Sunday, January 30, 2005

Hello Everyone- Here are some more updates from the SHOT Show. I apologize again for things not being in chronological order. I am still working out the bugs of this program. Maybe some day I will have a few minutes of free time to figure it all out! As you can see from this picture I am pretty tired ! (rosy cheeks are always the first sign i am about to crash- and you can see them even through the flash of the camera here) Good luck making sense out of what I have thrown up here for you today!!

The view of the convention center parking lot from my room (and me in the reflection). This is the second time I have ever been to Vegas, and both times it has been cloudy and rainy the whole time! My room is on the 25th floor. I'm not crazy about being this high up, but I do have a great room, so I can't really complain!

The view from my room- if you look closely you can see me in the ghostlike reflection.

After we had cocktails, wine (for the guys), appetizers (i had baked oysters), and entrees, we talked ourselves into trying out the dessert souffles. We ordered 5 souffles and shared them. This picture doesn't do our table justice. Wine and souffles everywhere. The dessert was excellent. And of course, we laughed until we cried during the entire meal.

And here would be my dinner- crab cakes. You can't tell from the picture but the cakes were hardly bigger than a quarter. However, they were excellent. And for those of you wondering what that drink is in front of me- diet pepsi with grenadine and a cherry.

Saturday night we went out as an LE team for dinner at Buccaneer Bay Restaurant at the Treasure Island Casino/Hotel. I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard. I could never do it justice by trying to repeat it on here however. But we all laughed for a solid hour, just making jokes about everything and anything. Here you can see Blake's meal. He had the surf and turf special.

Here's another image from the same intersection as before. This show is busy busy busy. It never really slows down. We have brief moments where we can breathe, but it never lasts for long.

We had the chance to show off our new digital camo Cx4 Storms today. Here you can see in the middle (the brown one) is the desert camo Cx4. Below it is a fully decked out normal color Cx4. (the yellow tags on them denote that the firing pins have been removed)

Here's a shot of our booth from Day #3 in Vegas (which is day 2 of the show). Our booth never slows down. In this picture you can actually spot 2 more Beretta employees visiting from headquarters- Jim Bradley and Daren Domanski. Reps Blake Beidleman and Terry Giltner are also in the picture.

More dang blinking pins!!!!!!

To learn more about the dang blinky pins, please scroll down further. Due to my inexperience with posting in reverse, the explanation for what these are and why they are blinking is below.

One of the highlights of Friday (opening show day) was the State of the Industry Dinner and Leann Rimes concert. I was given a last minute ticket to attend. We had a nice dinner, listened to a few dozen speakers, and then enjoyed a personal concert with Leann Rimes.

Up close and personal with Leann Rimes!

Tom had a little fun with his napkin. If I could spell Yamakuh, I would tell you that that is what he thinks he has on his head.

Another dinner in the lovely company of Laurel and Kelli. I am so glad to have other females on this trip! Please note that we are all wearing our blinky pins!

It took a little longer than we had patience for for our dinners to come. So we entertained ourselves with the blinking blue pins. This picture here is what happens to a glass of water when you put a blinky pin in it.

Matteo and Alessandro having fun with our desserts at dinner.

Christopher Merritt and Franco Beretta accepting the award for Manufacturer of the Year from the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

I never would have guessed that our Italians Matteo and Allesandro would get so into a Leann Rimes concert, but as you can see here and in the next picture, these two did a little hip wriggling!

Matteo and Allessandro dancing!!!!

The Beretta Blinking Pin- this pin may give me nightmares for years to come. This pin was the brainchild of Scott Blackwell and Christopher Merritt after a few too many drinks one night (their story, not mine). We had 10,000 of these made for this show. Its a little white lapel pin that blinks a rapid blue light. We are handing them out to EVERYONE. And if a person is spotted wearing one outside of the trade show floor in Vegas this week they are put into a drawing for a free firearm. We thought these would last us the entire show. Instead, we ran out by the end of day 2!! I had to unwrap about 3,000 of these over the last few days. I am still seeing spots from the blinking. As much as I have been complaining about these little stinkers, I have to admit, they have been a huge success. You can't go anywhere in the convention center without seeing a flashing blue light.

Trash and Trinkets- One of the highlights of this show is that we have great "trash and trinkets" to give out to customers. This tee shirt was designed by Lowell, Laurel, Glenn, and me. We are 'celebrating' the 25th anniversary of the M9 this year. This shirt shows all of the major offensives the US military has been in with the M9 as their sidearm. These shirts were VERY popular and just flew right out of the booth. We are already out of them!

BEFORE Picture- Here is a main intersection near our LE booth. One of my favorite parts of a show is how much it changes from set up day to opening day. When you look at it from this perspective you wonder how it is ever going to take shape and attract thousands of people from around the world.

