9 a.m.: Committee Chairman Jack Mendes (Bob's Space Racers) runs the show during Space Allocation. He sits at the "head" of the U-shaped table setup in here, sitting in front of a 50-inch flat-screen monitor with the floor plan laid out on it.
When he addressed the committee this morning to open the meeting, Mendes told the other 12 members today was going to be a lot different from the previous two years, when IAAPA Attractions Expo was held in our familiar stomping grounds of Orlando. This is Expo's first trip to the Las Vegas Convention Center, so Mendes said they're going to intentionally take things slower this year to get used to the new convention center.
We just saw that message come into play, not 10 minutes into the meeting. The committee spent a good five minutes poring over one booth, making doubly sure the company's preferences and the logistical requirements of the hall meshed as well as possible.
It's gonna be a much more methodical pace this year, folks. I think these first few hours could go really slow, as the committee gets its bearings; each new booth placed will probably teach the members something about the hall they didn't know before, and thus will make it easier to place booths as they move along.
8:43 a.m.: So, here's how this works: IAAPA received 555 contracts for booths wanting placement during Space Allocation. Every company is ranked by seniority—the longer you've exhibited with us, the earlier you get placed on the floor. Any exhibitor with more than 25 years' exhibit seniority gets placed ahead of time, so there were actually more than 70 companies on the floor plan when we all woke up this morning. The committee began work this morning at No. 78, Kay Park Recreation Corp.
8:35 a.m.: We're under way!
8:23 a.m.: OK, all the general stuff is over. Meeting is set to start at 8:30 a.m. They're taking a brief break, then we're all set.
7:55 a.m.: Good morning, all. Space Allocation Committee members are gathering and finding their spots. The meeting starts officially at 8 a.m. (Pacific Time, remember), but it'll be 20 minutes or so before booths start going in so they can go over some general housekeeping issues.
Keep refreshing this page; I'll update this post throughout the morning session.