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NAB Vegas Perks for Free or Cheap

Vegas vet reveals secrets

Dan and Peter “Herman” Noone at the Panasonic/Roscor Party at NAB at the Imperial Palace From Around 2003 (or so Dan remembers)

NAB 2015 is right around the corner. Next month should be the low point for booking airfare and travel to NAB, but now is the time to start finding and “building” deals.

For this “Off The Beaten Path,” a look ahead at NAB in Las Vegas, but not from the engineering point of view (heck, we ALL know that it’s in Vegas so we can sneak in 10 minutes of R&R while out there!). As you probably know, the NAB Show in Vegas this coming year is April 11–16, (exhibits are April 13–16), and to take advantage of potential Vegas deals, now is the time to start your preplanning.

My friends know I’m generally “thrifty,” so I’m always looking for a good deal or some good comps. Now, nothing comes for free, but if you do gamble a little in Vegas, absolutely positively sign up for any “player’s club” card wherever you’re gambling. I’m farrrr from a “high roller” (due to “spousal constraints” and not necessarily “good common sense”), but the casinos seem to vary year by year on how generous they are towards return visits. Important to note: Never tell the casino you are there for NAB or you get the “convention deals” of which there really are none! Tell them you’re getting together with some buddies for a few days of fun (no lie in that, right?). If they say, “Hey, there’s a convention that week,” the response is “Oh, really?” My casino freebies, comps, perks (or “exchange for my previous year’s losses”) included discounted and free rooms at New York New York, MGM Grand and Caesars, plus plenty of free play and food comps. But for any of these benefits, you must sign up for their player’s clubs and actually plan on dropping money down for gambling (between the NAB exhibits and seminars, of course).

I’d be remiss to not mention being sure to hook up with your favorite equipment and services dealers and manufacturers. Unless you are completely “new” to NAB, you already know this. There have been some incredibly awesome parties in the past. One of my favorites was the Roscor/Panasonic party that is now part of history. It was held at the Imperial Palace and included an oldies music group as a surprise (you never knew who would be there!). I caught Davy Jones, Peter Noone (“Herman” of Herman’s Hermits) and even Survivor, in the past. Another great past even was Vinten’s 100th anniversary party on the roof of the Palms Hotel & Casino. Awesome! Ikegami always had nice parties, and I’ve heard rumors that Sony’s party was always awesome. There are always immediate post-show parties each night at booths, and it’s a nice way to grab a snack, win a prize, and meet friends. But the great parties are the ones that start a few hours after the show ends each day. If you have an awesome dealer (as I do), you may also get invited to a nice private affair with 20 or 30 of his/her best customers.

Bonus — on the NAB floor, grab the cool spiffs and sign up for the drawings. About 1998 I signed up for a Segway give-a-way at the Abekas booth. About a month later I got a call saying I won (I initially thought it was a joke). But a week later I have a big box on my doorstep with a $3,800 Segway in it. So remember that someone has to win, and your odds are far better than playing any lottery.

MyVegas (MGM) from Facebook
I’ve been going to the NAB in Vegas since 1990 … So this is my 25th visit. I only go to Vegas once a year and the NAB is my “excuse.” Like some (not all) I bring a few quarters to drop in slots. In 25 visits, I’ve probably come back with more money than I left with about three times. To combat my losses, I decided to buy stock in MGM and Caesars’ properties. So I may lose money in April, but generally gain it back the other 11 months of the year. Another way I “combat” losses and actually save money for my bosses when going to the NAB is through something called myVEGAS slots on Facebook. It’s “virtual gambling” since it costs absolutely nothing, yet there are real rewards for building up “gold coins.” There are many levels of awards including free meals including buffets to dining credit, free T-shirts, attraction passes, and even free room stays. The highest level of points include things like wedding packages, free cruises or even being a DJ for a night at a casino (Sorry, but I’d consider that closer to “punishment” than a prize.).

It does take a while to build up points, but over the course of the year (just playing now and then), I got a free ticket to the Cirque du Soleil Zumanity show last year at New York New York, along with free buffets from both MGM and Aria. And when I say free, I mean it didn’t cost a nickel. The year before I caught “The Australian Bee Gees” at Excalibur, along with a meal at a restaurant in Aria and a couple of glasses of sangria (my favorite drink from Spain!).

Caesars Casino from Facebook
Like the MyVegas, Caesars offers free perks for on-line play via Facebook.

Coupons Galore
Grab coupons as you can. You can go out and search, but look at the end dates and look out for companies just trying to pull your information. I always use a junk email address that can get slammed with junk mail that I generally ignore. I usually find a handful of decent dining coupons (like free appetizers, etc.). Here are a couple of links — Vegas Coupons and Vegas for Locals — that aren’t bad, but you can also Google or Yahoo others.

NAB Trade Association Deals
Don’t ignore what our own NAB has to offer. If you don’t have any “player’s comps” on rooms, one of your best buddies can be the NAB (and I understand they have pricing guarantees associated with their offers). Keep your eyes on the NAB’s site and don’t forget to grab offers like discounted monorail passes from NAB (they really have some excellent deals!). Here’s the NAB homepage for the convention. The drop-down box gives you all the sublinks. The free pre-registration has already started. If you are just going for the exhibits, you should already be seeing free registration numbers. If not, tell your favorite equipment dealer you are planning to go to the show and ask if they can check with their equipment dealers and manufacturers for the free registration code.

Flight Reminder
Here’s a link to something that most people should know … when to book your flight. For NAB, statistically your best pricing should be between mid January and mid February. I went super cheap one year and didn’t pay attention to the layovers and ended going from Ohio to Washington, then Chicago, and finally Vegas. Nightmare trip! I think it was something like 12 hours of time between departure and landing. In an unrelated note (but on the same trip), I just installed a new voice dialer system on a transmitter and didn’t “shake it down” first. When I landed in Vegas and checked my voice mail, I was greeted with “You have two-hundred and sixty new voice mail messages. Lesson learned!

And finally …
I’m always into research and history, whether radio, TV, or “life in general,” it doesn’t matter. Here’s a great link to share — it’s the Library of Congress. There’s a plethora of information here which includes thousands and thousands of newspapers dating back to the early 1800s. You could get lost in this Website for days!

If you stumble across a good or unusual web site that might be of interest, or a great Vegas deal, please don’t hesitate to send me the link and any info you might have about it. My email address is [email protected].