CES 2018 is just around the corner, and this year’s post has less to do with how to get the most out of the conference and more to do with how to be when you’re there. Since you last attended CES, Las Vegas was the victim of domestic terrorism. The event occurred on October 1. I visited Las Vegas in November, and, but for some new Jersey barricades and a slightly increased police presence, there is no outward sign that anything happened. This is the essence of Las Vegas hospitality: let nothing interfere with guests’ enjoyment.

While you will experience none of the aftermath of October 1, the people who are taking care of you while you are there likely do and will continue to do so for years. These are the same people who take care of us year in and year out, people who do their jobs so well that their presence is rarely even seen.

Las Vegas has approximately 600,000 residents, despite having 60 million visitors each year. This is a relatively small population, relying primarily on a tourist economy that has declined since October 1. People are stressed, sad, scared, struggling, and the best thing you could at CES is be kind. Here’s how:

  1. Spend money. Las Vegas is powered by tourism; approximately 58% of their revenue comes from tourism. Travel to Las Vegas has decreased since October 1, and this has real economic impact on real people. Even if you’ve got every meal planned in a hospitality suite, buy drinks or breakfast or even coffee somewhere else. If you can swing it, stay an extra night.
  2. Tip big. In the United States, 20% is considered a standard tip for good service. When tourism is down, so are tips. This causes hardship under normal circumstances, but now consider that residents may well have extra medical and mental health care expenses as well as loss of earnings from a primary wage earner who may have been injured or killed. Suddenly leaving double the normal tip doesn’t seem like such a burden.
  3. Talk to people like a normal person. Wish them a happy new year, ask them how their day is going, thank them for taking care of you. Don’t ask them where they were on October 1, tell them it could have been worse, or compare it to something bad that happened to you. Let people take a break from their grief.
  4. Make a donation to a the Las Vegas Victims Fund to provide aftercare and financial support to victims and their families. Las Vegas’ single-industry economy has also resulted in a lack of resident mental health professionals who can provide both immediate and ongoing care to people who now, or will shortly, suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Bringing these services to people who need them requires funding.

I guarantee that none of this will impede your enjoyment of CES or of Las Vegas, which promises to be as warm and beautiful as it always is.

If you’re looking for more practical CES advice, you can read previous posts here:

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