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LSAF 2020 - New Date, New Digs [message #90774] Tue, 13 August 2019 13:08 Go to next message
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Grand Master
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The Lone Star Audiofest is moving! We've had a good run at the Embassy Suites Park Central in North Dallas, but we're changing venues this year.

We haven't decided on the venue yet. Might be the Market Center Embassy Suites, where we met in 2007. Or we may choose someplace new. But we are committed to familiar continuity, having the same look-and-feel, the same suites room layouts and the same price point.

Check back here for updates; We'll make a decision and post in this thread within the next few months.

We're also changing the date to the first weekend in June each year. So the next LSAF will be June 5, 6 and 7th, 2020.

A little bit of newness while keeping the show's familiarity intact.

So exciting!

Re: LSAF 2020 - New Date, New Digs [message #90805 is a reply to message #90774] Mon, 26 August 2019 12:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Grand Master
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We're putting the Park Central Embassy Suites property back on the short list of possible venue choices. So we may not be moving after all. The date is still changing - to first weekend in June - but we haven't finalized plans on the meeting place.

The Park Central property has been purchased by Interstate Hotel and Resort Management and they have been doing a lot of renovations to the property. New security, new carpeting, new furnishings and new elevators. So staying with Park Central may actually be better than moving. It's all new!

Expect a decision on venue by November 1. We'll post here.
Re: LSAF 2020 - New Date, New Digs [message #91111 is a reply to message #90774] Fri, 01 November 2019 15:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Grand Master
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It's November 1st and we're not ready to announce the new venue. But we're close.

Turns out that neither the Park Central or the Market Center properties are suitable.

But we're in final negotiations with another property that is perfect for us.

Stay tuned!
Re: LSAF 2020 - New Date, New Digs [message #91172 is a reply to message #90774] Fri, 15 November 2019 09:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Grand Master
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We've made our decision!

Lone Star Audiofest 2020 will be held at the Embassy Suites Galleria in Dallas, Texas. The cost will be $120.00 per night. The parking charge is waived for LSAF exhibitors and attendees. Furniture can be moved, but it must be moved back before checkout. Alternatively, they will move furniture for you if needed for a flat-rate charge of $100.00.
It is near the Park Central property where we've met for the last ten years - just four miles west of it, actually. The room layouts are very similar too. So it will have must the same "look and feel" as prior shows.

One thing that's different though: The carts are not very good for moving large equipment, so you might want to bring your own cart. You can find them at Lowe's, Home Depot and Amazon.com for $50.00 to $200.00.

https://lonestaraudiofest.com/Venue/ES_Galleria_Exterior.jpg
Embassy Suites Dallas Galleria


https://lonestaraudiofest.com/Venue/ES_Galleria_Lobby_2.jpg
Entrance


https://lonestaraudiofest.com/Venue/ES_Galleria_Lobby_1.jpg
Atrium


https://lonestaraudiofest.com/Venue/ES_Galleria_Bar_Lounge.jpg
Bar, restaurant and lounge


https://lonestaraudiofest.com/Venue/ES_Galleria_Guest_Room.jpg
Guest room


https://lonestaraudiofest.com/Venue/ES_Galleria_Meeting_Room_1.jpg
Banquet room


https://lonestaraudiofest.com/Venue/ES_Galleria_Meeting_Room_2.jpg
Meeting room
Re: LSAF 2020 - New Date, New Digs [message #91173 is a reply to message #90774] Fri, 15 November 2019 09:35 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Wayne Parham is currently offline  Wayne Parham
Messages: 17599
Registered: January 2001
Illuminati (33rd Degree)

I thought it might be interesting to provide a little history and back-story.

Our first show in 2005 was held at the Tulsa Embassy Suites. We called it the "Great Plains Audiofest" and it was there in 2005 and 2006. We decided to move the show to Dallas in 2007, and changed the name to "Lone Star Audiofest." We initially held the show at Embassy Suites Market Center in 2007, and then moved to Embassy Suites Park Central in 2008, where it was held until 2019. We moved the show to Embassy Suites Galleria in 2020.

When choosing where to go in 2020, we evaluated Market Center, Park Central, Love Field, Frisco and Galleria. All were Embassy Suites properties. We settled on them a long time ago because of the two-room layout. We also like the free breakfasts and happy hour from 5:30 to 7:30. How fun is that? A two-hour happy hour!

We had a good run at the Park Central property, but it had been getting a little run down, so we had considered moving for the past year or two. We liked our old familiar spot, but between the decline in the neighborhood and the increasingly worn out furnishings there, we were getting ready to move.

And then John Busch of Manzanita Audio Solutions gave us the nudge at the last show in 2019 - He threw down the gauntlet and wrote Hilton corporate about the condition of the Park Central property. So they sold it.

No kidding! Hilton sold the property to Interstate Hotels and Resorts. Laughing

At first, we were hopeful they might improve the property, so we considered staying. But upon investigation in October 2019, they hadn't updated the rooms yet and I'm not entirely sure they will, certainly not to the level we would want. They can't improve the neighborhood, which has become a little bit "wrong side of the tracks." So they were out of the running.

But we've always liked the Embassy Suites properties. I had found that way back in 2005 when I searched for hotels for the first shows in Tulsa. Same thing when we moved it to Dallas, where we looked at many other options, but came back to the Embassy Suites. The way they have a sleeper room with a door separating it from the "living room" makes these suites perfectly suited for exhibitors at the show. The living room becomes a show room for our sound gear, and the door to the sleeper room provides privacy for personal effects.

