Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Expo! Expo! My first time.

Las Vegas is the place to be if your business involves trade shows, meetings, conferences and destinations. This week Expo! Expo! is at the Mandalay Bay and it is my first time as an attendee. This is the annual meeting for the International Association of Exhibitions and Events. Or, as I have learned to call it — I-A_Double-E.

The first-timers luncheon was insightful and got me excited about the next two days. I acquired my badge, accepted my goody bag and read through the show book to see what I could expect during the next two days. Later that night I made my way to the Opening General Session and I was impressed by the presentation.

The Water Coolers kept things moving with their mixture of song, music and lyrics meant for the business savvy attendee. I got a laugh out of watching them act out a meeting planner's day, complete with invisible Blackberries.

Las Vegas Convention and Visitor's Authority President Rossi Ralenkotter provided a glimpse into the future of Las Vegas by mentioning the improvements and construction taking place in Las Vegas during the next few years. Expect more than 200,000 rooms to be added to Las Vegas by the 2010. The construction is not hard to miss and there always seems to be more room for another high-rise casino. If a lot is occupied… Las Vegas just seems to knock something old out of the way to make room for something new and huge.

The CEM class of 2007 was introduced and now I want to have an acronym after my name. It is not easy to get Certified in Exhibit Management and perhaps someday I can look into this program.

Closing out the night was a series of 60 Second Showcase presentations. With assistance from the Water Coolers, five companies presented innovative products recognized by IAEE. The ShowBot by Park's Peoples was very impressive. The use of the robot for booth presentations is a new concept and the ShowBot is capable of interacting while being entertaining. It moves smoothly on the stage and I wondered who had the controls. I was blown away by the presentation but I could not shake off the images from the film I Robot starring Will Smith.

I can't wait to hit the show floor. For photos from the show, be sure to visit Trade Show Expo and click the IAEE Photo banner on the home page.