Now that I'm working on a huge international show that takes place in Orlando, I've come to understand that it's not just we Americans with no kids that despise going to Orlando, most Europeans absolutely abhor it. No character, artificial, no downtown to stroll around, manufactured nightlife... and kids everywhere.
That said, given all the convention center construction that took place in the late 90's and into 2001, I was surprised to find there are so few facilities capable of hosting a half million nsf event? Seems there's only Orlando, Atlanta, New Orleans, Chicago and two or three venues in Vegas.
For trade events, New Orleans doesn't work - there's no local audience to pull from. Atlanta is viewed by the Euros as even less desirable than Orlando - you have to drive uptown for the 'right' nightlife. Chicago labor costs and hotel rates are considered too high. Which leaves Vegas.
Vegas has always been a fascinating venue to consider. Like New Orleans, there's plenty to do at night, but, also like New Orleans, there's little in the way of a local audience to draw from. Yet in Vegas this has never seemed to matter. Nor does it matter that an East Coaster can't fly out after 3pm (unless it's on the dreaded red-eye). The Euros love it even though it too is a 'manufactured' venue. It's simply manufactured differently.
It's odd to think that Vegas, which technically already has the capacity to host three half-million nsf events simulataneously could use even more space. But they'd sell it.