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Report From ASD Las Vegas March

Another Las Vegas show - I believe that this is my 100th ASD show since starting the business back in 1981. The March show had us once again split between the LVCC and the Sands Expo. Since we had booths at both of the locations it was both a logistical and physical challenge to manage the booths.


After arriving at the airport I whisked over to set up the Sands booth first and amazingly everything was waiting in the booth to be set up. The upstairs at Sands has been totally redone. I literally did not know where I was when I got there because the main staircase and escalators were gone! It was THAT big a renovation.


Onto the LVCC afterwards and again, GES had the materials waiting for me at the booth. It was so far one of the smoothest set-ups I'd had in many years. The LVCC South Hall hosted upper and lower level exhibits.


My booth staff showed up on time for training and I was off for a good evening of rest before the show started in the morning. Of course the LVH (formerly Hilton) left a lot to be desired, but it was convenient to at least one of our locations and the beds were comfortable.


Sunday morning came and the Registration fiasco started - with hundreds of people on line waiting for badges. The show opted not to mail badges pre-show, which in turn seemed like not such a good idea right now. With waits as long as two hours there was a little tension on the line at LVCC. Worse was the Sands where the Registration area had an equipment melt down and caused lines around the block. So, not as good a start for the buyers as it was for me.


The traffic at the show was decent. We are located near Registration so we could see the amount of buyers coming in and it was considerable. Better yet, as I walked the floor I saw many of our clients writing orders - which is the key to success at any trade show. Our own booths had a steady stream of store owners picking up Retailers Forum and Swap Meet magazine and purchasing some of our displayed directories.


The LVCC seemed busier to me than the Sands, and of course the merchandise mix as different as well. The downstairs at the Sands was miserably decorated and quite unappealing as told to me by many exhibitors as well. But, at the end of the four day show most exhibitors that I spoke with were satisfied with the business they did at the show and potentially afterwards.


One theme that I did hear many times from the veteran exhibitors was the longing for the old days of the show when the Fletcher's ran it. They remembered parties at the Hilton for the exhibitors as well as cheap booths and a more free wheeling attitude by management. Of course, the old Rat Pack Vegas days are gone and everyone's gone corporate. So, saddle up and see you at the next show!


Retailers Forum Magazine, the leader in wholesale merchandise is proud to be a Media Sponsor of the ASD Las Vegas trade show for many years.