(Author’s Note: I first wrote this story over 20 years ago, but [most] of the advice is timeless)
10. Pre-register, no need to stand in lines. (The new automated kiosks also do a great job.)
9. Don’t hang with a gaming veteran. By the time you meet all his/her friends and hear their stories, you’ll have missed the show.
8. Collect an ample supply of “freebies” for the team back at the office. Save weight by dumping all magazines; copies will be around the office when you return. (The emergence of great online news services like CDC Gaming Reports, the Nevada Independent and GGB make this tip a bit old fashioned. Of particular note are the daily stories from CDC’s “From The Floor” special G2E editions. One exception is the softcover “Casino City Buyer’s Guide.” It is great for future reference. Grab two copies for the bookshelf.)
7. Don’t forget the cell phone charger. (And your cords. Backup battery packs are now common and can be a lifesaver too).
6. Select an alternate seminar ahead of time. If your first choice is not going well, switch ASAP. If you hit two yawners in a row, leave and use the time to network.
5. The parties are great, but practice moderation and don’t forget to get plenty of rest. You need to be sharp.
4. Bring at least 100 business cards, that way you’ll only be about 100 short. (This is rapidly changing. See my story on this trend from a few months back.)
3. Take notes. There are so many good ideas here, it’s easy to forget (a PDA is great). [Hard to remember the last time anyone called it a PDA? But all cell phones can take great notes and, best of all, photos of new products.]
2. Follow up on contacts promptly after returning (see #3).
1. It’s all about the shoes. The wrong pair can turn Thursday into a torture session. Do not bring a pair of new shoes under any circumstances.