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Rich Rubasch
What to do at NAB
on Feb 24, 2012 at 5:31:17 pm

Ok, let's start populating this thread with some of your favorite things to do at NAB, from vendors and floor highlights to social events and parties....this is only my second one and I don't want to blow it!

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage
Founder/President/Editor/Designer/Animator
http://www.tiltmedia.com


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Ralph Hajik
Re: What to do at NAB
on Feb 26, 2012 at 5:58:19 pm

Hi Rich,
What to do at NAB? Great question!
It's time for a Pre-Plan. This is my 5th or 6th time at NAB but, who's counting?

Where to stay? Try to find a hotel for cheap. I don't believe in paying a lot for a room that I'm only there for a few hours. There's a Mariott Hotel just across from the Las Vegas Convention Center if you wish to stay there, it's going to cost you. I stay off the Las Vegas strip because the hotels are cheaper such as the Gold Coast Hotel. The price you save from the hotel you can rent a car. I have my brother drive in from California so we split the cost of the room. Try to hook up with others in your field of expertise and split the cost if you can. Wear comfotable clothes for a very long day. Plan your day and get ready to talk your way through the exhibits.
Decide how many days your going to attend NAB. I usually stay 2 days for NAB due to the reason that if I miss someone on the 1st day, I'll definately see them on the second day. On the 3rd day is the day I fly back home because I have seen enough. I plan on purchasing royalty free music, see what's new in the market, stop by Sony and Canon exhibits in order to get a good feel for a new purchase. I can't wait to get my hands on the new Canon EOS 1D X. I have to stop by the B&H Photo booth to get good hands on experience. Also, spend some time talking to the reps at Sony and check out their demonstrations at different times throughout the day. Plus, see what is out there in the audio field and new light weight tri-pods for travel since I'm a travel photographer. I can't forget to stop and see the Go Pro exhibit an see what's new with them.
As I make my way around NAB, I always try to attend a party held by Sony or by Bob Zelin. Hey Bob, are you going to have a party this year? Remember, some party functions you have to register in advance.

It's time to eat. I always break away from the strip since we have a car and eat at a restaurant far away. You know, getting away from the strip is a good feeling after you hustle all day long. If you ever get a chance, go to the downtown Las Vegas for the light show. You'll enjoy it. If that's not enough, the Gold Coast Hotel has $1.00 per game mid-night bowling. Get the pot coffee on.
I hope this helps you to decide on what to do at NAB.
Remember, what goes on in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
Enjoy and hope to see you at NAB.

Happy Travels,
Ralph Hajik
LastingMemoriesR4ever.com

LastingMemoriesR4ever.com


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Lance Bachelder
Re: What to do at NAB
on Feb 28, 2012 at 3:43:38 am

If you check out NAB housing you'll get the best deals - far better than booking direct or through any other site. If you don't mind staying off strip I recommend the Eastside Cannery - on Boulder Strip next to Sam's Town - very new place, beautiful Mirage-like rooms at like $39 nite and only 10-15 min. from NAB. Riviera is walking distance to NAB and they have remodeled rooms for $69 night at NAB site.

Monday night has quite a few events - the VASST Sony Vegas User Event is pretty fun - free food and drinks and some pretty good guest speakers. Haven't heard if it's on this year. Most of the vendors have get togethers for their clients all over town. Avid PArty used to be pretty god. Autodesk also used to have high-end party on Su. Night but neither has done anything lately.

Tuesday night is a big one. Supermeet always kinda fun, though long. If you can get a ticket, the AJA party the same night is AWESOME! Best party of the show and always at a great venue.

If you're looking for an insane steak I recommend Del Frisco's on Paradise Rd. Best beef I've ever had and now an NAB tradition for the wife and I. If you haven't seen KA at MGM Grand it's a great show - like seeing an epic movie "live".

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Irvine, California



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Rich Rubasch
Re: What to do at NAB
on Feb 29, 2012 at 12:13:50 am

So how are tickets to these vendor shows acquired? I got a great deal on rooms at the Rio because MCAI is holding their Media Festival award show there and rooms were $89 a night with their group rate. Plus I got a free floor pass in the deal.