So I looked at Market Central again. Truth is, it is very much like Park Center right now. I don't mean to be insensitive, but the homeless are everywhere in that area. There is a "homeless neighborhood" at the expressway turnaround, under the bridge that supports the highway right next to the hotel. So while I empathize with the plight of those unfortunates, I don't think that's where we want the show to be.

Love Field is a nice property, and it is similar in size to both Park Central and Market Center. Each of these three properties has eight stories with approximately thirty rooms per floor. Frisco is a nice property too, but it is considerably more expensive, at over $200/night. All the others are in the $120-$140 range.

Then there was Galleria. What attracted me to that property is it is a little smaller, being only six floors. It feels more suitable for our show. It is also in a nicer neighborhood, one that I hope won't decline for years to come. Galleria has two ballrooms (Remington I and II) and a conference room, so we can have seminars there and exhibitors needing larger rooms can take advantage of those. And it has the same free breakfasts and happy hour that we have enjoyed.

The rooms are almost exactly like Park Central, so if you're familiar with past shows, you'll feel comfortable with the room layout. See the room layouts available below. One difference is that all rooms on each floor are the same. At Park Central, there were four rooms on each floor (near the corners) that were a little larger. This isn't the case at Galleria. They're all the same there, with only very minor differences between rooms. Some have two double beds, and some have a single king size bed, for example. They also have handicap-accessible rooms. But for the most part, the rooms are all almost the same, especially in the living room.

The cost will be $120.00 per night. So that keeps us at an affordable price point. As usual, each exhibitor will book their own room. The hotel staff will keep us all on the same floor, unless we fill a floor and must spill over onto another.

There are 24 rooms on each floor that are great for exhibitors, all facing the atrium. There are an additional 7 rooms on each floor that are down a hall at the ends. Those aren't desirable for exhibitors, but may be used by LSAF guests. The hotel knows this and will avoid placing us in those rooms. The rooms down the halls at the ends are x00, x01, x08, x09, x16, x24 and x25, where "x" is the floor number. All the other rooms facing the atrium are nearly the same and are perfect for exhibitors.

Embassy Suites Galleria Floor and Room Layout
http://lonestaraudiofest.com/Venue/ES_Galleria_Floor_Layout.gif

http://lonestaraudiofest.com/Venue/ES_Galleria_Room_Layout.jpg
Re: LSAF 2020 - New Date, New Digs [message #91184 is a reply to message #90774] Sun, 17 November 2019 15:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Wayne Parham is currently offline  Wayne Parham
Messages: 17599
Registered: January 2001
Illuminati (33rd Degree)

Tips for Exhibitors

If you're new to LSAF, you might want to see Barry's "LSAF 101" thread. He has been a regular attendee for many years, so his perspective is very helpful.

But even if you're an old hand at trade shows, we are moving to a new hotel this year, so these extra tips might prove useful to you.

• Reserve your room early. The cutoff date is May 15th, 2020. You will want to have reserved your room long before that date. After that date, there is no guarantee you will be placed on the same floor(s) as the rest of the LSAF exhibitors.

• When reserving your room, be sure to let the hotel know you're an exhibitor at LSAF. You can do this at the online reservation link or you can call the hotel at 972-364-3640.

That's no different than any other year. But what is different is the fact that we're new to them. I've explained how important it is for exhibitors to be on the same floor and in rooms that face the atrium. But you'll want to make sure they understand this too. The floor layout is provided in an earlier post in this thread, so make sure they know you want to be in one of the rooms facing the atrium.

• Whenever you've reserved your room, I suggest making a follow-up call to the hotel around May 15th, 2020. That's when they'll close the block and begin to assign rooms. We want to make sure that every exhibitor is on the same floor(s) and in rooms facing the atrium. So call them to make sure that you are.

Some rooms have two beds, others have one king size bed. And we have to specify which type we want. But if we run out of one type or the other, I do not want the hotel to assign a room to an exhibitor on another floor just because you happened to pick a certain bed type that happens to sell out on the exhibitor floor(s).

I've explained this to the hotel staff, but it still behooves you to speak with the hotel staff around May 15th to make sure they assign you to a room facing the atrium. I feel pretty sure you care more that your room be on the exhibitor's floor(s) facing the atrium than you care about what beds are in the sleeper room.

• As a courtesy to other exhibitors, if you get several rooms but use one or more as a sleeper room, please be sure to let the hotel know your sleeper room(s) don't need to be in the exhibitor block. We want the show floor(s) to be filled with exhibitors only. Ideally, every room facing the atrium will have a show system in it, open and playing tunes.

• Bring a cart. In the past, the carts they've provided were pretty good for toting heavy equipment like loudspeakers and large amplifiers. But the carts at the Galleria are not suitable for this purpose. So do yourself a favor and bring your own. You can purchase a great cart from Amazon, Lowe's or Home Depot.

• To get to the hotel, go to highway 75 and exit Spring Valley road, which is just north of I-635. Go west about 4 miles to Noel Road. The Embassy Suites is on the corner of Spring Valley and Noel.

Google Maps recommended several directions that weren't as straightforward as that, and some that included toll roads. I found that the Spring Valley exit on I-75 worked best for me. It is very near the exit for the Park Central hotel we stayed at last year.
Re: LSAF 2020 - New Date, New Digs [message #91190 is a reply to message #90774] Mon, 18 November 2019 09:11 Go to previous message
Barryso is currently offline  Barryso
Messages: 66
Registered: May 2009
Viscount
"And then John Busch of Manzanita Audio Solutions gave us the nudge at the last show in 2019 - He threw down the gauntlet and wrote Hilton corporate about the condition of the Park Central property. So they sold it."

Ya just don't want to screw around with John Busch. Very Happy

The new digs look great, Wayne. Thanks for doing all the research.
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