NAB first-timer? Top Las Vegas survival tips from a 32-year show veteran

My first NAB was in April 1986, writes Marquis Broadcast’s Paul Glasgow, and over the years since then I’ve become a strong advocate for minimising damage to body, soul and dignity. So, here are my top tips for surviving the NAB 2018 show.

Why do my feet hurt?

Because they’re going to, so you can only make them hurt less. Never wear new shoes, wear the comfiest shoes or trainers if you can. Leather shoes will develop their own ultra-humid eco climate, so change shoes and socks twice a day. Ladies, I admire four-inch heels, however, by the end of the show you’ll be four inches shorter and have bleeding blistered excuses for feet.

Why does my head ache?

Too late – you’re dehydrated. From day one, drink as much bottled water as you can and then some! Don’t drink tap water as it has too much chlorine in it. Without going into too many details, if your urine is any darker than a light straw colour, you’re not drinking enough.

Why does my bank balance hurt?

Never gamble while you’re drunk (unless you’re with ITN) and never gamble when you’re sober either. Also, never think you will win, so at least you can also afford to lose.

Why have I put on weight?

Vegas will try to turn you into a walking human food dumpster and make you think that eating a starter that’s bigger than your head is normal – it’s not.

Why does my skin hurt?

Radiation burns from the bright yellow thing in the sky. It may only be April but the Vegas sun can be brutal for the average northern-dwelling European. Also, you’re not on holiday, so turning up to a business meeting sunburnt on one side of your face because you fell asleep by the pool is not cool.

Why am I in jail?

Always respectfully greet a policeman as ‘sir or ma’am’ and make no fast moves – remember that they have a loaded 9mm Glock on their person. They are bored of drunk smart-arse visitors and Trump jokes. Always mention you’re flying home tomorrow, as hopefully you’re not worth the paperwork.

Why are my eyes sore?

The desert will turn your conjunctiva into something akin to a small cactus instead of eyeballs. The good news is you’ll find the world’s best selection of eye lubricating and soreness removal drops at the local pharmacy.

Why is it snowing and hailing?

It has happened in the past, so don’t assume every day is going to be baking hot; Vegas can be cold and windy too. So 12 pairs of shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops may not be the best clothing strategy.

Why doesn’t my voice work?

Your vocal cords have dried out like an old basil leaf. At a trade show, your voice is your greatest asset. Treat it with care – shouting or singing at the top of your voice in a bar at 2am probably won’t help.

In general, things that happen in Vegas don’t stay there anymore, but travel at the speed of light via the internet. So by all means have fun, but try to retain your dignity. Actually, I still get a kick out of NAB and it’s a world-class business event.

So if you are going, feel free to visit us at Marquis Broadcast – all the shiny new things will be on stand SU6225 or you can book a meeting with us at Looking forward to seeing you all there for the 32nd time!

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