“A postcard from Las Vegas.”
(The 2023 PSP-Deck Expo)
I love sharing the tidbits I pick up from the annual PSP Deck Expo every year, but this year, I’m going to relay them backwards. I can’t explain why; it just feels right.
DAY 3 (Wednesday): Formula One takes over.
Regular streets have been converted to race tracks, and access to some of the hotels becomes a nightmare. Uber, Lyft and taxi drivers are in full panic mode, because no one (apparently not even the event coordinators) know exactly how this is going to work.
EVIDENCE: On Wednesday evening, during practice runs, the world learned that these low-slung F1 race cars could suck the 12-inch manhole covers up off the ground and into the street. Hugely embarrassing for the city, and seriously bad for the F1 car behind you.
Fortunately, most everyone from the PSP-Deck show was out of town before the gridlock hit.
DAY 2 (Tuesday): The Sphere
All I can say is mind-blowing. The massive outside is hilarious when it changes from any number of exceedingly complex animated images to a simple round ball with eyes that follow the cars as they drive by. (You can see it from just about any hotel in the city.)
And while I expected to be blown away by the inside, I was not expecting to be literally blown away inside by wind when we experienced what looked and felt like a real hurricane. I cannot say more other than go see it. And get the good seats.
DAY 2 (Tuesday, continued)
Meanwhile, classes continued, and from my observation, the show floor traffic remained relatively strong. There’s usually a big drop-off after lunch on day two, but I still saw plenty of people roaming the aisles and chatting with suppliers. That’s good news for everyone.
DAY 1 (Monday): The Expo.
We kicked off at 8:00 AM with the Builder Power Panel.(Special thanks to Mike Church, Charlie Claffey, Tony Campbell, Greg Howard and Krissy Adams). Tons of great insights from these icons in the industry. To hear them all, you had to be there.
But i will share one tip that I heard over and over again, consistently, from all of them: “Know your numbers!”
9:15 AM: We had Anthony Robles as our keynote speaker. Entertaining, inspiring and heartwarming, he was delightful, youthful and energetic, and I think he put a little boost in all our steps with his message.
10:30 AM: The crowd floods in as the Expo opens. The show floor seemed as big as ever, and full of excitement, end-to-end.
Lots of great exhibitors, but one had me scratching my head just a little bit.It was an international fiberglass manufacturer who would take his fiberglass shells and convert them to “all-tile” pools. In Brazil. Then he would put them on a boat and ship them up to the US.
He had one there on the show floor, and it looked absolutely perfect. But wow, that sure seemed like a lot of trouble to sell a pool. I hope it works out for him.
5:30 PM, The Welcome Party begins at the AYA Day Club. Gorgeous poolside event. I’m not sure how we pulled this off, but we were amongst the first 50 people into the event. So we got great seats, and first shot at the food. And while I’m not a huge fan of chicken tenders, I must say the tenders on the buffet line were absolutely delectable. Better than any chicken tenders I’ve ever had at any restaurant, EVER. Someone was doing something right.
DAY 0 (Friday-Sunday): Genesis, W.U. and Carecraft.
I was surprised at how many different multi-day classes were going on over the weekend. Lots of smart people getting even smarter with some of the best education in the industry. And as luck would have it, they were all right around the corner from the Carecraft Welcome party, which not only had great food and free drinks, but a live band, and some actual break-dancing from the industry’s finest. (And a perfect view of The Sphere, I might add.)
Overall, I’d say it was a great event.
And whether you were there or not, I would like to ask your feedback, specifically regarding the kickoff of the event.
Which of these would you prefer, right before the show floor opens?
- An interesting and talented keynote speaker.
- A “Power Panel” comprised of the industry’s finest.
- BOTH of these.
- NEITHER of these.