Heading to Vegas? WVC survival tips from trade show pro

Dr. Jules Benson in the "food bowl" at VMX

Almost time for the second of our two big veterinary trade shows/conferences at the beginning of the year. We’ve survived VMX, now it’s time for … WVC!

As always, we have a good-sized presence at WVC, with our booth, and with the full presentation of our Nationwide | Purdue Veterinary Price Index at 11:30 a.m. on Mon, Feb 17th,  Mandalay Convention Center, Level 2, Oceanside Room D.

On the trade show floor, we’re Booth 3918 this year, and when you visit, chances are you’ll bump into Tara Van Atta, our truly amazing trade show coordinator.  She’s been doing this stressful work for Nationwide since 2008, arranging all the lodging for our contingent and overseeing the set up of our massive booth.  She has had a hand in the design of the booth, the training of the sales team and the handling of celebrities such as Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jack Hanna. She attends about 15 trade shows a year, and oversees our attendance at about 40 a year.

She is organized, tough, and unflappable. She’s also one of our favorite people at Nationwide.

Tara Van Atta, with PenguinNo celebrities in attendance for us this year at WVC, but she has added a popular new item — a “selfie feature” that’s a massive pet food bowl, filled with foam “kibble.” (That’s our Dr. Jules Benson in the thumbnail, demonstrating how comfortable it is!) She also ordered up some turtle mousse pushpops, so come by and get yours.

We noticed Tara sent out some survival tips to our sales team and other Nationwide attendees, and they were so good we asked her if we could share.

Here are her suggestions to keep your body from falling to pieces. Read up, pack well, and take care of yourself! (Oh, and have fun. It’s Vegas, after all!)

  • Shoes with thicker soles/padded insoles
  • Epsom Salt Baths (CVS is a cheap ride-share away to get some.)
  • TENS Unit (thousands available, but this is a tiny one, good for travel
  • Icy Hot
  • Compression Socks (I like the 20-30mmhg compression for keeping the swelling down.. just bought these.)
  • Turn the AC/Heat to Low/Med/High Fan instead of Auto. Not having the fan go on and off all night helps keep my sinuses from going haywire. Most hotels have an unknown timed reset where it will go back to auto, so you’ll want to do a daily check on this.
  • For anyone use to humidity, the dry Vegas air can be a killer. For dry climates, I also bring a portable humidifier. Couple of different styles, but I use the one where you can just fill up a glass of water, stick it in and leave it running. If you have a bedroom area and a living room area, you’ll want to shut the door between the two, so the little gizmo doesn’t have to cover so much ground.

It’s a shorter show, so it won’t do quite as much overall damage, but Vegas is an exhausting town. It always wears me out more than VMX!


Thanks, Tara! And yes, that’s Tara with a little friend. We didn’t catch the penguin’s name, sorry!