Here it is ... your official World of Concrete 2015 survival guide. Whether you're a veteran or first-timer, these are some of the best tips and tricks–from us, and some other industry experts who have learned the hard way– to maximize your experience in Las Vegas.
Consider the week-long monorail pass.
If your hotel isn't within walking distance to the convention center, but it is on the monorail route, this is a great money-saving option. "... try to get down there early and leave early to avoid the peak-hour waits," said Dave Frentress, marketing director/ICF sales - Northwest Region, CALPORTLAND.
Plan ahead, especially when it comes to mealtimes.
"If you want to dine at noted restaurants, make reservations ASAP," said Kim Basham, PhD, PE, FACI, KB Engineering, LLC. Also make sure to eat a good breakfast and pack some snacks in case you don't get time for lunch, suggests Jay M. Allen, president, Allen Engineering Corporation.
Pay attention to footwear.
"Never try to break in new shoes while at the show," said Tom Bagsarian, group managing editor , Hanley Wood Media. And make sure the shoes that you wear are close-toe. Flip-flops and sandals are not a good choice since some of the exhibitor's demos might create a lot of dust and dirt, adds Carla Biggs, marketing Communications I PR/trade media manager, Hilti North America.
Take a quieter break.
"Walking around the show can be very tiring and it’s not always easy to find a spot to just sit down for a few minutes. One good place to look for a resting spot is on the second floor overlooking the Grand Concourse between the North Hall and the Central Hall. Head towards the walkway that goes to the Westgate and there are usually some empty chairs and tables around," said Bill Palmer, CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION editor-in-chief.
Venture beyond the convention center walls.
"Check the times for outdoor demos and competitions and plan to get some fresh air in between visits to the exhibitor halls," said Shelby O. Mitchell, a freelance writer/editor who has attended WOC for several years.
What happens in Vegas ...
World of Concrete is all business, but take some downtime to enjoy the sights and sounds of Las Vegas, from the Bellagio Fountains to browsing the designer shops. "Vegas is a great place to take in a show. If you’ve got a free evening, you can score discounted tickets from a variety of places. Don’t forget to check with your hotel concierge, too," said Victoria K. Sicaras, editor, CONCRETE SURFACES.
Vegas might be warmer than your hometown, but it can get chilly at night. It's also very dry. A light jacket (for evenings and early mornings), sunscreen, sunglasses, and lots of water are highly recommended, along with a hat.
"If you are a fellow victim of male pattern baldness like me, being outside in the desert also means wearing a hat so your head doesn’t get burned," said Tim Ozinga, marketing comm. dir., Ozinga Bros., Inc. "If you forget to bring one, don’t worry. Many of the exhibitors hand out hats but they normally run out very quickly. So if you see a free hat, take it. Another way I have had success scoring hats is by asking the exhibitors' staff members for one. Look for the booths where everyone on staff is wearing a hat. They may not be handing out hats per say, but if you ask nicely, they usually have some extras lying around."
Don’t be a Plug Slug!
Plug Slug /pluhg sluhg / n, A person who gravitates to a nearby public wall socket to charge a personal device (tablet, computer, cell phone, etc.) and takes an excessive amount of time to perform the task.
Ozinga, who offers other tips here, recommends investing in a portable power bank such as the Mophie Powerstation Duo. "The Powerstation Duo holds enough juice to completely recharge your device four times," he said. "It can also charge two devices at once, so whether you need to charge your phone and tablet at the same time, or you just want to save the day for a coworker or your boss, the duo has got you covered for a price of $99."