The NewBlueFX Survival Guide To NAB 2015

March 11, 2015 by Melissa Jordan Grey | Blog, NAB, Resources

The NewBlueFX Survival Guide To NAB 2015

Mark your calendars! The 2015 NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) Show is coming April 11-16 to the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Survival Guide to NAB

As many of you know, the NAB Show brings the video production community together each year for one of the biggest events in the industry, with over 1700+ companies showcasing the latest and greatest products.

With so many things to see and do at NAB, it helps to plan ahead.  As veteran NAB attendees, the NewBlueFX team put together our favorite NAB tips, tricks and secrets to share with you.

Here's our 2015 survival guide for NAB: (Download the PDF)

Book your flight and hotel ahead of time.

Now this may be obvious, but if you don’t already have your tickets and hotel booked, do it now. NAB arranges for lower prices with hotels in the area to offer you great deals. Here’s the full list below:

Remember, rooms fill up fast! And if you’re too late for NAB deals, don’t despair, here are some other great ways snag a good room at a good price:

Air BnB Las Vegas: Why stay at a smoke-filled hotel when you can experience Las Vegas like a local?

Las  This tourism site pulls together great deals from top hotels in Las Vegas.  Definitely worth a look!

Get a Room: Despite its rather fitting Las Vegas name, Get a Room provides block booking rates for individual rooms. A newcomer, this site offers otherwise unavailable deals to the Las Vegas tourist and business traveller.

Don't wait to register.

Did you know close to 100,000 people attend NAB each year? And with approximately 2 million square feet of exhibit space, there’s a lot to cover. On the NAB site, you’ll find a number of registration packages to choose from, starting at $150 for the Session 3-Pack and Exhibits Only package to the $1449 Smart Pass, an all-access pass to nearly everything NAB. 

Quick Tip: Once you’re registered, you can pick up your show badge at the convention center or at the Encore, Wynn, Aria, Bellagio, Flamingo, MGM Grand, Paris and Riviera hotels.

Make your lunch & dinner reservations early.

With so many industry professionals converging on one place, you can imagine you’ll encounter a line or two. That’s why it’s best to make important lunch or dinner reservations in advance.

Quick Tip: We like to use Open Table for this, but of course, you can call the restaurant directly as well. As a head start, here are a couple of our favorite places:

  • Kumi Japanese Restuarant in Mandalay Bay, a great sushi place that includes rolls with pop rocks! It's a nice place for a little pick-me-up.
  • Firefly Tapas Kitchen & Bar, a quick cab ride off the strip. Some of the more delicious meals include their tapas, bacon-wrapped Stuffed Dates, and Chicago Beef Bocadillos. Other features include multiple private dining rooms, built-in projectors with laptop and Wi-Fi connectivity.

To add to that, here’s a list of a few more mouth-watering restaurants by the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Beware of transportation pitfalls.

Sadly, Uber is no longer available in Las Vegas, but what about riding a cab?

Taxis: As you can imagine, the traffic during NAB is horrendous. So if you need a cab, plan carefully both in terms of finding that cab and travelling to your next destination. (If you were at NAB 2013, you no doubt remember the taxi strike. As far as we know, nothing like this is in the planning this year.)

Quick tip: Some Las Vegas cab drivers have been known to take advantage of visiting passengers by “longhauling” them, in other words taking them to their destination via a longer than needed route. As such, know where you’re going before you set foot in a cab. Use the Las Vegas Taxi Fare Finder to verify what’s reasonable. And if you cannot find a taxi at the convention center, try the nearest hotel.

Car Rental: You can also rent a car to get around, but allow time for parking in the general area. Best Parking provides update maps and parking facilities.

Monorail: The Las Vegas Monorail is a cost effective way to get to and from the convention center. If you plan to visit the event for more than 2 days, save a few bucks and get the 3-day pass, otherwise just get the single-ride ticket. Oh and make sure to get there early because it gets packed quickly.

Quick tip: Instead of taking the Las Vegas Monorail from the convention center to the strip, catch it from the Westgate (formerly LVH) to be one stop ahead of the crowds. 

Free Shuttles: Free shuttles provided by NAB pick up from several of the hotels close by. This is a great way to get around, but like we mentioned before, be sure to allow time for lines and traffic. They are unavoidable.

