Fear & Footwear in Las Vegas

March 20th, 2012   •   no comments   

I recently read Joel Stein’s article in Bloomberg BusinessWeek about what it’s really like to experience a convention in Las Vegas, or in his case, seven conventions in three days. (Kudos to Bloomberg BusinessWeek for geeking out for us association folks with a cover teaser “Fear and Lanyards in Las Vegas.”)  As a meeting planner who lived in Las Vegas for fifteen years and who continues to do business there today, I can tell you that having a game plan before you arrive can lead to a much better convention experience.  So, for the rest of this month, I will pass on some tips and ideas to help make your attendance successful.

This first blog will address what seems like a trivial concern:  your health.  During your trip to Vegas, it’s pretty much a gimme that you will see at least one ambulance in a casino valet drive.  Why?  No, it’s not because people are having heart attacks after winning a jackpot; it’s because visitors invariably forget to take care of themselves while in Sin City.  No windows or clocks cause people to lose track of time, forgetting to take medications or even eat.  The city encourages excess, so visitors tend to overindulge with alcohol and rich food.  (Notice:  you can go back to the buffet table as many times as you like, so don’t pile the plate a mile high on your first round.  You may be surprised to find that you don’t need that second plate after all!)

In addition to the bad habits that Las Vegas encourages, your health is also detrimentally affected by the sheer physical exhaustion that comes with attending a convention.  And a convention in Vegas presents its own unique health challenges by virtue of sheer size alone.  The Las Vegas Convention Center is one of the largest in the world, with over 3 million square feet.  The megaresorts with meeting space bring that total to over 10 million square feet.  Add to that that some end-cap hotel suites can be over a mile from the entrance, and you’re bound to have some sore feet during your stay!

So, how do you stay healthy while enjoying the full convention in Vegas experience?  Here’s a list of tips I’ve shared with my conference attendees for years:

#1 RULE:  NO NEW SHOES!  They are the kiss of death to your feet when you walk the show floor for 8+ hours!

Things to pack and bring with you:  lip balm, bandaids, gel shoe inserts, any medications you need, protein bars or snacks you like.  That can of Pringles in the mini bar will cost you close to ten bucks and has no nutritional value either!

First stop en route to your hotel:  a supermarket or drug store (there is a Walgreen’s located on the Strip that I visit EVERY convention!) for supplies.  They should include these basics:

Bottled water.  Lots of it.  I usually buy at least one case of small bottled waters for a three-day convention.  The dryness of the Vegas climate is NOT a cliché!  You will need to replenish fluids a lot more than you might normally do at home.

If the dryness really bothers you, you can buy a personal humidifier for less than $30.  The one I buy fits on a standard water bottle and can make all the difference in the world if you’re really sensitive to the arid air.

Eat breakfast.  Preferably something other than coffee and a muffin.  And do it before you get to the convention center, the lines at the food service venues are killer!

Plan breaks.  I regularly “fire” my clients from the show floor, making sure they take a short break to regroup.  You’re in Vegas, with those aforementioned long distance walks to your hotel room, so you’ll need to take your break at the convention center.  Be sure to at least step outside to remove yourself from the noise and bustle of the show floor!

Ice your feet.  The first day is often the most painful; I find that filling the tub with ice from the ice machine and icing my feet really helps the second day.

Next week, come back for a look at affordable entertainment in and around Las Vegas.

Samantha (Sam) Snyder is Sponsorship Specialists’ Meeting Planner. She can be reached at sam@sponsorspecialists.com.  Learn more about Sam by visiting her bio page. Follow Sam on Twitter @evntspecialists.

Share this article

no comments

Leave a Reply