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Shows To See in Las Vegas | EXHIBITORLIVE 2015

February 11th, 2015 COMMENTS
Lesson #44 – Some People Drink from the Fountain of Knowledge. Others Just Gargle.

Lesson #44 – Some People Drink from the Fountain of Knowledge. Others Just Gargle.

 Tips from a Townie

Last week, I was attending the EDPA Las Vegas Chapter mixer at the Foundation Room in Mandalay Bay when it HIT me! EXHIBITORLIVE is less than a month away, and we have  yet to cover all the Vegas Shows. So, without further adieu, let’s moonwalk.

Michael Jackson ONE is the show to see in Las Vegas right now. And as luck would have it, it’s at Mandalay Bay! It is a heartfelt tribute to the life and music of the King of Pop. The Cirque acrobatics combined with Michael’s legendary music create a story that immerses you in the legend’s music and spirit. There are shows twice a day with the 9:30 pm show changing to 4:30 pm on Sundays.

I’m thinking that I already dated myself with my previous comment about Frogger so it should come as no surprise that I would be excited about the recent 80s Rock revival in Las Vegas! Get out the AquaNet because we have two great shows that are a tribute to your favorite 80s Hair Bands:  Raiding the Rock Vault and Rock of Ages.

rock vaultRaiding the Rock Vault appears nightly, except Thursdays, at the Tropicana. It is the story of Classic Rock as performed by members of some of the greatest rock bands in history. It’s a one-of-a-kind rock show that will have you throwing your p…. Well, you get what I’m trying to say. It’s everything you remember and love about Classic Rock!

Rock of Ages was originally on Broadway, then became a movie starring Tom Cruise (don’t even get me started about that one!). Now it is playing seven days a week at the Venetian. Set in L.A. on the infamous Sunset Strip in 1987, Rock of Ages chronicles two ‘kids’ trying to make it in the L.A. rock scene. For you millennials out there, you might be excited to hear that Joey Fatone of *NSYNC fame will be joining the cast on February 20th.  Here’s a link for 30% discount and 2-for-1 drinks with no strings attached (I seriously could not resist that one!).

Leave it to Sin City to debut a parody of one of the steamiest novels of the 21st Century. 50 Shades! The Parody appears every night except Monday at Bally’s. Some parts of the show are obviously R-rated, but it’s all are meant to be fun and entertaining, albeit in a naughty sort of way. If you’re easily offended, then most likely this isn’t the show for you. But then neither are many other shows here in Vegas. Consider yourself warned!

Fans of HORROR will enjoy the Vegas shows featuring the undead — Evil Dead: The Musical and Zombie Burlesque. Now I fully recognize undead purists will stand firmly in the camp of the Evil Dead not being Zombies. But really? Does it matter? Reviews of both shows describe them as hilarious and fun. Oh, and both shows are at Planet Hollywood.

My last suggestions feature some Las Vegas Headliners

Here are my favorites. Enjoy!

Frank

Donny and Marie – These two have been performing in Las Vegas as Headliners since they were little Osmonds. But this latest gig has been going since 2008. They pack them in and are a locals favorite.

Jeff Dunham — Not Playing With a Full Deck is in residency at Planet Hollywood. Who couldn’t use a good laugh with Jeff and his sidekicks after a long day on the set-up floor? He performs 3 shows a day, 5 days a week.

Frank – The Man. The Music — Starring Bob Anderson. This show has rave reviews. Impressionist Bob Anderson is said to channel Frank Sinatra as he takes the audience through the full repertoire of Sinatra’s musical career.

Don’t forget to use Groupon, Living Social, and Google for show discount codes!

Now’s the time for you to share your favorites! Feel free to come by the Classic Exhibits booth (#1645) and let me know what you thought of the series. You can even ask me why I left Brit-Brit off the list.

Don’t have a pass for ExhibitorLIVE? Well, as luck would have it I’ve got a discount code good for an Exhibits Only pass, with your name on it! How’s that for hooking you up? Click here to access registration and receive an Exhibits Only pass courtesy of Classic Exhibits.

EXHIBITOR2015

And in case you missed it, here’s my Where to Eat in Las Vegas during EXHIBITOR and What to Do in Las Vegas during EXHIBITOR blog posts.

