It has become an annual pilgrimage: The official DadLabs hajj to the ABC Baby Expo in Las Vegas. The we-dread-it/we-love-it event is one that gets marked and circled long in advance. This year the event certainly did not disappoint, either on or off the show floor.
The excitement started early this year, as I tried to explain to my wife where we were staying. Daddy Brad, always with an eye on the bottom line, found a great deal for us — a resort/casino right on the strip for less than $45/night.
“So it’s a great deal, and actually we stayed there a couple of years back before they remodeled. And the location is pretty good for the Convention Center. What’s it called? Uh. Well. Um. Hooters.”
As anyone who has conventioned in Vegas knows, asking where someone is staying is standard small talk. So busting out with “Hooters” at a convention that is largely by and about women makes a nice sense of humor litmus.
In all honesty, it was a completely adequate hotel. The room was a room. The Bubba factor was high, but we travel with Daddy Brad, so that’s pretty much how we roll. We just cut the sleeves off our shirts and melted into the flow. Hooters girls, bringing cocktails, in the context of Las Vegas, seems kind of quaint and old school.
And the craps tables were on fire! Low minimum, high odds, and paying out like an ATM. I was so excited about my winnings that I made the huge error of telling my wife how much I had won. At that moment, a new Macbook Air transformed into a rug. Poof. Easy come, easy go.
But, our real reason for being in Vegas, as we constantly need to remind ourselves, was to identify and film cool new baby products. And there were plenty of those. There’s a ton of territory to cover — I’d say about a a dozen Coscos worth of real estate. Fortunately we can disregard large swaths of frilly, lacy, poofy landscape. We scout on day one, do meetings on day two, and film like crazy on day three.
We ended up getting footage on cool products from Britax, Chicco, OXO, Stokke, Little Partners (Learning Tower), Bloom and more. Of course we spent a lots of time with our good friends Jim, Amy, Annika and the whole crew from Baby Bjorn. They’ve rolled out cool new colors on all the carriers, and have a new bouncy seat called the Babysitter Balance that is going to be a bit hit for them, I think. The shows we shot there should start hitting the site in two or three weeks.
We also met the very cool team behind the documentary DVD Being Dad. Wary at first that we were dealing with the competition, we were soon off to the races thinking about how we could collaborate. And also thanks to the cool people at Medela that allowed me to riff/interview their distinctive mannequin (pictured here).
Other highlights included:
-The Painter Dude that robbed Liberace’s closet before going onstage at the conference reception to paint giant faces of musicians as their music blared. Also juggling mimes. Always a winner.
-The Nascar on the floor of the Hooter’s Casino (via Brad)
-The dude next door that bawled us out for quoting this video loudly, over and over.
-The loopy, weaving cabdriver with prescription bottles in his cupholders.
-Unconfirmed rumors that some lady went upside my head after too much of Cleopatra’s best bonded
Already counting down to next year.