I've only attended one party...I did like the Morning general sessions and Bob Ueker is at the Radio session so that might be a must see....being from Wisconsin and all.

Any more?

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage
Founder/President/Editor/Designer/Animator
http://www.tiltmedia.com


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Rich Rubasch
Re: What to do at NAB
on Feb 29, 2012 at 12:14:09 am

So how are tickets to these vendor parties acquired? I got a great deal on rooms at the Rio because MCAI is holding their Media Festival award show there and rooms were $89 a night with their group rate. Plus I got a free floor pass in the deal.

I've only attended one party...I did like the Morning general sessions and Bob Ueker is at the Radio session so that might be a must see....being from Wisconsin and all.

Any more?

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage
Founder/President/Editor/Designer/Animator
http://www.tiltmedia.com


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Lance Bachelder
Re: What to do at NAB
on Feb 29, 2012 at 12:56:47 am

A lot of parties are announced to everyone and 1st come 1 served until registration is full. Many you have to be a customer of the vendor having the party. AJA party in designed for vendors first and users second so you usually have to know someone at a retailer or AJA to get in and it's usually full BEFORE NAB.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Irvine, California



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Bob Zelin
Re: What to do at NAB
on Feb 29, 2012 at 2:07:11 pm

we will announce our party soon - but yes, it's Moday night at the Hard Rock center bar.
Most hotels in Las Vegas are cheaper than any Best Western or LaQuinta anywhere in the US, so
if you say "can I afford to go" - if you can't afford a hotel in Vegas, you can't afford a hotel in your own
home town.

google search "free NAB 2012 exhibits pass" and you will find lots of free codes for registration.

If you don't have a plan for NAB (what to see in advance) - you are screwed. You must plan.
If you are Post Production, the entire show is practically in the South Lower hall.

Bob Zelin



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Tim Wilson
Re: What to do at NAB
on Feb 29, 2012 at 2:56:40 pm

My annual slight disagreement with Bob re: which halls you need to see. :-)

Many camera manufacturers are in the Central Hall. These include Sony and Panasonic (traditionally 2 of the biggest booths at the show), JVC, Canon (both of which have hot new offerings), and ARRI. (Red will be in the South Lower, though.)

Roughly one-third of the two million people who come to the COW every month identify themselves as broadcasters, including many broadcast engineers. There's no question that such folks will need to stop by the South Lower hall to see Blackmagic Design (the showstopper the last two years), Grass Valley, Chyron and others...but there's too much in the North Hall to miss, including audio (and radio) vendors.

Note too that last year's 3ality "booth" was a basketball court outside the Central/North area, where they showed some of the show's most compelling live broadcast technology. Following the merger with Element Technica, expect even more.

While you may not need to spend much time there, South Upper includes Avid, Harmonic, display vendors including Dolby (don't miss looking at these -- even if they're out of your price range, this is the kind of thing that you need to experience if you go to the show), Toshiba, and the Content Theater, which often shows the kind of mind-boggling stuff you used to see at Siggraph...but is now at NAB instead.

As mentioned in a couple of posts above, you really need to check out some of the presentations, keynotes and the like. Last year, the COW's Debra Kaufman hosted a remarkable session on the file-based workflow for NBC's Community. (I know she's doing something this year -- I'll get her to remind me.)

Another example, Creative COW's Gary Adcock has four sessions:
  • 3Ality: 3D from the DP’s Perspective
  • High Speed Happiness – Phantom, Alexa & Epic in 120 fps
  • LOG, LUT’S & RAW – On Set Color Management
  • Stereoscopic Vision as a Storytelling Tool


And he's just one speaker among scores of 'em.

If you click the NAB banner at the top of this page, you'll get a discount code for NAB's conferences, which include Technology Summit on Cinema, Disruptive Technologies, The Creative Master Series, Faith and Film, and much more.

My thinking is that if you limit yourself to South Lower, you could miss 80% or more of the show.

All the more reason to start planning now. NABShow.com has some pretty cool (if frightfully sluggish) planning tools, along with an app to help sort all this out, and includes maps and schedule reminder alerts.