Jen LaBruzza
Western Regional Manager (and Vegas Local)
jen@classicexhibits.com

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Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions. Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100 or www.classicexhibits.com.


 

You Like Me, You Really Like Me!

December 13th, 2014 COMMENTS
Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned by Jen LaBruzza

EDPA ACCESS 2014 Notes – Palm Harbor, FL

Flying High! As I fly home from the EDPA ACCESS 2014 Annual Conference,  I’m writing this from 30,000 ft. But that’s not the only reason I’m “high.” As you learned in Kevin’s blog last week, Classic Exhibits won a major award this year.

We were recognized with an EDDIE Marketing Excellence Award for our online Exhibit Design Search tool. I have to admit as Reid Sherwood and I made our way up to the stage to accept the honor, I was thinking of several people. Mel White, Tony Bennett, Glenna Martin, and Sally Fields. Why Sally Fields? Well the moment was definitely one of those, “You Like Me, You Really Like Me!” moments. Not me specifically, but Exhibit Design Search. The sales tool of all sales tools received the recognition it deserves. It was certainly a proud and emotional moment as Reid and I accepted the award on behalf of Classic Exhibits, our strategic partners, and every Classic Exhibits Distributor who has a branded EDS on their website.

ACCESS was great in so many other ways too. The theme was “Band Together.” Shared ideas about our beloved industry was practiced throughout the seminar and speaker sessions. In addition, Jim Shelman, Reid Sherwood, and I participated in the Supplier Showcase where we connected with current and potential customers, vendors, and even other suppliers in a way that was low-key and comfortable.

Lessons Learned3.jpg“Bridging the Generation Gap” was a particularly interesting session. Amy Yag from Access TCA, Amanda Helgemoe from NuVista, and Pat Friedlander from Word Up! led a lively and engaging session about motivating millennials in the workplace.

The 5 Key Millennial Motivators:

  1. Culture – Being part of something bigger and building a community.
  2. Incentives — Beyond monetary values.
  3. Set Communication Standards – Clear expectations for internal and external communication.
  4. Clear Expectations and Consistent Feedback – A generation of structured learners thrive on this.
  5. Focus on Personal Growth – Opportunities for continuing education/training.

Other sessions and keynotes provided insight into customer service and industry trends. One particular trend that was discussed in many sessions was Cost Reduction as the “new normal,” creating more pressure for exhibit companies to provide value. In all, our industry definitely seems to be on the upswing from the recession based on discussions with distributors, suppliers, and other manufacturers.

Jim and Reid also participated in the golf tournament at the signature Copperhead Golf Course. Jim said, “The golf and the weather couldn’t have been better! Other than a couple of long putts, I wasn’t able to contribute much to our team, but it was fun to be out on a beautiful course on a warm, sunny day in December.” (Who’s been to Oregon in December? Enough said!)

RR_Hotel_Exterior_06Next year the conference will be held in Las Vegas at the beautiful Red Rock Resort, Spa, and Casino, a mere 5 minutes from my house in Summerlin. You know I’m excited about that!

Looking forward to seeing everyone at EXHIBITORLIVE March 1 – 5 at Mandalay Bay.

Still need to register? No worries, we’ve got you covered.Get your VIP Guest Pass ACCESS CODE (#4044) and register:

http://www.classicexhibits.com/tradeshow-blog/2014/11/17/attend-exhibitorlive-2015-free/.

Jen LaBruzza, Western Regional Manager
jen@classicexhibits.com

A Groovy First Year Retrospective

July 9th, 2013 COMMENTS
First Year Retrospective

Lessons Learned by Jen LaBruzza

Lesson #56 – Problems Can be Opportunities in (a really bad) Disguise

Some might say “astounding.” Others may choose “astonishing.” I choose “G-R-O-O-V-Y”!

The past year has been, well, groovy. I’m imagining a few LOL moments from those who have spent time with me. This month marks my one-year anniversary with Classic Exhibits as the Western Regional Manager.

As a former teacher, I would be remiss if I didn’t pause for a little self-reflection on my first year. To those who have allowed me into your businesses and into your lives — “Thank You!” I am grateful for every conversation and every meeting. I realize that it’s not always easy meeting with a newbie.

