• Steve

Surviving a Las Vegas Meeting 3 Misnomers and 10 Tips

It’s hard to imagine being a meeting planner of any kind and not having to deal with Las Vegas. I know a lot of people speak of Las Vegas as an almost magical mystical place. Given enough time, and enough visits however, Las Vegas starts to be more like changing your new baby’s diaper. At first, the experience is rewarding and even though you never know what surprise awaits you, you know you’re a part of something special and unique. It doesn’t take long though, to start feeling like you’re standing in the same place way too often and dealing with the same crap on a different day.

What follows is the ONYX guide to Surviving a Las Vegas Meeting, 3 Misnomers and 10 Tips.

First, let’s address the misnomers, or misperceptions:

Misnomer # 1: “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”

Our experience has been, that not only is this not true, but quite the opposite seems to be the case. People talk incessantly about all the “crazy” things they’ve done in Vegas. We know it’s part of the whole mystique of the place, but it’s just not true. Remind your co-workers that the truth is more like: “What happens in Las Vegas gets put all over social media and ruins your life” - just not as catchy, I guess.

Misnomer # 2: “It’s a dry heat”

Maybe. 115 degrees is still 115 degrees. There’s a reason the landscape is dirt and rocks.

Misnomer # 3: “We have a trillion square feet of meeting space, so it’s more convenient”

So just because you put a roof over something, doesn’t make it any closer to you. Having a hotel that covers a full city block is not unusual in this city, so when you leave your room in the morning, you’d better have everything you need, because you’re not going to “run back up to your room” because you forgot the red Sharpie. Plan ahead. And, don’t be thinking you’ll just break in those new shoes once you get on site, because that ain’t happening.

OK, time for our 10 tips.

Keep in mind that some of these suggestions apply more to longer meetings (more than a week on site)…but you make the call:

Tip #1: Don’t limit your luggage trying to look like you’re a seasoned professional. In fact, just the opposite applies. Have the courage to take 2 suitcases. Pack some items from home that will help you rest. We’ve been known to take our own sheets and pillowcases. You’d be surprised the difference that something simple like that can make. If you’re worried that housekeeping might peel those off and send them off into some sheet wormhole, just leave a note.

Tip # 2: We ship humidifiers to some of our Las Vegas programs. See Misnomer # 2 above. Seriously though, it’s easier and cheaper to ship it out there and back, than it is to have the hotel provide them. Humidity can be a wonderful thing.

Tip # 3: Lip balms are a must. This is more of a “guy thing.” Here again, that pesky dry heat rears its head. Nobody wants to look at your cracked lips all week. Burt’s Bees is excellent, or there’s even several flavored varieties out there. Take it with you though. Buying supplies like this in Las Vegas is just crazy. It’s like they sit around and say, “what is the most stupid high price we can put on this Chapstick and still have some sucker buy it?”

Tip# 4: Plug in the blow dryer in your room and try it when you first check in. You don’t want to have to hassle with that first thing in the morning at a hotel in Las Vegas. They just don’t care about your hair.

Tip # 5: We love the Echo Show 5 – compact Smart Display with Alexa ($89.99 on Amazon). Our planners use it in the room as a bedside alarm clock with great time display, and in the staff office for music – “Ask Alexa” entertainment during the day.

Tip # 6: Stay Hydrated. I’m sure this seems obvious, and maybe it is, but we’ve found that specifically staying hydrated with coconut water is a huge plus. Planner Bert in our office brought this idea to the group and it has proven to be a winner. However, if you’re like me and you’d rather drink cat pee…water is still an option.

Tip # 7: A must in the staff office – Refrigerators, a water cooler (we pay a little extra for the water cooler and water jugs), not Vegas tap water in the big brown banquet jugs (hey, it’s the little things that make a difference). Ship your own coffee maker and favorite fresh ground coffee. ONYX is loaded with coffee snobs, and with banquet coffee at $120++ a gallon, this is a huge cost saver, and just better coffee.

Tip # 8: Get out and buy something for yourself. We like the Las Vegas North Premium Outlet Mall. Great place to shop and do something that disconnects you for a couple hours.

Tip # 9: Go out for dinner to some place that’s not attached to a hotel. One of our favorites is Carson Kitchen, located at Carson and 6th St. Atmosphere is great and the food is too. We like the tempura green beans, baked macaroni and cheese, the butter burger, and the chicken thighs…but it’s all good. www.carsonkitchen.com

Tip # 10: Get to the Lotus of Siam. Our staff raves about this place, and they are some tough customers. Favorites include Pla Koong (Shrimp spicy salad), Pad Se-Ew and the Kra Paow (Basil and Chili Chicken). DJ also mentioned Golden Tofu, but just as a matter of principle I didn’t want to mention it. I mean you can say “you can’t tell it’s tofu” all you like…but it’s still a glump of soy. Tofu aside, get to this place! www.lotusofsiamlv.com

That’s our list. We can’t not go to Las Vegas (I never claimed the grammar would be perfect), so let’s all just learn how to deal with it. Good Luck!

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