E. Lugo, show manager for Live Design. “But at LDI, the exhibitor
booth is their product. They may set up a mini concert stage to
display their lighting or sound products, and it takes a lot more
The Las Vegas Convention Center, with 3. 2 million square
feet of meeting space, provided plenty of room for the 350 trade
show exhibitors and ample space for 80 educational sessions.
The parking area provided a large footprint for an outdoor fes-
tival complete with food trucks and live bands. LDI used onPeak
to negotiate a reduced rate for hotel rooms easily accessible to
the convention center by the system of monorails to house the
12,000 attendees (trips from the airport to the convention center
involved only a 12-minute drive).
The entire town opened its doors to LDI, including ;ive cutting-edge Vegas nightclubs that provided expedited entry to the
venues, free drinks and backstage tours so attendees could experience Las Vegas’ renowned party atmosphere during LDI After Dark.
Learning While Dangling 20 Feet Above the Stage
“We really want our exhibitors to use their imagination,” Lugo
says. “Our sponsorships are not just what is listed in the brochure.
If a sponsor comes to us and says, ‘Here’s our idea,’ we work with
them to make it happen because we want to make it easy for our
exhibitors to promote their gear in real time. It gives more value
to the attendees.”
This attitude gave birth to a new, hands-on learning oppor-
tunity that entailed orchestrating a large outdoor music festival,
complete with food trucks and live music, when sponsors such
as Apex Stages said they’d like to sponsor the festival as a way
to display their products. LDI’s team decided to use the creation
of a large outdoor festival as a training experience hosted by top
leaders in the ;ield who gave attendees hands-on experience to
learn the basics of safety, rigging, sound and audio check logistics.
“This is an example of how we work outside the box to maximize a sponsor’s involvement,” Lugo says. “Apex Stages wanted to
demonstrate their products in a participatory way, so when we
came up with Live Outside LDI, they wanted to be a sponsor and
teach classes on staging to promote their products in real time.
This way people could see their product being used. It gave more
value to the sponsor and attendees.”
As part of the Live Outside program, the Event Safety Alliance
teamed up with LDI to present a free series of four, one-hour sessions covering the essentials of safety, evacuation and important
“Several years ago, one of the most notable stage collapses
happened at the Indiana State Fair during a Sugarland concert.
That one had seven fatalities and the event had US$50 million in
legalities prompted from the stage collapse,” says Dr. Kevin Kloe-
sel, university meteorologist for the Oklahoma University Of;ice of
Emergency Preparedness. “Live Outside provided a mock venue
to talk about safety. The training session provided live entertain-
ment professionals with resources they would need to help devel-
op a weather plan for their speci;ic venues.”
Kloesel looks at emergency planning as now-casting rather
“You can’t wait until the last minute. Seconds matter,” he says.
“A tornado hits, seconds matter. Heavy rain and wind rolls in, sec-
The Event Safety Alliance now regularly teaches workshops on
event safety, including one especially designed for event planners.
“We’ve come a long way from the days
where a DJ would spin turntables and the
highlight of the show would be he’d
smash some records.”