As you know, I was recently shipped off to Las Vegas by the company for six days and five nights to exhibit at CES. After the last trade show I attended in San Francisco in 2009, I never thought I’d want to do one ever again. But this time around I had a great time!
Aside from me and my co-workers at the show, there were plenty of customers and vendors and resellers that I knew from before or met for the first time. Also in town for the show was Brad Gausman. Jeff LaPlant flew down for the week, and Patrick Lynch drove up from LA to hang out. And Dusty Hovde lives in Las Vegas. So there was really no shortage of people I knew.
Our booth was positioned very near the Sharp booth at the Convention Center, and Sharp was running a big MLB promo and brought in a handful of players. I managed to see Torii Hunter, Prince Fielder, and Joba Chamberlain, but the line was far too long to get an autograph or picture. But Tigers pitcher Rick Porcello’s line was short, so I stopped over and chatted for a while about Game 163 which he started opposite Scott Baker. Despite me cheering against him, we agreed it was the best game either of us had seen. Former Twins pitcher Doug Corbett stopped by our booth and I struck up a conversation as well.
One night when Jeff, Brad, and I were out wandering the Strip, some guy tried to hand us passes to get into the Smokin’ Aces bar to some super exclusive party. We declined, but the guy was very persistent and finally told us to just go in and say hi to host Ron Jeremy, the world’s biggest porn star. We agreed and went inside, where a small group of people were milling around. Just then Ron took the stage and introduced the band, led by a former Aerosmith guitarist. Also on hand was special guest Flava Flav, who just stood there on stage for a minute before taking off with his henchmen. We followed him out, trying to get a picture with him to no avail.
The first three nights we had meals as a company with various partners or customers. One night we ate at Gallagher’s steakhouse at New York New York, and I innocently ordered the Surf & Turf combo—a filet mignon and lobster. The price was listed as “M.P.” I assumed that meant the price just fluctuates and they can’t print it. No, turns out that just means it’s really super expensive. I was given the nickname M.P. for the remainder of the trip for ordering this meal that cost quadruple everyone else’s.
I think every day I was there, we went to Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill for a drink or two. I can’t wait till the new Toby Keith location opens here in the Cities! Live country music every night was pretty awesome. In my opinion, it’s the best bar in Las Vegas. I didn’t do much gambling, but I did sit down at a roulette wheel a time or two and blew through $40. I have money down on the Chargers to win the Super Bowl, so it may not be an entire loss!
As for the Consumer Electronics Show, the big thing this year was clearly 3D TV. Every big company there—Toshiba, Panasonic, Sony, Philips—all had 3D TVs. Most of them required 3D glasses, but we saw one TV that automatically showed up in 3D. To me the whole 3D craze seems so mid-1980s, but I must admit the technology was pretty cool. Jeff and Patrick had lots of fun trying out some 3D video games when they visited the show. Other big things included watching TV or movies on cell phones. The booth right next to us was the most bizarre, however. This bald dude and his parents showed up with a rummage sale-looking assortment of analog telephones and AM radios with built-in flashlights. Why they were at that show is beyond me.
Aside from a Sunday night panic attack at dinner that was probably set in by extreme exhaustion, I had a great time on the trip and look forward to the next time I’m sent on the road! Hopefully the company got enough leads at CES to make it worth our while. I posted the full photo gallery on Facebook, but here are some of the highlights.