Merchant Risk Council’s (MRC’s) annual Vegas show has concluded; another highly successful trade show is over, but the benefits are ongoing. MRC Vegas 2018 was such a success, it didn’t seem the 2019 show would be able to compare, but it certainly did.
The exhibit hall was packed with solution providers, both old and new. Some companies have been in the e-commerce space for decades, while others are progressive newcomers to e-commerce. Roughly 70 exhibitors were on hand to chat, discuss their solutions, perform brief demos, and network. At the same time, many scheduled live demonstrations went on in designated areas of the exhibit hall for participants to learn from and enjoy. The only complaint was that there just wasn’t enough time to fit everything. As an example, even with a concerted effort to visit every booth, time ran out before it was possible to do so.
Sessions were plentiful as well, but business proceeded concurrently with meetings being held everywhere from pool cabanas to restaurants to casual sitting areas that were plentiful in the area. This was fortunate since there was so much to fit into such a short time at the event; nobody really had time to walk a long way for a brief meeting. One executive I spoke with talked about Mastercard’s session (by invitation only), which he felt was the best of the entire week, while others pointed to war stories from the FBI to learnings related to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as favorites. No matter the topic of attendee interest, there was a session to fulfil the need.
MRC Vegas was definitely green, which led to a nasty personal surprise when my iPhone died midweek. There were no printed documents of any kind—no exhibit hall maps, no agendas, etc. There was a scrolling sign, where I waited impatiently to learn when and where certain sessions were being held. While I applaud all green efforts, a contingency plan is useful for attendees. It would also be helpful to provide an exhibit hall map posted near the entrance to assist in locating specific booths so appointments could more easily be made on time. I had many appointments scheduled in advance with plans to meet in certain booth numbers, but none of the booths had numbers. There were row markers, and that was helpful, but a map at the entrance would make the search much quicker since I inevitably started at the wrong end of a long row of booths.
While MRC Vegas only comes around once a year, the benefits are definitely ongoing. New relationships based on first meetings at MRC, new potential business spurred by opportunities uncovered, an opportunity to catch up with old friends in the industry—the benefit list goes on and on. This event is the best I’ve discovered for e-commerce merchants and risk solution providers. If you missed out on the 2019 event, plan for 2020—it is sure to be worthwhile (and highly enjoyable).