DSE And Sister LDI Show Dates Moved Further Away From F1 Las Vegas Race
December 13, 2022 by Dave Haynes
Next year’s edition of Digital Signage Experience will now be Dec. 4th and 5th in 2023 – a couple of weeks after the big Formula One auto race takes over the Las Vegas strip and some of the nearby roadways, as opposed to a couple of days before the race, which had been the unplanned plan.
The show had been scheduled for Nov.12-14 next year, with the conference starting on the Sunday and the expo on Monday and Tuesday. But on Thursday of that week, a big chunk of the Strip and surrounding roadways would have been shut down for the race, with as many as 170,000 spectators coming into the city for the event. You don’t just flip a switch and convert major roadways to racetracks, so there likely would have been a whole lot of detours and delays even by the previous weekend, or much earlier.
Couple that with hotel prices that would have been through the roof, clogged restaurants, overbooked and overpriced flights and long lines for everything, and it would have been a mess. There was no way in hell I was going if those dates held.
To give some sense of this, the entire 3.8-mile route for the F1 race will be dug out, about a foot down, and rebuilt over the next year. They’re not just re-paving … they’re building the road again. Properties like the Venetian and Palazzo are entirely inside the track, so the city and organizers will have to create ways for cars and people to even get into those resorts. I saw suggestions people would need to be dropped off at temporary gateways and walk many 100s of yards to even get to where a cab might normally drop them off. Nothing but fun with luggage.
Hotel costs earlier in the week, when DSE and LDI will be on, didn’t look all that exorbitant when I checked a couple of weeks ago. But by mid-week, they tripled, or more. Race fans will be paying $600 a night for a room at Circus Circus and sleeping (if they’re smart) in hazmat suits. This is a property that caters mainly to the crowd that wants rooms for well less than $100 a night.
I think I would have not been the only one opting out of 2023 if the dates stayed the same. When someone asked me recently what happens if DSE sticks with the Nov. 12-14 date, I replied simply: “They’re f*cked,”
Now they’re not.
The revised show dates also have the benefit of relocating the event in the shiny new west hall of the otherwise aging LVCC. It’s a nicer building and a little easier to get to from a number of resort properties, notably Resorts World, which has a bored tunnel connection based around those gloriously dumb and inefficient (I think) Tesla car shuttles. The two shows were moving there in 2024 anyway, but show owners Questex (which does numerous trade shows) had enough leverage with the LVCC people to get the hall a year early.
The exhibition side of the show is now just two days, Monday and Tuesday, though the sister LDI live events tech show will run start on Sunday, in adjacent space in the West Hall. DSE will hold a full day of conference sessions on the Sunday. This would all mean the Sixteen:Nine mixer would be on the Sunday night, assuming I do one. I doubt there will be anyone whining about a loss of a third exhibit hall day, as was the case with the 2022 event.
There will be an issue for some people, of course, whose weekends will be shot because they need to travel Saturday to get to Vegas for Sunday sessions or networking. But people who work or attend trade shows regularly are kind of conditioned to that sort of thing, and either have understanding spouses, or divorce attorneys. Saturday night room rates tend to be pricier than mid-week, but everything in Las Vegas is now stupidly-priced, so I think people are growing immune to that. You either go or don’t. The days of Las Vegas offering low-cost meals and cheap drinks are very much gone. I paid for a $10.25 bottle of Fiji water at the Vdara, which is nice but not the Wynn. And while at the Wynn, a glass of cab (albeit a lovely Napa) was $37!!! One glass.
I’m happy with the date shifts. I am not happy about going to Vegas yet again (been 40+ times, and I don’t gamble). But if I have to go, I’d prefer not being there when the city has CES-level crowds everywhere, and much of the Strip roadway system is closed, and getting five blocks takes five hours, Uber is seriously surge-pricing and there are no cabs, anywhere.
It’s important to note that the show’s organizers did not blithely book the original dates knowing the F1 race was coming. The LVCC halls and dates are booked sometimes years in advance. These dates would have been locked down, and THEN the Formula One race was announced, and the people involved in any number of events set for Vegas around that time collectively said, “Oh crap!” Or something much saltier.