SNAXPO Goes to Las Vegas!
By Ann Przybyla Wilkes
VP of Communications
Known as the entertainment capital of the world, the electrifying city of Las Vegas has become one of the world’s top destinations for convention and trade show delegates, with 5.7 million convention delegates visiting the city in 2004. The Snack Food Association will hold its annual trade show, SNAXPO 2006, in Las Vegas, March 19-22.  
Those who have visited Las Vegas will remember the Rat Pack, showgirls in elaborate headdresses and Elvis impersonators. Yet today, while Las Vegas’ entertainment scene still has plenty of the old glamour, the destination offers a lineup of award-winning magicians, Broadway-caliber productions, world-renowned concert headliners and unique-to-Vegas production shows.
Las Vegas is the place to see spectacular production shows including Cirque Du Soleil at the Bellagio and Treasure Island, Legends in Concert at the Imperial Palace, and Blue Man Group at the Luxor. Top-rated magicians and impersonators also are among the myriad world-class entertainment options visitors can experience.
When it comes to dining, Las Vegas offers a fantastic range of options, with offerings ranging from extravagant buffets to fine cuisine at celebrated restaurants. World-renowned chefs, including Emeril Lagasse and Wolfgang Puck, have opened restaurants in Las Vegas. Several restaurants that stand out are: Aureole, where “wine angels” rise and fall on a pulley to find your wine selection on a two-story tower, and Red Square, where the bar top is made of ice.
The Las Vegas area is a paradise for all kinds of recreational and sightseeing activities, including being home to dozens of challenging golf courses. Lake Mead is perfect if you’re into water sports. Its deep blue water and 550 miles of shoreline are enjoyed by boaters, water skiers, swimmers and people hoping to hook a trophy fish.
The Grand Canyon, Valley of Fire and Death Valley are all short hops from Las Vegas’ Strip, with numerous day tours available. Hoover Dam is located just 30 miles from Las Vegas. The dam is 726.4-ft. high from the foundation rock to the roadway. Nearly one million people visit this dam each year. Fortunately, SNAXPO is not being held during peak tourist season.
Full Equipment Show
Although there is a lot to see and do in and around Vegas, the real show will be on the exhibit hall floor at SNAXPO. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn first-hand about the newest equipment for snack food manufacturing at this full-equipment show. It has been two years since snack manufacturers were introduced to the industry’s innovations in a single setting.
On the final day of exhibits, SNAXPO attendees will have access to The Food Safety Summit floor and conference program. This summit is the largest event dedicated to food safety and quality. Attendees may move freely between both events.
Snack food manufacturers from around the world will come to Las Vegas to learn the latest about equipment, ingredients, products and services for the snack industry and to make purchases for their plants. They will gather at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Convention Center, which opened its doors in January 2003 as the fifth-largest convention facility in the United States and the largest meeting facility located on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip.
The Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino is a triple-A, Four Diamond resort, grossing 1.8 million sq. ft. of space. The hotel has two towers: Mandalay Bay Resort, where the average-sized deluxe room is 500 sq. ft. with a magnificent master bath and an abundance of upscale features, and “THEhotel” at Mandalay Bay, a 43-story “hotel within a hotel” with 1,117 two-room (or more) suites, each with a plasma TV.
Educational Opportunities
In addition to a fabulous setting for SNAXPO and the opportunity to see the latest in equipment, ingredients and services for snack food production, outstanding educational session will be available. For example, SNAXPO attendees can learn how to create “buzz” about their products.
Mark Hughes, owner of the firm Buzzmarketing Inc., and author of the book “Buzzmarketing: Get People to Talk About Your Stuff,” will explain how. He doesn’t believe in marketing to influential people, but rather getting average consumers talking about a product.
As the youngest CEO in’s history, Hughes offered $100,000 in computer equipment and services to a town that would agree to rename itself in 1999. Halfway, Oregon, population 360, accepted the challenge. Six months after the deal, which generated extensive media attention, eBay acquired for more than $300 million.
SNAXPO is the place to make great business contacts, attend excellent educational sessions and see new developments on the trade show floor — all in fabulous Las Vegas.