Last but not least, my general show advice:

  • Bring a fresh pair of socks for every day. I actually recommend brand new socks...but for pete's sake, don't wear new shoes!
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Avoid alcohol until you're ready to go home. NAB is no place to be hung over and dehydrated. You'll also torch your voice, and nothing will give you away as a rookie or wannabe faster.
  • Make plans to ship your brochures home. It's silly to carry 20 pounds of paper home.
  • Look for show specials online. Many vendors will drop ship from the floor, but if not, check their website to avoid carrying stuff home.
  • Unless you have an hour to kill, avoid the Starbucks at the entry to South Lower, and don't bother with the food court there. There are loads of other alternatives, all of which will suck down less of your day.
  • Better still, drink coffee at your hotel, eat a big breakfast, and skip the equivalent of lunch in a mall in order to blast through the show. Seriously, did you spend all this money and time to eat at Sbarro? Have a nice dinner instead.
  • Make it a NICE dinner. Cheap buffets? NO!!! Las Vegas is one of the world's great restaurant cities, arguably in the top three or four. (I'd put NY and Rome on the list...but by density, Vegas wins handily.) Even if only one night, go someplace NICE. You can walk into restaurants that require reservations days or weeks in advance in their home towns (say, Postrio in San Francisco or Nobu in New York),
  • Some of the best ones are still comfortably under $50/head. For example, India Origin across from the Hard Rock is one of the best Indian places I've been to in either the US or Europe (and I've been to a LOT of Indian places around the world). But you can do well at Olives in the Bellagio, a number of places in the Venetian, and quite a few in the newer hotels around Aria in City Center. Do the buffets after you turn 70.


Also as mentioned, there's a bunch of awesome free stuff, but O, the Cirque du Soleil show at the Venetian, is one of the most powerful entertainment experiences of my life. When the Cirque show Mystere was the only one in town, it was an annual event -- I knew SCORES of people who bought tickets in blocks. Still absolutely amazing. And you really have to see and HEAR The Beatles Love to believe it.

All expensive, all need reservations made soon -- and all incredibly much worth it. Other than clean socks, this is actually my strongest recommendation. A wonderful break from all the hub-bub of a**hole to elbow madness and be reminded just how beautiful the best technology can be when put to the service of human creativity.


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moody glasgow
Re: What to do at NAB
on Feb 29, 2012 at 7:36:44 pm

The NAB website has some decent planning tools. You can look up an exhibitor, see where they are on the floor plan, and make a list of which ones you plan to go to.

For hotel prices, I go to travelzoo. You can find some good deals there, some deals are better then the NAB housing site. I like to stay the Signature at the MGM. The Signature is a very nice all suite tower of the MGM, and is located in the back of the MGM by the monorail entrance. The Monorail is far cheaper and faster then taking a cab on monday morning of NAB.

moody glasgow
smoke/flame
http://www.thereelthinginc.com


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Lance Bachelder
Re: What to do at NAB
on Mar 1, 2012 at 12:19:34 pm

Keep in mind when booking through the NAB Housing site you don't pay RESORT fees at many of the hotels and you get free wi-fi - big savings.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Irvine, California



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Lance Bachelder
Re: What to do at NAB
on Mar 1, 2012 at 12:17:29 pm

Nice post Tim - except maybe the alcohol part - but what happens in Vegas stays in...

This will be my 13th NAB and still happily making "rookie" mistakes...

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Irvine, California



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Richard Campbell
Re: What to do at NAB
on Mar 1, 2012 at 4:36:17 pm

I offer up this suggestion: Stop by The Peppermill on the North end of the strip. Great place for breakfast, and take a few minutes and check out the firepit lounge.

Hash House A Go Go in Imperial Palace....another awesome breakfast, which will last you all day.

Show tickets-go to Tix 4 Tonight (locations all over Vegas) and you can get unsold tickets for most every show heavily discounted. You need to get there when they open (10am) to get the best shows, and yes you can get great seats.

Down Tropicana-check out the Pinball Hall of Fame. Machines from a century of pinball. Ten bucks will get you a couple hours of being a kid again.

