Breadcrumbs to Vegas
There are so many things that I want to remember about Vegas... but mostly, I don't want to forget survival tips! Hopefully I will find the time to write a post about the amazing people and tips. For now, I want to get into the nuts and bolts of the travel and conference!
You don't have to take apples, but I was so glad that I had some kind of food that traveled easily and was available. I actually took apples, granola bars, banana chips, and trail mix.
Sure, I could have gone to breakfast in any of the millions of restaurants. However, it was nice to sleep in an extra few minutes, save a little money, and even have a snack to throw in my bag.
It is a serious understatement to say that walking is essential. It can take you 20 minutes to get from your room to the conference center... that's in the. same. building. I know, because when I had to make it back to my room between conference sessions I was literally running and it took me 15 minutes. It is important to note that none of that time was wasted waiting for the elevator. Also, all of the meetups and social events involve standing.
Dear Vegas, you host a million conferences every year... can the restaurants get with the program and offer bill splitting? I can't tell you how many times we showed up with a group of 20+ people and had to pass the bill and whatnot. I'm pretty sure the tips were smaller as a result of the "What did I order? / How much was my drink? / Did I leave a tip?" kerfuffle. Bring cash to pay for all of those group bills.
I was a bit skeptical of the business card suggestion. I mean, we are all techie people! However, sometimes you don't have the chance to mess around with typing someone's name into Facebook or open your contacts app. It's also easier to gather those cards when you get home and make sure you follow through on all your connections. I gave out about 50 cards, but could see myself having gone through a few more.
Before you leave, have your schedule figured out. I'm not saying you can't just show up and enjoy, but there are going to be events/meetups/concerts/shows that you definitely want to get to. Have them plotted out. It is easy to lose track of the days and times without a bit of a schedule.
I went to bed late the night before I traveled to Vegas (packing), and wish I had a full night's rest. I have been home for 2 days and have slept more in those 2 days than I did during the entire conference! Enough said.
Full disclosure: I am naturally a bit more of an introvert. I used every single ounce of extroversion that I have~ and I'm glad I did! So many of the TPT sellers consider themselves introverts and said they prefer a computer screen to a room of 746 people! Everyone was receptive, everyone was kind, and my bravery paid off. I made so many great friends!
Other good things to know:
The hotel offers a fridge for $25 a day (don't use the in-room mini-bar because they charge based on the movement/weight in the fridge).
The hotel/conference center A/C was not set on deep freeze but I saw a few people with a scarf or light sweater.
I didn't use my computer to take notes almost at all and would have been happier if I just used the ipad to take notes. I didn't feel confident taking notes on a PDF on my ipad, so I used my laptop, but it was heavy to carry for the day and to the social events after (no, I didn't go to my room to drop it off because it takes 25 minutes just to "drop by" your room).