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This is one story about something that happened in Las Vegas that definitely will not stay in Vegas…

I was at Exhibitor Show in March and had brought my wife and college-age daughter along as it was her Spring Break. The two of them wanted some time to lie around a pool and do some shopping. Since neither of those activities sparked a real interest in me this worked perfectly; I could spend all my time with clients, prospects and industry friends at the show.

When I am at Exhibitor, my time is typically booked from early morning until late in the evening, every day. And I enjoy every minute of it. This show could last a couple more days and I would fill every waking moment. It’s the perfect mix of meeting new people, connecting with old friends, learning about what’s going on in our industry.

On Tuesday evening I was enjoying some time with the folks in the Zenith LaborNet hospitality suite when I got a call from my wife. A call that developed into quite a story.

She and my daughter had been shopping at an outdoor mall, and Kait bought a dress and a shirt, which she carried around in a bag along with a jacket she had been wearing. After several hours of shopping she felt something fall out of the shopping bag. She discovered that the bottom of the bag had come apart and her jacket had fallen out. However, the dress and shirt she purchased were nowhere to be seen. She had no idea how long she had been carrying around a bag with a hole in the bottom.

They retraced their steps and found nothing. They went back to the store where they purchased the items and showed the clerk the bag and explained what happened. The clerk felt badly and was going to give her replacements, until the manager told them it was not the store’s problem. After my wife took them to task about the poor quality of their packaging they left very upset, went to mall security and to lost and found and were basically told ‘too bad for you. This is Vegas’.

That’s when I got the call. I was scheduled to dine with my sales team, but felt like I should take these ladies to dinner instead. They went back to the hotel and we decided to not let it ruin their last night in town. After a ride on the roller coaster at New York New York and some dinner we headed back to the hotel.

When we returned to the room Kait got a phone call from a 702 (Las Vegas) area code. It was about 10:00 p.m. She answered the phone and a young lady told her she had found her clothing on the sidewalk, found a receipt with her phone number and had been trying to call her all evening (gotta love the signal in those big hotels).

The girl wanted to give my daughter her clothes back. She lived in North Las Vegas, so we jumped in the car and drove to meet her to pick up the dress and shirt. The two of them talked for about 15 minutes; Kait kept offering to buy her a Coke or an ice cream, but the girl was just happy to get the package back to its owner.

My daughter now has a new friend in Las Vegas and a story she can tell for ages. I have seen my daughter gain a little more faith in mankind. And it certainly didn’t hurt for me to see this either…

See you on the show floor.

Jim Obermeyer has been in the trade show industry over 30 years, both as a corporate trade show manager and exhibit house executive. He is now a partner in a new company: Reveal: Exhibiting a World of Difference. He can be reached at jobermeyer@revealexhibits.com.

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