Richard Campbell
Tvshooter Video Production
Atlanta, GA
http://www.Tvshooter.net


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Bob Zelin
Re: What to do at NAB
on Mar 1, 2012 at 7:38:23 pm

Richard -
are you following me around ? Hash House a Go Go, and Peppermill are memorable experiences - even if you only want to do hi end dining. These are totally unique Vegas experiences.

Don't forget asprin. Leaving Vegas without a headache (even if you don't drink) means that you have
not had the Vegas experience.

Bob Zelin



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Earle Nichol
Re: What to do at NAB
on Mar 7, 2012 at 3:53:11 pm

Bob, is so right! For sure you have to have your list or you will be crushed with info..and you will just end up overwhelmed(happened to me on my first NAB oh so long ago) If you can get a resller to get you a manufacturer appt, then you may be able to get your answers quicker. The NAB app is great for getting around, and the guys are right, have the good breakfast, maybe a midday snack and go for a good dinner. I also try to stay til Thursday and spend Thursday afternoon at the pool, writing my blog while everything is fresh in my mind, and it gives me some good winddown before I jump on the plane! And a cache of Tylenol is a mans best friend, to keep up with the Vegas experience Bob is talking about. Hey Bob, hope to see you at Centre Bar on Monday..travel safe!

Communication! Communication! Communication!


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Michael Sacci
Re: What to do at NAB
on Mar 10, 2012 at 6:29:49 pm

I will add one piece of advice. Do not take brochures at the show, your suitcase will be overweight and you will just be tossing it all out at the airport.

In this day and age with should have an app to send pdfs to our tablets and smart phones.


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Tim Wilson
Re: What to do at NAB
on Mar 10, 2012 at 6:58:38 pm

[Michael Sacci] "Do not take brochures at the show..."

I respectfully disagree. Printed stuff from a booth like Blackmagic can run 200 pages or more. I can also tell you from both experience as a showgoer and careful research on the vendor side, people are a lot more likely to look at a brochure when they get home than a PDF. Your mileage may vary, but "that's the way we've always done it" isn't the only reason why they still do it.

The solution is to bring a USPS Priority Mail box, one of the ones shaped like a cube. Buy the $4.95 postage for it before you leave home, pack it with the 30 pounds of paper you pick up at the show, and you're done.

But I couldn't agree more that carrying piles of paper on the plane is more work than you need to do.


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Lance Bachelder
Re: What to do at NAB
on Mar 10, 2012 at 9:08:13 pm

I agree Tim - love the BMD catalog for sure - but it is heavy. Since I drive out every year I usually do my Monday morning round up in the publications area of the upper South Hall and get all the mags in one tote bag and put them in the car right away. It's a heavy bag but you can grab at least $100 worth of mags for free to read later. A lot of vendors give out free tote bags, some nice than others, try to grab one with a wide, soft strap and not the string kind, then be very selective with the brochures etc. Many booths have CD or DVD with pdf's - easy to carry. Most vendors don't have a lot of printed stuff like the old days.

Please don't be one of the dorks that grab every single piece of info and stick it in your rolling suitcase - just embarrassing and gets in everyones way. Sadly these guys are everywhere and usually stop sideways in the busiest aisles - welcome to NAB!

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Irvine, California



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Rich Rubasch
Re: What to do at NAB
on Mar 11, 2012 at 3:01:29 am

Forgot about the magazine area. Love it. And the USPS "if it fits it ships" box is a brilliant idea...now they just need to install a USPS drop box right next to the stand and we'd be all set.

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage
Founder/President/Editor/Designer/Animator
http://www.tiltmedia.com


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Michael Sacci
Re: What to do at NAB
on Mar 12, 2012 at 4:44:06 am

The USPS is a good idea but why not give people an option for a pdf version. iPad+long flight=good time to read a Blackmagic catalog on a new iPad.


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Tim Wilson
Re: What to do at NAB
on Mar 14, 2012 at 4:37:17 am

[Michael Sacci] " iPad+long flight=good time to read a Blackmagic catalog on a new iPad."

I don't disagree at all. We do Creative COW Magazine PDFs too, but even at "only" 52-ish pages, it's 7-10MB. Can you imagine trying to download 10MB over an NAB wifi connection? Even 3G or 4G. It'd take a month, assuming that you can even stay online.

