OK, So we said we would never do a trade show again.....
But how can you give up on the humble trade show before going to the biggest one of all?

Vegas Baby!

We made a group decision after a couple of beers at the local dog racing track (but thats another story) to put a trade show stand at Interop 2010 Vegas.
For a small investment of about $10K for a stand and $5K for hotel, flights and gambling expenses (are they tax deductible?). Of course we paid in advance and it didn't occur to us that the whole of European airspace would be shut down to flights because of a little volcano in Iceland called Eyjafjallajoekull!

Given the disaster in the skies we didn't think we would be seeing Vegas...Luckily at the last minute the airspace opened up and Karen, Jake, Mark and I  packed rapidly and shot up to Gatwick where we discovered that the USA visa site had not accepted our details (probably thought we were terrorists)...The hotel we stayed at was just off the strip behind Hooters and MGM called the 'Desert Rose Resort' and unlike the Hotel Lily it was really very nice, big apartment style rooms, nice pool, ok breakfast and free alcohol from 5-7 in the evening!

Mark and Jake shot off by helicopter at 6am to see the Canyon which the really enjoyed (got a little burnt though)...We took the first few days fairly easy and enjoyed the strip without loosing too much money. Then came the show, it was at the Mandalay convention center and was slightly smaller than the Infosecurity show in London. We had a tiny little stand next to Coyote Point and F5, all the vendors (competitors or not) were very friendly and we had some interesting chats with people.However the Gigasys stand opposite had a guy doing the same presentation very loudly every 15 minutes which was slowly driving us insane.

Jake went to his first poker tournament and came 4th, the other players wanted to split the pot but Jake refused and immediately got kicked out next round...He is now convinced that he is a natural so will no doubt end up broke...

On the second day the beer/booth crawl gave us the opportunity to see how much alcohol we could fit on our small stand.. and after that we could not remember an awful lot apart from winning at craps (what on earth are the rules?) and roulette luckily eventually all of our bank cards were refused so we couldn't loose any more money...

Day 3...Ouch...best not to talk about day 3.

Will we do it again? - Lets say no for now, and then maybe change our minds later? $15K is still a lot of Google ads.

Ps. Thanks very much to Karia Kaiser of OpenText who sent us some photos....