Wednesday, March 14, 2007

No shows, warm weather

Well, no shows here this week. The temp hit 90f yesterday; normally we would be around 70f at this time of year, so we are getting a taste of Spring. I walked over to the Fashion Show Mall at lunchtime yesterday enjoying the sunshine and warmth. A large number of tourists seem to not be used to bright sunshine and warmth and are also clothing wise unprepared for this level of temperature. A large number of women were wearing their bikini tops in place of halters, which is fine with all the males walking around.

I am still learning the procedures of a large convention center. My last job was at a bank, and it took a while to learn all of the regulations there. Not many regulations here, just learning how the business is run. I didn’t realize that all this place does for a show is rent all the space to just one company, and then they rent out space for the individual booths. These companies usually have ‘exposition services’ as part of their name. They supply the carpets and booth dividers and tables and chairs and all the other things it takes to put on a big show.

It usually takes three or four days to do the initial setup for a large show. This entails marking the floors for booth locations, putting up dividers or curtains where required, laying down carpets and dropping power. Then a fleet of huge trucks come and an even larger contingent of fork lifts unload boxes and pallets and distribute them around the hall. When this is done booth personnel show up to unpack these boxes and set up the displays. Some of these displays are quite elaborate – for the floor covering show several of the big companies built houses in the convention space to show where their stuff would be used. Some of the displays are just composed of a few tables with merchandise arrayed, or lots of shelves with lots of stuff.

But I enjoy all of the fork lifts cruising around in a rather complicated ballet: avoiding each other and people walking and stuff piled in the aisles to deliver their load and then go back to the trucks for another.

This is the fleet parked outside during the show – on hand for when the show closes to put all that stuff back into the trucks. It’s hard to see but there are two rows parked side by side for a total of about fifty forklifts. If you look closely you can see the 'Hertz rent a truck' logo on the side. I think the yellow ones are from Avis. These forklifts are also supplied by the group putting on the show – they are not normally parked here. They are all delivered before show setup starts, and taken away after the show is broken down. It looks like there are two big show exposition companies, this one likes the orange forklifts, the other rents yellow ones.

For those of you that have visited Vegas in the past, yesterday the Stardust casino bit the dust. The 30+ story building was imploded at 2am on Tuesday, as the photos in this Review-Journal article show. If you stayed there in the past, you cannot ever again. It is being taken down to make way for a new 4.4 billion dollar project (yes, that’s $4,400,000,000). Not quite the seven billion being spend on City Centre two miles south, but still quite a chunk of change.

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