In honor of our coverage of the upcoming NAB Show 2016, this week’s post covers the in’s and out’s of the Las Vegas Convention Center, home to NAB Show, CES, SEMA and many more of the world’s largest conventions.
The Las Vegas Convention Center is one of the busiest facilities in the world. It is 3.2 million square feet of conference, convention, and meeting facilities located just a few miles from downtown Las Vegas and the historic Fremont Square.
With this kind of real estate, it is easy to get overwhelmed in such an expansive facility. In order to save you from needing a striped shirt and having a “Where’s Waldo” moment, we’ve summed up the top three things you need to know at a Las Vegas Convention Center event.
1. The Las Vegas Convention Center is HUGE:
I repeat, the Las Vegas Convention Center is HUGE. There are literally millions of square feet of floor space, outdoor exhibit space, meeting rooms, and training rooms. Despite the expansive size of the Convention Center, it is a very organized and well maintained facility. Here are a few tips to get you around your next show:
The Las Vegas Convention Center is HUGE! Stay organized with our #NABShow tips!
- Map out the exhibits you want to see beforehand and have a plan. It’s too much walking to backtrack around the exhibit halls, so plan a path and stick to it. Most event websites have an app that you can use to layout your path before hand, and then reference back to during the event on your phone. Here is the one for NAB Show 2016 that you can use to plan which exhibits you want to see.
- Use a clear point of reference for direction and gathering points during the show. It is easy to get confused when you are down on the exhibit hall floor and amongst the crowds. Find a banner or something memorable you can use as an anchor for your path around the exhibit hall and reference back to it when you get lost.
- There are a lot of restroom facilities around the convention center. However, the ones closest to the exhibit hall tend to get crowded and messy. The cleaner ones are usually on the outskirts of the complex.
2. Amenities Inside the Convention Center:
The Las Vegas Convention Center is a business-friendly city of it’s own. It is self-contained and has everything you need to do business without ever having to leave the facility. We’ve highlighted some of the amenities that may come in handy next time you attend an event there:
#NABShow will have complimentary WIFI in a variety of the lounges on the show floor.
- In case you are running late and aren’t able to fully caffeinate before you get there, there are TWO Starbucks Coffee locations inside the Convention Center. One is located in the Grand Concourse and one in the South Hall. There are also three Paradise Coffee Carts if you prefer. As you can imagine, the lines at these places get really long in the morning, so plan extra time if you are going to need to hit them up before you get going at the convention.
- There are several places to eat inside the convention center. You will find two large restaurants, Lucky’s in the Grand Lobby, and Aces Restaurant in the South Hall. The food is okay at these places. For NAB Show, they have a lot of additional food options that we recommend instead. There are food trucks, BBQ, Beer Gardens and tacos to name a few.
- Free WIFI is located in all the lobby areas. In addition to the lobby areas, NAB Show will have complimentary WIFI in a variety of the lounges on the show floor. If you just can’t live without WIFI juice at all times, it is available from Cox throughout the entire facility at a rate of $12.95/day.
- The Business Center/FedEx Office are located in the Central and South lobbies for those of you that are in need of shipping, packaging and other business services.
- Charging stations are located in the North lobby and South Hall bridge.
There are many other amenities that facilitate your doing business and having fun while at the convention center. Check out a full list of NAB Show services here.
3. Transportation To and From the LAS VEGAS Convention Center:
Although their website claims ample parking for events at the convention center, it really is limited in relation to the volume of people that attend the events there. Rather than driving, we highly recommend taking some form of alternative transportation. Here are a few ways to get around:
- No doubt, the shuttle service is a great, free way to commute to and from your hotel to the convention center. They run frequently from most of the major hotels along the strip and around town. They are free as long as you show your NAB Show pass. Some of the issues to plan for if you are using the shuttle services is that they are very crowded and have a long wait in the morning and at the end of the day. Either plan your commute during non-peak hours, or plan to wait if you are taking the shuttle. A full schedule of shuttle services for NAB Show is available here.
- Uber and Lyft are both available in Las Vegas and can be a cheaper alternative to taxis. They also won’t have a long line like most of the taxi services at the hotels (especially during peak hours). Also note that the they give you specific instructions about where to go to be picked up and dropped off in Vegas. They can’t pull up wherever you want them because taxis still get preferential pickup and drop-off locations at venues.
CN Insider Tip: Rumor has it that Lyft provides a slightly better experience than Uber in Las Vegas because of the accuracy of their location tracking apps.
- The Las Vegas Monorail can be a great form of transportation to and from the convention center. The line is usually shorter at the end of the day and it is cheaper than a taxi. The Las Vegas Convention Center monorail station is located across Convention Center Silver Drive, so it is a short walk outside (which can be very hot during the summer), but is a quick and easy way to get back to many of the hotels around town. You can find directions to the station at the convention center and the station guide for your hotel here.
Now that you know how to get around the Las Vegas Convention Center like a seasoned NAB Show pro, you can use the extra time you’ll save to try flying a drone, which we highlighted in our NAB Show post last week, or maybe sleep-in a bit longer to recover from the late night before.
Join us next week as we dive into more exciting technology and must-see exhibits that will be showcased at this year’s NAB Show. This event is fun for everyone and Convention Nation is ready to help you make the most of it. Read more about our coverage of NAB Show on our website and signup for our Blog to get next week’s post delivered to your inbox!