Tips from an expert
- It’s going to be a long day. No matter how you dice it. The days you are in Vegas are going to be looooong. Be prepared. Bring some waters and some snacks. No one likes a hangry person. Not to mention, usually the nearest place for food is a good ½ mile away.
- The expo hall is big! And it's going to be far away from your hotel room, even if you are staying at the host hotel, so bring comfy shoes, bring a couple pairs. Swap out your shoes. If you ever see me coming or going from a APCO, NENA or Navigator, I usually have on sneakers or flip-flops, that way I can easily change into my work shoes when I arrive. (If you’re from somewhere where there is snow, this is a common practice as an elementary aged child. You’d wear your snow boots to school and change into your sneakers for the day and then back into your boots for recess and going home. Same concept here.)
- Bring a bag. The give-away trade show bags aren’t exactly meant to hold much other than a few papers, pens and the occasional stress ball you’ll inevitably get. I prefer a backpack so I can have my hands free to drink my water or eat my snack. Also, you’ll have a handy place to put your belongings you’ll need for the day, store your shoes and any miscellaneous items you get throughout the day.
The low down on the schedule
The actual APCO show is slated for the majority of attendees to go from Sunday, Aug 4th through Wednesday, Aug 8th.
Monday – August 6th –
The exhibit hall hours start on Monday at 10am, **HINT** the Professional Development Tracks don’t start until 2pm, so there is a large chuck of time between the Opening Session/Keynote and your tracks. This is what the conference organizers call “exclusive exhibit hall hours”. This simply means this is your time to visit the hall and it shouldn’t conflict with anything else. Meaning you won’t miss a track or session during this time. Also, there is a $10 lunch credit (with your registration) to be used from 11:30-1:30, redeemable in the exhibit hall. (way better then walking the 30min to get food at the casino buffet – remember you have to walk all the way back).
Tuesday – August 7th –
Repeat the process. If you’re hungry there is a breakfast that starts at 8am. If not, grab a bite on your way to the convention center. Then you’ll have a bit of extra time to stroll through the exhibit hall before the Professional Development Tracks start at 1:30pm. There is also the same $10 lunch credit to be used from 11:30-1:30, redeemable in the exhibit hall. Then its off to your tracks. Just a word to the wise, if you haven’t visited the expo hall until this point, you only have until 4pm. Then that’s it, exhibitors pack up and we are on to the next show. Next up is the the APCO Block Party which starts at 7 and is on Fremont Street (off property – shuttle service provided) so don't forget to bring those comfy shoes.
As you can see APCO is a big deal! I hope this blog helps you be a little more prepared for what to do and how to do it. I also hope this helps sort through some of the scheduling that can be difficult with these shows. Come by and see me at Xybix’s booth 1417 and see our new Eagle Dispatch Furniture Consoles and say “Hi”! I’d love to hear you read this blog! See you in Vegas!