Which brings me to the sometimes challenging part of my job:  problem solving and wheel greasing. You may recall Reid Sherwood’s timely blog post last year, What You Should Expect From a Manufacturer’s Rep. It was published just as I was heading out on my first trip and hearing a lot of, “Now what is your role with Classic Exhibits?” It was a great insight into the expectations for Regional Managers at Classic Exhibits and ClassicMODUL.

Did you lose my manuscripts?

It also brought to light a part of our job that we sometimes dread — Problem Solver. Having worn many hats over the years in this industry, this is still the one hat that drives me the most crazy. It eats up everyone’s margin on that “oh so easy” job. But without something breaking, without trouble that shakes up the normal course of things, there is no opportunity to introduce new and better solutions.

Ernest and Ezra

In the 1920’s, when Ernest Hemingway was working hard to perfect his craft, he lost a suitcase containing all his manuscripts. The devastated Hemingway couldn’t conceive of redoing his work. He could only think of the months he’d devoted to his arduous writing . . . all for nothing, he was now convinced.  But when he lamented his loss to his friend and poet, Ezra Pound, Pound called it a stroke of luck. Pound assured Hemingway that when he rewrote the stories, he would forget the weak parts and only the best material would reappear. Instead of framing the event in disappointment, Pound cast it in the light of opportunity. Hemingway did rewrite those stories, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Last year, there have been problems, ranging from “I need an extra length of cord cover for our customer’s extrusion” to the generic “This job has problems and I need you to fix them.” Recently, one of the latter took me to the show site.

The “opportunity” involved Classic stepping up to the plate and correcting some mistakes. They weren’t huge, but measuring mistakes depends on who has the ruler. The distributor requested that we send someone to the show site to assist their client. All was well until the final phase, when things were being plugged in and tested. The last SEG graphic was not going to work, not because of size but because the client was unhappy with the standard rear projection fabric. Did I mention this was on a Sunday?

I was able to call in the cavalry, a.k.a. Dave Brown from Optima Graphics who suggested an alternative fabric. He rallied his troops and got the new graphic printed and on a flight. Did I mention that the show opened on Monday at 9:30 am? For me, it meant waking up at 4:15 am to arrive at the airport at 4:30 to ensure that the graphic was installed by 7:30. This was clearly an opportunity waiting to happen and thanks to Optima, the new rear projection fabric worked perfectly.

A sure sign of a successful person or a company is how they tackle problems. Are they creative and innovative? Do they turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones. It’s often those hidden opportunities that can cement your relationship with your client and serve to make it stronger because you have weathered it together. As the saying goes, “Problems happen. It’s how you handle them that is important.”

Now go out there and focus on turning challenges into opportunities rather than into disappointments and problems. And most importantly, let me know how I can help.

Jen LaBruzza, Western Regional Manager
Classic Exhibits/ClassicMODUL
jen@classicexhibits.com

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Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions and engineered aluminum extrusions (ClassicMODUL). Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100.


 

EXHIBITOR2013 — Show Me the Best Shows, Baby! (from a Las Vegas local)

February 18th, 2013 7 COMMENTS

Lesson #143:  Show Me the Best Shows, Baby

The countdown to EXHIBITOR2013 is on — T-minus 26 days and counting. That means you have less than a month to get tickets to see your favorite shows and/or performers in Las Vegas. As a Las Vegas local, I want to share with you some of my favorites on and off the Strip.

  1. EXHIBITOR2013 — Other Places to Eat (from a Las Vegas local)
  2. EXHIBITOR2013 — What Else to Do in Vegas (from a Las Vegas local)

Absinthe (http://www.absinthevegas.com)

Absinthe appears twice nightly, Wednesday – Sunday in the Roman Plaza at Caesars Palace. It is an acro-variety show that is performed in the round. It has received great local and national acclaim. The show includes familiar ingredients for Las Vegas – raunch comedy, circus acrobatics, and a sprinkle of burlesque –- all uniquely combined into something new and beyond the usual. The New York Times sums up the entire ‘Absinthe’ experience as, “Imagine Cirque du Soleil as channeled through ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show.” My advice — you’ve got to ask yourself one question: “Do I want to see this with _____________. Well, do ya, punk?”

