March 7, 2014
As I prepare to say sayonara to ConExpo-Con/Agg 2014, I thought I’d share some of the behind-the-scenes highlights that have nothing to do with business results or new equipment, but are very much part of the big, crazy, frustrating, exhilarating experience that is ConExpo-Con/Agg.
Calling Dr. Scholls. This year, I sported a Jawbone throughout the show. For those who aren’t familiar with the device, it tracks statistics such as how many steps you take and how many minutes you sleep. So far, I’ve logged just under 70,000 steps, which is approximately 35 miles. I apologize in advance if that number makes your feet ache just a bit more. On the sleep front, let’s just say the number is considerably lower.
Taxi lines. Holy. Cow. Did the taxi companies know we were coming? As I was heading to the Encore to present the AggMan of the Year award, I found taxi lines that were a hundred-plus people deep with nary a cab in sight. As I looked for alternate transportation, I saw a Vegas institution – the party limo – heading toward the Encore. I gamely hopped on board and joined a number of operators who had the same instinct. We enjoyed Katy Perry and strobe lights on our journey. Definitely one of my more unique trips.
Scheduling challenges. To all my friends in corporate marketing departments who want to host an evening event during the show (including Randall-Reilly), please review the master schedule of show events and plan accordingly. If I didn’t attend your event, it’s not because I didn’t want to be there, but I can only be in one place at one time.
Sound bites from the show floor. Among my favorites were those from the marketer who welcomed editors to a press event held “at the butt crack of dawn” and the sales person who talked about the need to provide quality editorial content that “feeds the reader.” It’s wonderful to know that frank, honest, smart people exist. Even in Las Vegas.
Las Vegas culture. Have you ever wondered what kind of training they put those guys with the cards through (you know the ones) before sending them out to peddle their wares? Do they pay premium rates for sites closer to the show or is it first come, first serve? Do the get a discount if they occupy a larger footprint? Clearly, I was tired while having this train of thought, but I’m probably not the only one who wonders about space rates on the sidewalks.
For the birds. While I spent a lot of time on Facebook during the last ConExpo, I focused much more on Twitter this year, and, to my surprise, found it to be quite fun. I did have a moment of alarm after tweeting about Kip Moore’s partnership with Case, however, when it was retweeted by #badgirlswantmoore. Maybe it’s Vegas, but I immediately thought one of those card vendors was following my Twitter account rather than a fan club for the upcoming Nashville star. It was all in good, clean fun.
Platinum Lot. Rather than share my thoughts, why don’t you shoot me your comments? I’ll post them (anonymously, if you prefer) in a future post.
While there are certainly challenges to any show, each time I encountered them, I was reminded about what I truly love most about my job: the people. Whether sharing hugs in hallways with industry friends, catching up with industry editors from around the globe, hearing the stories of various award recipients, or watching the torch be passed from one industry leader to another, the human capital in this industry is truly its greatest asset.
Viva Las Vegas!