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VSDA Show Goes To Rio (Hotel, That Is)

14 Jan, 2002 By: Kurt Indvik

The 2002 VSDA Convention, July 16 to 18, is moving to the Rio Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas in an effort to bring the home entertainment industry event completely under one roof, and expand exhibitor meeting room facilities and enhance the conference and networking events, the trade group announced. The show had previously been held for the past two years at the Sands Expo Center /Venetian Hotel. The event is presented in partnership with the Video Software Dealers Association and Advanstar Communications (publisher of Video Store Magazine) through the joint venture Home Entertainment Events.

Bo Andersen, president of the VSDA, says the new location allows the show to implement a number of format changes designed to meet the changing needs of both exhibitors and attendees. "For example, the Rio provides us with sufficient number of meeting rooms to fulfill the increasing needs of our exhibitors and our education and seminar programs," he says.

The VSDA convention will essentially take over the hotel during its run, which will facilitate a much more conducive atmosphere to networking and deal-making, Andersen says. All elements of the event will be under one roof, whereas for the past two years, conventioneers went back and forth between the Sands and the Venetian, a much larger facility that could not foster a strong networking environment. "The new location will not only accommodate today's more business-focused daytime environment but also has great venues that allow us to present expanded and enhanced social and evening events," Andersen says. The venue includes a 1,500-seat stadium theater available for use by the convention during show hours.

The all-suites hotel will be devoting several floors for the VSDA to offer, for the first time, unique open suite meeting rooms for exhibitors, who now have that option as well as an exhibit space in the expo hall or convention-area meeting room, according to Don Rosenberg, Home Entertainment Events/Advanstar group video director. "This gives the convention the ability to offer the opportunity for companies that have gotten off the [expo] floor to come back with an inexpensive presence at the show and meet the retailers they need to see," Rosenberg says.

The suites at the Rio are priced for show attendees at $89 per night, which is also a much less expensive proposition than past venues, says Rosenberg. "The Rio also provides us with elevators and floors available exclusively for show attendees/exhibitors, as well as a dedicated registration and hotel check in area, separate from the public." he added.

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