Las Vegas Survival Tips for Marketers
It’s that time of year again. Q1 and Q2 tend to be packed with user conferences and company sales and marketing summits and it’s likely that you’ll be hitting the road for one soon (if you haven’t already). Many companies choose to host events in Las Vegas — in fact, 2014 alone saw 22,103 conventions with almost 5.2 million delegates according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor’s Authority! As your resident friendly marketer who has just returned from an epic weekend with two coworker friends in Vegas, I’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks to not only survive a Las Vegas — or really any — conference, but to thrive (and hopefully return without a cold). A Social Media, Field Events, and Product Manager hop on a plane to Vegas… here’s how they came back in one piece:
Avoid the Conference Flu
With thousands of people together in one auditorium, shaking hands, breathing recycled air, etc., you are bound to be exposed to harmful germs. Show your immune system a little extra love by taking a vitamin supplement on business travel days when your immune system is hit the hardest.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Late night networking events, early morning or red eye flights, and lack of sleep are bound to leave you pounding more coffee and alcoholic drinks than water, but it’s essential to keep you feeling at your peak. Ask for a humidifier when you check in to your room. Most hotels offer them for free. Vegas is an unforgiving desert and this will save you. You’ll be speaking with and shaking the hands of many people, so items like chapstick, lotion, throat lozenges, hand sanitizer, and baby wipes will keep you feeling fresh and on top of your healthy game.
Yes, I love high heels. Yes, I came back with terrible bruises on my feet from a night out dancing in said high heels. Our Vegas weekend saw an average of 30,000 steps per day — and we weren’t even walking the convention center floor! Consider bringing stylish sneakers for day use or flip flops that you can wear while walking between events. Trust me that everyone else will be doing this or wishing they were you.
You know that terrifying feeling when your phone charge dips below 20% and you enter the red zone? Avoid that by bringing a USB battery pack to recharge on the go.
Know When to Call it a Night
With an endless variety of things to do before, after, or even during the breaks in your conference schedule, Vegas can be overwhelming. Set an upper limit of what you’re willing to gamble on, a hard stop bedtime (does anything good really happen after 3AM if you have to wake up at 6:30AM for breakfast with your colleagues?), and the number of drinks you’ll max out on. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
Use Social Media to Your Advantage
Over the course of our weekend in Vegas, we spent more money on coffee ($5 for drip coffee multiple times a day?!) than on cocktails ($0 total all weekend, #winning). Before leaving for your trip, see what people are posting about with the conference hashtag or #Vegas on Twitter to find conference lunches, dinners, and hosted bar and club events. Odds are that you’ll leave with a full belly and rolodex, but much smaller expense report.
It Takes Time
Whether by foot or cab, it takes time to navigate around Las Vegas. Give yourself 30 minutes to travel the distance that it would normally take you 15–20 minutes to go back home. With so many winding pathways in casinos, overhead walkways to cross the streets, cartoon characters to take photos with, long lines at hotel cab stands, and backed up traffic, you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of time to get where you’re going. Even though you may be rocking running shoes, you don’t actually want to have to sprint in them while toting around all of your conference swag.
Are you heading to Las Vegas for Marketo Marketing Nation Summit? Put these tips to use and come say hello at booth number 729 to get more webinar tips and tricks and find out how your webinars stack up! Have any other conference survival tips? Share them in the comments section below.