I also have to agree with Lance and Rick -- I had forgotten about it too, but I love the magazine area. Even before I started making magazines. :-) I usually pick up a dozen or so that I've never heard of, and will probably never read again -- but what a cool little insight into those corners of the industry.

Now having said all that, spend some time on the NAB Show website. There are a number of people that DO have links to their PDFs for download, and if it was up to me, I'd encourage everyone to do it....but I'd still encourage them to do print. :-)

And encourage NOBODY to carry it home.


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David Shulkin
Re: What to do at NAB
on Mar 19, 2012 at 2:11:14 pm

[Tim Wilson] "Seriously, did you spend all this money and time to eat at Sbarro? Have a nice dinner instead."

Couldn't have been said better - this is what I've done for over a decade and it is an excellent method - including drinking plenty of water. :)



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David Jahns
Re: What to do at NAB
on Mar 23, 2012 at 1:17:51 am

Best timesaver in the world is to pick up a Subway or some other deli sandwich for lunch on your way TO the show. Subways are open early, Starbucks will have sandwiches.

Yeah, it gets a little squashed in your bag, but you can pop out to the sunshine for 10-15 minutes and grab a bite, while everyone else is waiting in a 20 minute line to pay $12 for crappy cafeteria food. The BarBQ trucks outside aren't bad, but there's always that long line to stand in. Times-a-wasting!

And definitely enjoy a nice meal or two in the evenings. It's hard with all of the evening events, but worth it. Personally, I love Diego's in the MGM...

David Jahns
---
Joint Editorial
Portland, OR


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Lance Bachelder
Re: What to do at NAB
on Mar 23, 2012 at 7:49:11 am

A little coffee tip at the South Hall: there is always a HUGE line for the Starbucks outside the lower South Hall. If you're just drinking drip coffee - head inside to food court - they have Starbucks drip and there's no waiting! They also have tons of flavored creamers etc.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Irvine, California



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Ray Palmer
Re: What to do at NAB
on Mar 26, 2012 at 9:15:19 pm

I take a small pocket digital audio recorder with me. When I am in a booth and the vendor tells me what software version I should be running or what telephone number I need to call to talk to an Engineer, I have them talk directly into my recorder. Out of their mouth and onto digital storage. I don't even attemp to remember or write it all down.
On the flight home, I playback and write up my notes.
It works great for expenses too. Takes away a lot of stress from trying to remember it all.

Ray Palmer, Engineer
Salt River Project
Phoenix, AZ
602-236-8224 office
Violence may not be the answer but it sure cuts down on the questions.


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Hector berrebi
Re: What to do at NAB
on Mar 27, 2012 at 7:05:29 am

few NAB tips :)

PPW (post production world) starts on saturday and has 5 packed days of so many lectures on so many topics your head will spin, you can pay individual days or all days deals, and its moderately priced.
you get to enter almost any session you want (not the certification sessions) and network with many people from virtually everywhere
I may be a bit biased as i'm giving 5 Avid sessions this year at PPW. but in past years i did paid to enter and never regretted it. i like that it starts the show 2 days earlier (on Sat) so it beefs up the week a little, and you get to see show floors getting final touch ups :)

there are many good, free (sponsored) lectures and sessions to see and attend, keep your ears and eyes open for them. for example, The Foundry always have interesting lectures at their booth, or last year, Autodesk gave a nice 4 hour hands on with Smoke, or Zacuto showing exclusive screenings of their camera shootout etc'
also non sponsored free lectures like the Post Pit, with changing speakers and topics.

make lists of what you MUST see and do it on your first and second days, never plan anything for thursday (half day).

don't drink the nasty little energy drinks handed out for free everywhere, get a decent night sleep instead

if you must use restrooms ... use the ones on less crowded floors, like upper north hall or something.
(though generally clean, rest rooms in crowded halls tend to be as crowded)

the book store booth at the north hall is excellent

AjA party is tough to get to if you don't know anyone to get you in, though in that case you might not enjoy the party once you do get in (i think its a party to go to with people, not alone)
last year ASSIMILATE had a nice party too, AVID throws good ones when they do, and Bob's gathering at the Hard Rock is always very fun. RED has a user's party on sunday (details on REDUSER.net). and there is the Media Motion Ball too.
if you plan to go to the Supermeet. know that though it is a very nice gathering, lectures vary in quality, and it is mind numbingly long. especially due to the never ending raffle draw that takes (a very long) hour+ to complete. (in my opinion they should find a better way to do it).

