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My Ultimate Las Vegas Experience

AuthorLast month I visited a client who is involved with a lot of custom projects for museums, visitor centers and corporate environments. He said that he is always trying to create an exciting experience for visitors to those environments.

That brought back memories of an Exhibitor Show experience a few years back when I attended a couple classes conducted by Jim Gilmore, who co-wrote “The Experience Economy” with Joe Pine in 1999.

Mr. Gilmore’s premise is that businesses must orchestrate memorable events for their customers, and that memory itself becomes the product — the “experience”. By doing this, businesses can begin charging for the value of the “transformation” that an experience offers.

Here is an example of the classification for each business stage in the evolution of products and how each progression adds value:

• A commodity business charges for undifferentiated products. Good examples of commodities would be sugar, eggs and flour. All of these cost a few cents.
• A goods business charges for distinctive, tangible things. As an example a box cake. You might pay a couple bucks for this.
• A service business charges for the activities performed. A bakery could easily charge ten to twenty dollars for a cake.
• An experience business charges for the feeling customers get by engaging in it. A birthday event at Club Disney or Chuck E. Cheese could cost a hundred dollars or more.
• A transformation business charges for the benefit customers receive. This would be a company whose focus is not on one birthday but guides parents through multiple birthdays as their child grows, involvement with purchasing age appropriate gifts, inviting guests who are role models to a child’s interest like a sports celebrity or teacher. Also attention to details and providing themed invitation and thank you cards could lead to a business like this charging thousands of dollars.

What better place is there than Las Vegas to be flooded by experiences? Every hotel, casino and live show is a themed experience full of positive cues, a mix of memorabilia and engages all five senses.

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Exhibitor Live

My ultimate experience in Las Vegas was to go on a guided tour of the Las Vegas Strip conducted by Jim Gilmore. A handful of us attending the Exhibitor Show that year signed up for this memorable event. Jim handed all of us a card that said “The Experience Economy. Work is Theatre & Every Business a Stage”. Jim told us to experience Las Vegas with all of our senses and as a reminder the back of the card said the following:

• Look for specific details
• Listen for every sound
• Touch what is inviting
• Smell
• Ask yourself – What sense of taste is evoked?
• Observe behavior (of workers and customers)

Off we went in a stretch Hummer limo visiting several hotels along the Strip such as New York New York, Caesars, The Venetian to name a few. We visited a couple memorable shops like the M&M Store and the Grand Canyon Experience. We even went to an exhibition at the Las Vegas Hilton called “Star Trek the Experience”. We capped off the evening with a visit to a Las Vegas wedding chapel. (That place made me want to take a shower.)

I see that Jim Gilmore is conducting several classes again this year at ExhibitorLive. Unfortunately I didn’t see a tour of the Las Vegas Strip on the program. If Jim ever conducts another tour, make sure you sign up.

By the way, make sure you have all your senses ready when you visit Optima in Booth #1757 at this year’s ExhibitorLive. Experience what’s possible.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, other Authors, Optima Graphics or Taylor Corp.

About the Author
Rich Fava is an Account Executive at Optima Graphics.
He has spent his career in the graphics world since earning his Design degree and in Trade Show since the early 90s.


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