AFTER Picture- The show looks totally different after you had a few thousand people and exhibitors to the mix!
Days Two and Three at SHOT Show- I am still learning the details of how to post a blog. Next week while I am in Miami without as many distractions at night I will have some time to sit down and master the way to best do this. But until then, here is my best late night attempt at blogging a show.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

We (and by we I mean those of us who work in the trade show and marketing department of my company- which means me basically) have decided to flirt with the idea of doing weblogs for our larger trade shows. While this format (especially not the pink wallpaper) is not how we plan to do it, this is basically a test run to see what we need to do to make it work. One of the first things I have learned is that I have to post everything backwards apparently, to make it come up in order. So forgive me for the non-sequential order of the pictures. I promise tomorrow I will do a better job of it. But right now it is midnight in Vegas, and 3 am in the East. And my body is in a time zone all its own right now. So I'll fix the mistakes later.

I am at the SHOT Show, which for you gun novices out there, is the Shooting Hunting Outdoor Trade Show. Beretta is the biggest exhibitor at this show. Our "Mama" booth is 110x70 feet. Our Law Enforcement booth, which is where I reside, is a mere 10x20 feet. We are one of the most popular booths to visit in the show. These are pictures from day one- set up. Tomorrow, I will get day two and day three posted. Hope you enjoy them. Let me know what you think!

Thursday- Set up day-
We started the day off at 8 am in the Mama Booth. We (the LE guys and I) stayed for a brief overview and then headed off for our booth way on the other side of the convention center. After spending 3 hours in our booth (see below for pictures of our booth) we went back to the mama booth to help out and get lunch.

At 4 pm we had an impromptu team meeting in our booth (after spending most of the afternoon in the mama booth). We were just standing there talking when suddenly the shotgun wall and center panel fell down on us! Not good!! Thankfully, most of the fall was stopped by Len’s head and Blake’s shoulder. (Which really wasn’t good either.) I don’t have a picture of the toppled over booth. I was a little too preoccupied with trying to hold it up. All the shotguns fell off, and one got nicked up pretty good. But we got the wall back up and got the installation company back over pronto. Just when we thought it was all okay and started to leave, it fell over again. It missed me by just a few inches, and instead landed on Len, who was trying to get me out of the way. Good thing he has a hard head! We left the whole thing in the hands of the install company and left. We were exhausted. I checked in an hour ago and was told that everything is okay now. I am just glad it happened today during set up while we were there, and not overnight, or worse yet, tomorrow with customers in the booth.

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It took LE about 2 hours to set up our booth. We probably could have done it much faster if the guys hadn’t spent so much time making me laugh and telling cop stories.
Every pistol, shotgun, and long gun had to have the firing pin prior to coming to the show. (I call that “Len’s problem.”) Once they get here, they become my problem, and I have to make sure they all fit in their places properly. We have 12 pistols, 5 shotguns, and 5 long guns at this show.
Here is the view of the booth from the top of a crate! The empty panel will be filled later with tactical boots.  Posted by Hello

What is life really like at a trade show? Its all empty crates, missing boxes, dust, crazy people, and guns, guns, guns. This show is unique in that we have field reps from around the country working in the booth. So there are lots of people all around that we don’t know!
Boxes weren’t the only thing missing today. Our lunch was 45 minutes late! Not good when you have 50 people with jet lag and rapidly dropping blood sugar!
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Here is a shot of the Mama booth. It is 110x70 ft. Its massive, with over 400 guns in it. Makes my little 10x20 pale in comparison. This is the largest booth at the trade show, right in the center of the hall. You can’t miss it!
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One of the highlights of trade show work is that we get to eat out at fabulous restaurants every night. Tonight I joined Joe, Lowell, Kathleen, Rob, Tom, Kelli, and Laurel at Andiamo’s, an Italian place in our hotel. I still haven’t managed to wander out of our hotel yet. Jet lag is killing me and I’m just too tired to go far. But we had an amazing meal in spite of our exhaustion. I think dinner for the whole group came to over $500. Ah yes, just another day on the road. Here’s a picture of the ladies at dinner- Kathleen, Kelli, Laurel, and me!
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Welcome to day one at the SHOT Show. By popular demand I will do my best to share with everyone what life is like at a Beretta trade show. We keep crazy hours, stand on our feet all day, and eat great every night. Today my day started at 5:45 am. That was mostly due to the time difference though. We met at the booth at 8 am. After a quick team meeting, we started setting up the show. One of my favorite parts of a trade show is seeing how it looks in the beginning, and what it looks like after set up. Here you see an empty trade show floor. Tomorrow, you will see pictures of a crazy bustling show floor! Posted by Hello

Everyone has heard me talk about my great team of guys that I work with in LE. Here is a rare shot of them all holding still for the camera. From left- Aaron, Chris, Blake, Mike, and Len Posted by Hello

This is a quick shot of the LE booth before we put in the pistols, shotguns, and long guns.
The Law Enforcement division has their own booth at this show. We are in the 900 aisle, while the big mama Beretta booth is in the 4600 aisle. Our little booth is a mere 10x20. Mama booth is 110x70.
In the corner of the picture you can see one of our crates. That is what our booth was shipped in. I’ll point out little trade show insider things when I can think of it.
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