What Happened in Vegas… Could Help You | News, Sports, Jobs


Last weekend Lynnda and I were in Las Vegas for Influence 2021, the annual conference of the National Speakers Association. This year it took place at Caesar’s Palace. The plane to Vegas was packed and late for the 4.5 hour flight. The temperature on landing was 116 degrees. The humidity was 10 percent. It’s still hot. Slot machines greeted us at the airport.

Caesar’s is a beautiful and huge complex with 4,000 rooms, upscale restaurants, lounges, shops, several casinos, ballrooms, meeting rooms and a colosseum where they host events ranging from shows to fighting games. price. Vegas has the same problems we have in finding workers. Express check-in was not. The person at express check-in sent us the wrong way round to our room. After walking around the crowded casino twice, a friend of ours from the NSA spotted us. With his help and no more trips, at 2 a.m. EST and 11 p.m. Las Vegas time, we were in our room. Our friend from the NSA had had similar experiences earlier today. His smile, positive attitude and helpfulness kept our attitude from deteriorating.

The next morning at 7am I decided to do a morning run in the 99 degree heat. People were still at the bar and the casino. I fell on the pool and got lost. I had to ask for directions to get out of the hotel. The race was a self-guided tour of Las Vegas Boulevard, including the Bellagio Fountain, which we saw in TV commercials and movies. I was surprised at the number of people sleeping on the sidewalk in the heat. Ordering a take out breakfast the oranges looked nice and juicy. I ordered one. The clerk laughed and said, “I can’t sell you these oranges. They are made of plastic. We were off to a good start.

This conference was like a family reunion and a united funeral. We saw friends and colleagues who we had not kissed or shaken hands with for two years. The participants were the survivors. The NSA has lost over 1,000 members. Most have gone bankrupt. It was like the first year engineering lectures on my first day at WVU. We were in a large conference room in the technical building. The teacher said, “Look to your left and look to your right. One of those people won’t be here next semester. The teacher was right. Fortunately, I survived. At the NSA, we have lost less than 10 people, most of them to cancer. Everyone has been affected by COVID in one way or another. In addition to renewing friendships, Lynnda and I learned from our colleagues outside of formal presentations. This is why face-to-face meetings are so powerful. Here are our top 10 takeaways from Las Vegas. We thought you might find them helpful.

* Las Vegas, like Tennessee, Florida and many other places, has resumed operations as usual. A few people still wore masks and the plexiglass is still in place. Caesar’s Entertainment director of marketing said the weekends are very busy. Their agreements are sold until the second quarter of 2023. One of the reasons, he said, that companies hold face-to-face meetings is to hire those who work from home.

* Major disruptions are normal and occur every few years such as September 11, the Great Recession and COVID. Prepare for them with multiple sources of income and savings. Those with diverse income streams and diverse customers were survivors. Just like your 401K, it’s not safe to have all of your eggs in one basket. Dig your well before you need water.

* In-person meetings are back. The zoom does not disappear. It will always be a valuable tool, but companies that only organize virtual meetings will be disappointed with attendees and sponsors. People are looking for opportunities to network again and connect with people in person. We made four virtual meeting presentations in June. For Shale Crescent USA in the future, the Global Plastics Summit is virtual, all other conferences are in person. Shale Crescent USA presents an in-person panel at Pittsburgh Chemical Day in October.

* Hybrid meetings will become more common if meeting planners treat and involve virtual participants the same as people in person. The NSA made the virtual participants feel part of the meeting. They talked to them, did the same phone surveys and other activities as the participants in person. There were virtual meeting rooms for them when we had a share with those around us.

* A speaker spoke about using our talents. Are you using yours? What makes you unique? A life of comparison is a life of despair. Is there a skill you need to add? Let go of guilt or thoughts of which you are not worthy. You don’t have to be like everyone else. Be yourself. Be authentic. Be relevant.

* Last week I wrote, it takes over seven sales contacts by phone, email, or social media in addition to in-person contacts. We’ve heard from the Journal of Experimental Psychology that face-to-face meetings are 34 times more compelling than digital or virtual. Six face-to-face requests equate to over 200 number keys.

* The pandemic has shown us, helping is the new sale. Do you help your customers or do you sell them?

* Accepting diversity of all kinds begins with diversity of thought.

* Decisions are emotional and then justified by logical reasons. People don’t know where to look or who to trust. Be trustworthy.

* Some of our very successful friends are still suffering from the pandemic. A friend lamented at lunch he had to borrow money from his family. It was difficult because he was always the one helping them. He’s never worried about diversified income streams until now. Since our 2019 conference, a very successful woman who looked like she had lost everything to her son to a drug overdose. We do not always know who is suffering. Sometimes people just need someone to listen to them. Be empathetic. Be a friend.

What happened in Vegas doesn’t have to stay in Vegas. Hope something here will help you.


Greg Kozera, [email protected] is the Director of Marketing and Sales for Shale Crescent USA. www.shalecrescentusa.com He is a professional engineer with a master’s degree in environmental engineering with over 40 years of experience in the energy industry. Greg is a leadership expert, football coach, professional speaker, author of four books and numerous published articles.

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