center. I expected it to be a dump but it turned out to be very nice and the room was both clean and huge. A small convenience store, McDonald’s, and the monorail station were all within walking distance as well.

Mardis Gras Hotel

The first day of the trade show I spent getting my badge, collecting the free business magazines, getting oriented to the layout of the different buildings, and attending very informative seminars. The seminars must have been good because I have been helping others with what I learned ever since. LOL. At the end of the day, I had a networking get-together to go to which included light food. I got to meet one of my mentors and do a lot of shop talk with others I have only spoken to online. Afterward, I bought a multi-day pass for the monorail and hopped it to ride back and forth just taking in the views and exploring the different hotels it stops at. I could have just ridden the train all night.

Awesome seminarLas Vegas Monorail

The next day with schedule in hand (or rather on phone with their own tradeshow app), I walked back over to the convention center and got breakfast right there in a cafeteria they run. It was a busy day with more seminars, visits with credit card vendors hawking their business credit cards, and darting in and out of the sales floor between classes. There was lots of opportunity on display there and as a first-timer, I grabbed lots of catalogs. They get pretty heavy by the end of the day but I made sure to pack a folding cart to put them in and that really paid off big time! I did get a complement from one vendor on my business card. He said it looked good and stood out from the others. That was the point when I created it so score! That night, after dropping off the catalogs at my room, I hopped the train again for more exploring. So much to see! I got dinner at a hotel restaurant and stumbled on a bakery with delicious goodies. I walked the sky bridge and the boulevard till I couldn’t walk no more.

Las Vegas Ferris wheelLas Vegas traffic and hotelsLas Vegas Eiffel Tower?

Day 3, I took the monorail over to a discount ticket place. My birthday was coming up and what better place to celebrate than Las Vegas! I bought a ticket to see the Blueman Group perform at the Luxor Hotel then headed back to the convention center for a breakfast at a nearby hotel with one of my business groups to do some more networking. Having completely walked myself out now at the convention and all over Las Vegas, I opted to rent a scooter for the day. They have a coupe of rental offices in the convention center at the Fedex areas. That sure made the day fly by and really speeded up my sourcing. I was able to zoom down the aisles to visit most of the booths and chat with those I was interested in.

Networking breakfast

Not every vendor was warm to me. Some won’t do business with Amazon or Ebay sellers while others felt they already had enough sellers. Most didn’t care though so there were still lots of possibilities for me. While you can make deals there, you can’t buy samples until the last day per the tradeshow’s rules except in one area. While normally you want to make the deal before you leave, I didn’t because this was my first one and I’m still learning. My next one I’ll be loaded and ready for bear. I did pickup some business supplies, though.

That night, I was running late so I called Uber to get me over to the Luxor for the show. Another fine ride from them. After arriving, they made me check my backpack in at the hotel desk. They don’t allow bags at the show. The Blueman Group were wonderful and everything I expected! It was very entertaining and funny. Who knew plastic pipes could sound so good? I particularly liked them playing with paint on their drums. I love the way it splashes and splatters. You should also see what they can do with marshmallows. Wow! OK, been there, seen that, got the Tshirt. Really, I bought their Tshirt! Ha ha! Afterward, I explored the Titanic gift shop. I visited the museum in Branson, MO so I skipped the one here. I wandered over to the boulevard again, toured the M&Ms store, and rode the elevator up and down in the Coke bottle before heading back to the motel. I gave away my monorail pass that still had one day left on it to a nice couple from England.

Hanging with Blue ManTitanic Museum in the Luxor HotelMy new M&Ms friends

Back at the hotel, I started packing. OMG! Catalogs are very heavy and take up a lot of space. Thank goodness I had my folding cart bag which I squeezed two sample bamboo pillows and some clothes into while carrying the rest of my clothes and the heavy catalogs in my small carryon suitcase. I came in just half a pound under the weight limit. Whew! The hotel shuttle took me to the airport the next morning. As soon as I entered the airport doors, a lady came running up to me and suggested STRONGLY that I use a wheelchair to get to the gate. All that walking had taken its toll. I declined at first but when she told me the gate was a very long walk away I caved. Getting through security with a wheelchair and a metal cane is a bit of a pain but the ride was kind of fun with a nice young man pushing me around. Tee hee. BTW, even Burger King is ridiculously expensive in the airport in Las Vegas! Glad to be home.

For more pics click here.

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