Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Welcome to Las Vegas!

Today marks the beginning of the IAAPA Attractions Expo 2008 Space Allocation Meeting, held this year at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. It's the first time I've been present for one of these, which is basically the point. The IAAPA Exhibit Sales Team asked me to cover the meeting this year on the blog to provide a sense of the goings-on during what I've been told is a hectic, exciting, intense two days.

More than 600 companies submitted contracts in time for the meeting this year (that's a record, by the way), so by the time the Space Allocation Committee finishes its work Thursday afternoon, about 350,000 square feet of exhibit space will already be in place for this year's Expo in November in Orlando. As that process unfolds, I'll be posting my observations about what's happening in the room.

The reason the committee is meeting in the desert this year is to get a look at the Las Vegas Convention Center, which will host IAAPA Attractions Expo 2009. We toured the facility Tuesday evening, as you can see from the photo above—that's the committee and the exhibit sales team looking out over the South Hall, which we'll be occupying in about 18 months (doesn't sound that far away, does it?).

But that's next year, and today is all about THIS year. Today's meeting is broken up into a morning and afternoon session; business is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. Pacific Time, but there's going to be some discussion of some sort before the booths start flying. Best way to follow the action is to keep refreshing this page; I'll let you know as soon as the committee starts assigning spots.

Keep in mind: This is my view of the proceedings. If you need all the official information about Space Allocation, including a live look at the show floor as it fills up, check out this page.

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