LOVE (http://mirage.com/entertainment/love.aspx).

Just down the road a piece (sorry the Westerner in me is coming out) is LOVE at the Mirage. It’s the must see Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas. You can’t help but feel good after spending 1½ hours in the company of the Beatles music. Last September, they celebrated their 3,000 show and you’d never know it!  The show is performed in the round, so no two performances are alike. Even if you’ve already seen this SPECTACULAR, see it AGAIN! LOVE also appears twice nightly on Thursday-Monday. And just because I think you’re GROOVY, I searched and found this special link (http://cirk.me/UOguGP) so you could go and get tickets at a special price too!

Jersey Boys (http://www.jerseyboysinfo.com/vegas/show.html)

Not only has Las Vegas been home to the best Cirque du Soleil shows, it has also become a home away from home for many Broadway musicals. One such show is Jersey Boys. Jersey Boys is a musical biography of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. Of course, the link to Las Vegas and the mob cannot be overlooked. Jersey Boys began its run in Las Vegas in 2008 and has been going strong ever since.  Jersey Boys plays at the Paris and is dark is Monday with two shows performed on Saturday and Tuesday.

Terry Fator (http://goo.gl/aFw7i)

Join Terry Fator and the rest of the Fator gang for an evening of world class entertainment. With his unique combination of celebrity impressions and ventriloquism, the show is just plain fun. Terry has been in the Best of Las Vegas consistently since his arrival in 2007. TripAdvisor ranks him #11 of 478. If a good laugh is what you need, then Terry Fator has the remedy. Shows are nightly Monday – Friday. By visiting the link above you can check for seats that are 25% off in addition to 15% off dinner/show packages.

Discount Tickets

If you’re willing to take a gamble (when in Rome) or can be a little flexible, there are many discount ticket companies for Las Vegas shows. I’ve either had personal experience or friends that have recommended these discounters. For discounts on most Las Vegas show tickets, checkout the following sights:

It never hurts to check out Groupon.com for Las Vegas deals. If you already use it online or if you have the App for your smartphone, it’s as easy as changing your location.

 Near and Dear

Not That David Copperfield. The Other One.

Lastly, we can’t forget the shows that are close to Luxor, Tropicana, and MGM Grand:

If none of the above acts meet your fancy, you can always stop by the Classic Exhibits booth (#1637). We’ll have appearances by our own Tony Bennett, JLa, and the crowd favorite, MELVIS!!!

Please share your favorites, along with your super secret way of getting the best seats in the house.

If you haven’t registered, what are you waiting for, a personal invitation? Well luckily we’ve got one for you. Click HERE for FREE Access to the show hall courtesy of Classic Exhibits. Enter Promo Code 4044 for the FREE Pass (waiving the credit card fee).

Jen LaBruzza, Western Regional Manager
Classic Exhibits/ClassicMODUL
jen@classicexhibits.com

*********************************

Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions and engineered aluminum extrusions (ClassicMODUL). Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100.


 

EXHIBITOR 2013 — What Else to Do in Vegas (from a Las Vegas local)

December 18th, 2012 2 COMMENTS

Lesson #126:  – Attractions Smactions

You Dirty Rat!

Do you recall when you couldn’t visit Rome, Paris, New York, New Orleans, Venice, and Medieval England all in one day? If so, then you’ve attended EXHIBITOR for more years than you probably want to admit. EXHIBITOR is celebrating its 25th year.

While there aren’t many certainties in life, one thing is certain. Vegas reinvents itself more often than Madonna.

  1. EXHIBITOR 2013 — Other Places to Eat (from a Las Vegas local)
  2. EXHIBITOR2013 — Show Me the Best Shows, Baby (from a Las Vegas local)

As a Vegas local, I’m constantly asked about what to do here, so here’s the inside scoop of what’s new!

What to Do

2012 marked a return to Vegas’ roots with the opening of some exciting new venues. If you’re staying at Mandalay Bay or the Luxor, grab a cab or limo to share and head Downtown (yes, DT).

