This year after a one year layoff, I'm heading back to Infocomm. In 2014 I worked a booth representing my company in the midst of a two week span of living in Vegas. This year I'll be on my own and free to check out everything the show has to offer. Let this blog serve as a first timers guide to attending Infocomm.
We're back in Vegas for 2016. While I've been to the show in Vegas five times now, I've only been to the Florida show once back in 2013. No offense to the venue, but there's just nothing to do when you're staying within walking distance of it. I can only eat Red Lobster so many times. Vegas has everything. Lots to look at, a lot of places to eat and a lot of things to do so be prepared.
On to it!
You won't survive without comfortable shoes. Not only will you be walking around the show floor all day, but depending on where you're staying you may be walking even more than just that. Simply getting from your room in Westgate (if you're staying there) to the show floor is a decent walk itself. Forget fashion, get the best pair of Sketchers you can and make sure they are broken in thoroughly by show time.
If you're there as an attendee, there's no dress code that I'm aware of. However, there's no need to look like a bum. Vegas will be hot in June and I'll opt for my typical short sleeve button down shirts (island style) and probably khaki pants.
The best practice is not to photograph any product without the vendor's permission, but you may be taking a lot of other photographs or selfies with your favorite AV professional. If you're phone is prone to dying fast take a battery pack or an extra, fully charged phone battery. You don't want to miss out on any twitter activity or AVSelfie apportunity!
Do NOT forget to pack your chargers! This year I'm keeping things simple with my iPhone and iPad (with ancillary Zagg keyboard). One charger to rule them all. Well, except the keyboard but it keeps a charge for months anyway so I'll leave that one at home.
There is so much to see. Plan ahead by going to the Exhibit Hall map located HERE. Figure out before hand who you definitely want to see. Be aware that some booths are crowded all the time and you may not get personal attention real fast. Don't take it as an insult, working the show is tiring for vendors too.
Meet people, shake hands, take selfies and exchange business cards.
If you're cheap like me but still want to enjoy an adult beverage or two, the best bet is to put a $20 bill into a video poker game at the bar. You'll get comp'ed drinks as long as you're playing. Depending on the wine of choice, I could easily rack up a large bill if I wasn't playing. Your mileage may vary, but this tactic works for me.
The monorail is the best way to get around The Strip, and the cheapest with the exception of walking. It has a stop right in front of the convention center and easy access from many hotels on the east side of the strip.
Getting to your hotel from the airport
I used to take the shuttle that stops at nearly every hotel before mine for some reason. Now I say screw it and get a cab. While it's only a few miles ride, it will cost around $30 to get to your Strip hotel from the airport. More expensive than the shuttle, but you'll save probably an hour. An extra hour in Vegas, is an extra hour in Vegas.
Getting back to the airport
There will be a big line to get a cab from the conference center to the airport. Plan way ahead. It's probably going to be faster to just walk to the entrance of Westgate and get a cab there. Good luck with all that if you have an afternoon flight on Friday.
Don't feel like you have to see everything on the first day. If you're there for all three days of the trade show, use Friday afternoon to circle back to the products you need a longer look at. Usually, the place starts to thin out by lunch. Enjoy the show!
If you have any other tips, let us know!