on April 01, 2015 Educational

Top 10 Life Saving Tips for NAB Newbies

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It’s that time of the year again where broadcasting executives & engineers, technology manufacturers and production geeks converge on Vegas for the weeklong marathon called NAB. The landscape is saturated with blogs, twitter streams and live podcasts about the technology at NAB. But what’s rarely talked about is what the show is like to attend. Most first-timers go in completely unprepared.

Sure, there’s a lot to like about a trip to Vegas on the company dime, but let’s face it – the show is a slog. Vegas for a weekend with your friends is fun. Vegas for a weeklong work trip is like “Lost” - it starts off strong but goes on forever and eventually ends in exhausted bitterness.

Most NAB newbies have a tendency to overdo it early, finding themselves out of gas by Tuesday. Veterans have learned the hard way that a little preparation and a touch of moderation can make the whole experience a lot more positive. Here are a few simple tips to make that NAB experience a bit more enjoyable. 

  • 1) Water, water, water – Vegas is a man-made oasis in the middle of a desert. Your brain needs water to perform at its peak. Switching from coffee to beer at 4:00 in the afternoon without mixing it up with some H20 is a recipe for a world-class hangover. Hydrate frequently and thoroughly.

  • 2) Comfortable Shoes – Most of us spend the majority of our work hours behind a desk. The Las Vegas Convention Center has 3.2 million square feet of floor space. Exhibitors will be standing all day and attendees will walk literally miles from one vendor meeting to the next. The walkways in the conference halls are solid concrete with a thin layer of cheap carpet. Guys – dark sneakers or insoles. Ladies – flats. Don’t let fashion make you miserable – no one at the show will judge you.

  • 3) Antibacterial Wipes/Hand Sanitizer – Grip & Grin, Press the Flesh, Dap – whatever you call it and however you do it you’re going to be touching a lot of other people’s hands over 4 days. Take a moment to sanitize - your chances of getting sick right after the show will be greatly reduced.

  • 4) Pain Killers – Whatever your brand of choice, Advil, Tylenol, Aleve – there’s a good chance you will wake up with a headache and need to take the edge off. Even if you’re a teetotaler there’s the noise, smoke, AC, etc. To quote Kafka “Better to have, and not need, than to need, and not have.”

  • 5) Power Bars – There’s no diplomatic way to put it – the food that Aramark provides for the LVCC sucks. The lines at lunchtime can take 30 minutes, and there’s rarely a place to sit and eat. Have a big breakfast, bring a power bar with you for lunch, then have a good dinner at one of Las Vegas’ phenomenal restaurants.

  • 6) Antacid – Vegas has some of the best dining in the world, but it can be really rich. Whether you’re on the treating or receiving end of a dinner at Cut, Bartolotta or the Wicked Spoon, chances are this is not your normal diet. No one wants to hit the pillow at midnight then have indigestion keep them up. 

  • 7) Vitamin-laced Fizzy Drink – Replenishing your vitamins and electrolytes can keep you fresh and healthy. My personal NAB regime is a liter of Smart Water with two Airborne tablets before bed every night. Whatever it takes to prop up your immune system ‘til you’re back in the comfort of your own home.

  • 8) Cough Drops – Whether you're giving demos, getting them, or simply networking, you’re going to spend a lot of time talking. Throw in the desert air, smoky casinos and insufficient sleep - losing your voice on day three becomes a real concern. Sure, some people might assume you have a cold, but at least you won’t sound like Janice Joplin by Wednesday.

  • 9) Lip Balm –12 hours after arriving in Vegas your lips will be as dry and cracked as the salt flats in Zzyzx. In addition to being unsightl,y it’s really uncomfortable. This simple addition to your daypack will make a world of difference.

  • 10) MediaSilo’s Got You Covered – Forget any of the above? Swing by the MediaSilo booth at SL8027 for a demo and a an NAB Survival Kit. We’ll also have cocktails at the booth Monday and Tuesday from 4:00 – 6:00. So stop by, have a beer (or water) on us, introduce yourselves and have a wonderful show.

See you in Vegas!!

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