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How To Make The Most Of Your Time In Vegas

Posted by Alexis Lesa on Oct 23, 2015 4:38:16 PM
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With executive-level speakers from the biggest names in financial services on the agenda, panels covering a broad range of industry trends, and plenty of opportunities to network with 10,000+ attendees coming from all over the world, Money 20/20 is shaping up to be an excellent event. And one need to look no further than the trade show’s chosen locale to know that its organizers mean business: hosting a convention in Las Vegas communicates a certain “work hard, play hard” mentality that most finance professionals can get on board with.

Though Las Vegas is popularly known as a place people go to party, the truth is that conventions have a huge amount of success in The Entertainment Capital of the World. And it’s no wonder—Las Vegas is uniquely positioned to accommodate the needs of many different types of conventions, trade shows, and conferences. There are seemingly endless options when it comes to hotels, the convention spaces and services are numerous and varied enough to fit many budgets, there are hundreds of inbound and outbound flights to and from McCarran International Airport every day, the weather is sunny year-round, some of the world’s most famous chefs have opened restaurants on the Strip, and there’s great shopping.

If you’re going to Money 20/20 at the Venetian from October 25-28, chances are you’ll have some downtime after the exhibition hall closes and all the schmoozing is done. And in Vegas, there’s a lot to do, no matter the hour. First, let’s take a look at what’s available from the event.

Money 20/20’s event planners have gone out of their way to provide something for everyone:

  • Early birds who enjoy a good workout will appreciate the event’s 5k race, which is at 7 am on Sunday, the opening day of the conference. Though the race is free for participants, Money 20/20 will donate $10 on behalf of each registrant to Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship. Check-in starts at 6 am at the Venetian front desk area.

  • The event’s welcome reception will be held following the keynotes on Sunday evening; the reception starts at 7:30 pm, and is poolside at the Venetian (Level 3 of the hotel’s Guest Tower).

  • If you’re the type to work up a sweat before you head off to work, you might like the fitness classes sponsored by the event—Monday at 6:30 am, Tuesday and Wednesday at 6:15 am and 7:15 am.

  • For attendees who appreciate the nightlife, Money 20/20 welcomes Wyclef Jean, who will be performing at the event’s Industry Night on Monday. There will be an open bar from 9-11 pm, all at TAO Nightclub in the Venetian. Conference badge and valid ID are necessary to enter.

And if all that doesn’t keep you busy enough, don’t forget that the world-class tourist attraction that is the Las Vegas strip will be just outside the doors of the conference. Here are some of the highlights of what you can do during the week of Money 20/20 in Vegas:

  • See a show or two, or three. When it comes to shows, Vegas knows how to do it right. From a range of Cirque du Soleils to a Michael Jackson tribute to Britney Spears live to famous magicians like David Copperfield and Criss Angel to comedy shows at the Laugh Factory, there’s a show for everyone in Las Vegas. Though tickets can be pricey, Money 20/20 attendees have the advantage of visiting the city during the week, when tickets are cheaper and less likely to be sold out, meaning it’s easier to find a good deal at discount vendors like Tix4Tonight.

  • Forget the Sopranos, learn about the real thing. If you’ve ever been interested in the history of organized crime, or you’ve enjoyed a CSI episode or two at one time or another, you’ll probably love “The Mob Museum,” officially The National Museum of Organize Crime and Law Enforcement. The museum offers visitors an interactive experience that delves into the true stories of both criminals and law enforcement officers. Open from 10 am-7 pm daily, tickets for adults are $19.95, with discounts for groups and students.

  • Eat…a lot. Some of the world’s most famous chefs, including Mario Batali, Gordon Ramsay, and Wolfgang Puck, have restaurants in Las Vegas, making the Strip a foodie’s paradise. Even if you’re not looking for the celebrity chef experience, there’s no shortage when it comes to good eats in Las Vegas: seafood and steak buffets, international cuisine from all corners of the earth, fast casual chains, street vendors, and legendary icons of the dining world.

  • Ride the High Roller Ferris Wheel, the tallest observation wheel in the world. Set just behind The LINQ Hotel and Casino near the center of the Strip, the High-Roller towers at 550 feet tall, and each capsule on the wheel can hold up to 40 passengers. The ride, which affords passengers a panoramic view of the entire Strip, lasts about half an hour. Tickets are $26.95 during the day and $36.95 at night, though there are often discounts for buying in advance online.

  • Do some damage to your bank account. The shopping in Vegas is worth writing home about, and there’s something for everyone. High-end luxury brands have a home at Crystals and Via Bellagio, Fashion Show mall and Miracle Mile Shops have hundreds of mid-range stores and plenty of places to eat, Las Vegas Premium Outlets and Fashion Outlets of Las Vegas are ideal for bargain hunters, and Downtown Container Park offers a more boutique shopping experience for those who’re looking for unique finds.

  • Zipline over downtown Las Vegas. SlotZilla Zoomline is over 10 stories up and 1,750 long, and thrill-seekers fly down the line at up to 40 mph all the way down the Fremont Street Experience. Tickets are $40.

  • Experience one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Don’t let the city lights fool you—you’re just a helicopter ride away from one of the world’s most-visited natural attractions. Helicopter tours over the Grand Canyon depart from the Strip, and often include views of the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, Lake Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, and the entire Las Vegas Strip. Duration varies depending on the type of tour you choose, but you should set aside 4-6 hours of your day. Prices range from the high $200s to the upper $500s, depending on what tour company you use and what options you choose—there are lots of customizations available, including a limo ride to and from your hotel, a meal at the Grand Canyon, a return flight at sunset, and more.

Topics: payment industry trends, Money 20/20

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