i disagree about buffets being a cheep option (Tim)
try the Bellagio/Wynn/cosmopolitan for quite a unique LV experience (around 35$)

take your most comfy shoes for the days
and a good looking pair for the nights

bring at least one suite

and don't "save" 10-30$ on a bargain room... its where you sleep and take showers (and hopefully more... wink) I always rather have a nice room than seeing a cheesy show or eating at an overpriced LV restaurant.

enjoy :)




hector

Hector Berrebi
prePost Consulting


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David Shulkin
Re: What to do at NAB
on Mar 27, 2012 at 1:13:42 pm

[Hector berrebi] "but in past years i did paid to enter and never regretted it."

I went to the first year of DV workshops (I think that was what is was called 12 years ago) and then back to PPW this past year with staff. I won't say I regretted it, but the bulk of sessions I participated in was just ok. Specifically the entire lineup of DP track sessions were feeble attempts of "shallow sales pitches" and info dumps. Absolutely disappointing (would not recommend).

However,if you are going I HIGHLY recommend Hector's sessions - went to 2 of them last year - very useful and my staff LOVED them for their work. I also recommend some of the usual suspects - Trish/Chris Meyers (AE), Rod Harland, Harrington, Greenberg, etc.



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Hector berrebi
Re: What to do at NAB
on Mar 27, 2012 at 2:24:08 pm

[David Shulkin] "However,if you are going I HIGHLY recommend Hector's sessions - went to 2 of them last year - very useful and my staff LOVED them for their work. I also recommend some of the usual suspects - Trish/Chris Meyers (AE), Rod Harland, Harrington, Greenberg, etc."

wow David, thanks :)
and i thought i didn't have enough crowd in my sessions...

how nice of you to write that.

hope i see you again this year

come say hi if you're there, its hard to match faces to names




hector

Hector Berrebi
prePost Consulting


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Mike Cohen
Re: What to do at NAB
on Apr 1, 2012 at 11:07:35 pm

Tim and others mention restaurants. In my hundreds of trips for work and two to Vegas I make sure to find some tasty food. Here are my suggestions:

Bellagio - go through the flower room and walk almost to the end of the hotel to Sensi - the kitchen is in the center of the restaurant surrounded by plexiglass. Good food with a free show.

Paris has a great breakfast buffet, but get there early and only if you are staying there or nearby.

Aria has a nice Tapas restaurant right off the lobby - though be warned, those $6 plates can add up!

NAB would be fun but perhaps another year for me.

Have fun and hydrate I tell you, HYDRATE!

Mike Cohen


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Spencer Carpenter
Re: What to do at NAB
on Feb 18, 2013 at 8:17:55 am

Hi,

I've recently (last may) gone freelancing and am a video editor, post production person and am looking to spend a lot of cash this year on new equipment including oled monitor, video output card, colour grading control surface, mac pro etc.

Is nab the sort of place where you can pick up bargains and actually buy stuff there to bring home?

I live in the uk and it would cost me at least £1000 ($1600ish) to make the trip to nab and as much as I would enjoy it I'm fairly sure I can read up about everything afterwards from a research point of view.

If i thought I might save some $'s on my purchases for the year it would definitely help me justify it.

Thanks

Spencer


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Ralph Hajik
Re: What to do at NAB
on Feb 18, 2013 at 4:52:21 pm

Hi Spencer,

There's a lot to do at NAB 2013. There's training sessions, exhibits to view, talk to the experts about your wants and needs, etc.
Most of the exhibitors are there to explain to you about their newly released products that are available to you to purchase from their web sites and/or stores and some give you discounts. Some exhibitors are there to sell their products at NAB. Here's a link for you to get started on your research of exhibitors that will attend NAB 2013:
http://www.nabshow.com/2013/exhibits/

Good Luck,
Ralph Hajik

Happy Travels
http://www.LastingMemoriesR4ever.com


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