As one of my more brilliant moves, I decided to ship all of our equipment for the NAB booth out to the hotel where we had some installers working. I figured I would just address our four 2x2x2 boxes to our lead installer and ship them to the hotel so that when we arrived in Las Vegas for NAB our guys onsite could just bring the boxes over to us and we'd be ready to set everything up. That's not quite how things worked out...
If you've ever exhibited at a trade show with any amount of equipment, you know that it's normal to palletize everything and ship it to some warehouse weeks before the show. That's a pain in a lot of ways. Having an install team in Vegas for the two weeks leading up to NAB made things much more simple. I could ship these small(ish) boxes to our guys and skip the whole pallet contortions. So we boxed everything up, slapped our labels on it, and shipped it out to our lead installers attention. We had already shipped a few things to them onsite so this was an established workflow. You can probably see where this is going. Everything went according to plan. UPS delivered the boxes to the hotel receiving desk (which we'll leave unnamed to protect the extremely guilty) where they were signed for by a hotel employee. UPS left to carry on with their day. Then the hotel called UPS and asked them to come back and get the boxes since the hotel was choosing to refuse the shipment. Apparently 4pm is too late in the day for the hotel to bother receive any deliveries. Really!? UPS followed instructions by turning a driver back to the hotel, collecting the already signed-for packages, and starting the process to return them to the original sender. This all happened the week leading up to NAB.
There are a lot of details I'm leaving out, like how UPS ships some stuff by TRAIN when it doesn't care about arrival date/time, and how they for some reason only shipped two of our four boxes back while the other two sat OUTSIDE for Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, apparently misplaced by the system. Long story short (OK, maybe not so short), our first day of our first time exhibiting at NAB had to happen with NONE of the equipment we had shipped to the show. Luckily when our install team went to inquire about the boxes we found out about all of this the night before our flight to Vegas so a couple of us were able to go to the office and pack up enough random pieces to make the demo work. We used several personal devices to demo Unity on Monday and had to apologize to everyone when they asked for a business card or handout of some kind. Eventually UPS found the two boxes they had shoved outside in the holding area and we discovered we at least had our handouts and business cards for the rest of the week.
It was a rocky start to what wound up being a wonderful week, but, man! Seriously!!!