June 18, 2024 5:08 AM
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Talk on the Tradeshow Floor: The May Buzz in Las Vegas

by Jeanne Brei

Mandalay Bay sprinklersThere’s an old saying that April showers bring May flowers but just try telling that to the I&D guys setting up the ISPA Conference at the Mandalay Bay Conference Center in Las Vegas last week. The annual tradeshow and conference for spa professionals ran from May 9-11 and the buzz on the tradeshow floor was that a stagehand set off the sprinklers during the ISPA setup on Sunday. According to Nando Benavidez, “It was a stagehand. I was doing hanging signs. We had to hang the sign for the booth when they switched the order to us after the flood.” Click here to see the video.

Freeman Closed Marshaling Yard Early for HD Expo Show

hdexpo-logoAnother old saying is that if March goes out like a lion then April should come in like a lamb—but that didn’t hold true in Las Vegas this year either. Yet another show at the Mandalay Bay Conference Center had difficulties that led to spiraling costs as Freeman closed the marshaling yard early for the HD Expo show and instructed drivers who had been targeted to move out on Friday to return on Saturday morning. The hospitality design industry show ran from May 2-4 and although the truckers were paid $375 each to stay overnight, one account executive lamented that the delay added more than $2,000 in labor and delayed freight costs.

Ion Exhibits’ Krystal Harkness said, “We were targeted for 1 p.m. and told to leave at 4 p.m.” Lighthouse Exhibits, Inc.’s Jackie Hake said, “Same thing happened to us. We were targeted for 10 p.m. Friday.” RoxMedia’s Courtney Rowe said, “they made us come back the next day” and Robert Sottosanti, director of Tradeshow Operations at Fairgrounds Transportation, said that “pickup Saturday went fine.”

Experiential Marketing Summit 2023 at Caesars Palace

Amy Sondrup Pat Friedlander and Debbie Parrott at EMS2023Meanwhile, further up Las Vegas Boulevard, the Experiential Marketing Summit 2023 was held May 9-11 at Caesars Palace and went off without a hitch. Touted as the #1 Conference for Creators of the Brand Experience, “EMS is designed to prepare you for what’s next.” Featuring brand-side event marketers leading the ultimate three-day conversation, the buzz was all about meeting with your peers and partners inside its Hall of Ideas to address challenges and find solutions to lead and thrive in the next era of experiential marketing. (Pictured left, L-R, are Amy Sondrup, Pat Friedlander and Debbie Parrott at EMS2023.)


Dusty Nosek-Hromcik (pictured right),  VP New Business Development, Lime Media and a self-described experiential ignitor and fanatic, shared on Linkedin, “I just got back from EMS last week, and I thought this was a pretty fab engagement idea from Brand Makers. It’s a Hat Bar! Before the event, they create custom branded “iron-ons” relating to your event, your story, and/or relating to your content.


At the event: After you select your favorite iron on, it takes 30 seconds to place it on your choice of hat and off you go!” Click here to see video of the Brand Makers Hat Bar booth at EMS 2023. The Hat Bar booths at the Kentucky International Convention Center were a big hit at both IAEE’s Expo!Expo! and at ExhibitorLive this year. The Welcome Party at both events featured local Louisville ladies creating custom Kentucky Derby hats for all attendees along with photo backdrops to model your new chapeau and take pictures.



LVCVA Kicks Off $600 Million Renovation of LVCC

LVCVA Shovels $600 Million Convention Center RenovationAs usual, Las Vegas is continuing to expand, renovate and grow. Latest news on the growth fronts include the LVCVA, politicians and executives with shovels in the ground for a ceremonial groundbreaking on May 9 to kick off a $600 million renovation of the LVCC campus (pictured right, L-R, LVCVA CEO and President Steve Hill and LVCVA board members Cedric Crear, Mary Beth Sewald, Michelle Romero, Scott DeAngelo, Jim Gibson, Steve Thompson and Steve Walton. Sam Morris / LVCVA Archive).

The east side of the South Hall will be transformed into a sprawling new plaza and entrance, a newly designed parking lot outside of Central Hall (Silver Lot) will feature a Vegas Loop station to transport guests to/from Wynn and Encore (expected to debut in Spring 2024), a continuation of the signature West Hall exterior ribbon roof will create architectural cohesion across the entire campus, and much more.

The Miller Project Management Group will oversee the construction of the project with the Hunt Construction Group and the Penta Building Group serving jointly as the contractors. The renovation work plans to use more than 600 tradesmen and women and be completed by 2025.


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