No matter how you choose to get around, be sure to check out NAB’s Transportation Discounts.

Get organized.

NAB is a maze of opportunity. New product announcement, keynote speeches and one of the world’s largest production networks await you, not to mention excellent parties and special events.

Take Post Production World: You could spend your entire time at NAB just taking its classes. And don’t forget to check out FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, who’s giving a keynote on April 15 at 9 am.

With so much to do, it’s best to plan ahead. The Exhibitors’ Search tool will help you find all your favorite events, so you don't miss a beat, then chart out your day or even the week ahead of time using a simple pocket notebook or use on of these five great calendar apps to prioritize your day like an expert.

Wear your badge.

Don't put yourself through the stress of having to get another badge. Use that free NAB lanyard and out your badge around your neck.

Quick tip: We use our badge holder to store extra business cards. Just tuck them in the pouch behind your badge.

And anther quick Tip: Your NAB badge typically gets you into a free opening party Monday night at Cosmopolitan's Marquee Nightclub, where drinks are on the house the first hour. 

Keep up with breaking news and events.

No matter how well you plan, new opportunities will arise daily. The best way to keep up with the latest news and announcements is to stay in touch with the NAB folks directly.

How? It’s simple: Use your smartphone and follow NAB’s Twitter feed for latest announcements and news. Plus, iPhone users can install the NAB Show Daily News app, the official daily newspaper of the NAB Show.

Bring your phone charger and extra charging device

And speaking on your smartphone, note that finding electrical outlets will be very difficult in the Convention Center, so be sure to charge your phone every night. In addition, it makes a lot of sense to bring another portable source of charge.

Here are some of our favorites:

Zendure™ 2nd Gen A2 Portable Charger: This originated from one of the most successful external battery projects on Kickstarter!

UNU Enerpak Tube: This one comes with a flashlight.

iBattz Mojo Battstation Optimus: While this is more expensive, it has by far the greatest capacity available

Bring a swag bag, comfortable walking shoes and cash.

With millions of square feet to cover, you’ll be doing a lot of walking at NAB. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and throw in some of those silicone gel insoles to boot.

Quick tip: Even the best shoes in the world can’t protect your feet from a little NAB aching. That’s why you’ll find us getting a water massage at the Zen Zone on the strip or a killer foot massage from the Foot Lounge on Paradise Road. Just $20 gets you 30 minutes of foot heaven.

Even if your feet feel good, the ATM fees in Vegas can make anyone cringe, so make sure to bring enough cash.

Quick tip: The ATM at Casino Royale is one of the least expensive ATM fees you’ll find on the Vegas Strip, $1 no matter what your bank affiliation. You’ll find it the casino cage in the Best Western Casino Royale at 3411 S Las Vegas Blvd.

Take a break now and then!

While there’s more to do than you can imagine at NAB, you are in Las Vegas after all. Sure, we know what Las Vegas is known for (wink, wink), but there are also some hidden gems

Be sure to recharge with a little innocent little down time at some of these great venues:

The Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage. As close to nature as you can expect on the Las Vegas Strip, you’ll find Royal White Tigers, Magical White Lions, panthers, and leopards in a tropical, palm-lined atmosphere.

The Four-Face Brahma Shrine. Check out this Erewan shrine, where you can treat yourself to a "Frozen Hot Chocolate" at Serendipity near Ceasar's Palace.

The Baccarat Bar. Check out amazing live piano by Ray Glover. Ask him to play "Fly Me To The Moon," before surprising him with requests for his original compositions, such as "Paradiso," "Nothing Is As Sweet," and "Jayne's Waltz." You’ll love it.

Check out new Titler Pro 4 from NewBlueFX

There’s so much to see at NAB, including our latest video titling plugin release, Titler Pro 4. Come check it out and say hello to the NewBlueFX team. We’ll be the Avid and Telestream booths, ready to share even more NAB tips with you. (Shameless plug? We couldn’t help ourselves.)

See you there!

Download this Guide as a PDF! Click Here


Melissa Jordan Grey

La Jolla, CA

As a filmmaker, music and serial entrepreneur, Melissa loves living at the intersection of arts and technology. She gets a giddy thrill out of watching amazingly talented video editors ...