The Mob Museum (http://themobmuseum.org) is housed in the historic former federal building in Downtown Las Vegas. The Museum features some of the most iconic artifacts in mob history including the wall from the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in Chicago. And to ‘cap off’ the night, the Mob Bar (http://mobbarlv.com) is located a short walk away. With a 1920’s speakeasy feel and classic cocktails, it’s “an offer you can’t refuse.”

Next up is the Neon Museum (http://www.neonmuseum.org), also located in downtown. The Neon Boneyard is home to over 150 donated and rescued signs from the 1930’s to present day. The unrestored collection represents signs from business, motels, and iconic casino resorts located originally throughout the Las Vegas Valley. How many of these memorable signs will you recall?

Whenever I’m driving home past the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop, it never ceases to amaze me how long the line is to get into that place! And with the popularity of Pawn Stars growing, the line will continue to be a constant fixture. But leave it to someone in Vegas to work a deal with a pawnshop. The Pawn Stars Insider Tour offers you VIP access to the Pawn Stars universe (http://www.alllasvegastours.com/body.asp?tour=5293PAWN&page=TourDetails). Not only do you get to ‘skip’ the line, but the experience also includes other shops from the hit show:  The Toy Shack, Rick’s Restorations (Home of American Restorations), and ATM – the aquarium store from TV’s “Tanked.” The tour picks up and drops off from Bally’s daily, except Sunday. After a 4-hour tour your thirst may be overwhelming! You will want to head across the street to The Cosmopolitan.

The Cosmopolitan is probably my favorite newer resort on the Strip. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, there are floor to ceiling windows that allow sunlight (yes, you read correctly) onto the casino floor. You are actually able to tell the difference between day and night! The second reason I love the ‘Cosmo’ is the Chandelier bar (http://www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com/experience/lounges-and-bars/chandelier.aspx). This multi-story bar is surrounded by luminous beaded curtains of light, which give you the feeling that you are sitting in the middle of a chandelier. As exhibit producers, I challenge you not to try to figure out how they do it or how they clean it. Just enjoy the magic!

Back in the good old days, EXHIBITOR was held around Valentine’s Day. Which might have been just a little problematic to be away from your spouse or significant other on one of Hallmark’s most important holidays. Now, there’s a good chance that EXHIBITOR will fall on or near St. Patty’s Day. A wise move as it is a holiday that can definitely be enjoyed in Vegas sans spouse. This year, St. Patty’s Day is the day before EXHIBITOR 2013 opens. So for those who may be in town, I included some great Irish places to pay homage to the “Mother Country.”

McMullan’s Irish Pub (http://www.mcmullansirishpub.com) is just off the strip, but well worth the cab ride. This is where lively locals go to kick back some pints, while enjoying great local Irish bands and food. Inspired by a group of nine famous men who fought for Irish independence in 1848, Nine Fine Irishman at the New York, New York (http://www.ninefineirishmen.com) gives a the Vegas strip version of the Irish pub. The Victorian-style bar, along with delicious Irish food, combines to create an authentic Irish atmosphere. Ri Ra (http://www.rira.com/las-vegas/) is located in Mandalay Place but has to be included! Ri Ra, consistently voted one of the top three Irish bars in Vegas, caters to both the locals and visitors with their Guinness Shop.

If you’ve attended EXHIBITOR for a few years, it’s easy to forget about the attractions close by — but you shouldn’t. Mandalay Bay, Luxor, and Tropicana have some great attractions. I know you’re there for work, but all work and no play makes . . . . Well I think you get the picture by now.

Feel free to add your ideas or favorites to either list! And if you’re thinking that I’ve intentionally left out Vegas shows, think again! Part 3 will include some of my Vegas show recommendations and ways to get tickets without breaking the bank. And no, it doesn’t involve a meeting with the Mafia Don.

Feel free to add your ideas or favorites to either list!

In the meantime, registration for EXHIBITOR 2013 is now OPEN! Click HERE for FREE Access to the show hall courtesy of Classic Exhibits. Enter Promo Code 4044 for the FREE Pass (waiving the credit card fee).

Jen LaBruzza, Western Regional Manager
Classic Exhibits/ClassicMODUL
jen@classicexhibits.com

*********************************

Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions and engineered aluminum extrusions (ClassicMODUL). Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100.