Samuelson Furniture Blog

Your HD Expo Guide to Work and Play

Posted by Glenn Haussman on Apr 19, 2018 11:41:40 AM

With HD Expo upon us, we want to reflect on some of the best experiences amazing Las Vegas has to offer. Sure, this massive trade show is a great place to get business done, but it’s also a place to let loose, have fun and enjoy the incredible amenities Sin City has to offer. We spoke to loyal HD Expo attendees Pam Niemann, Principal Designer & Owner of Niemann Interiors; Katie Novelen, Senior Interior Designer at Tandem Interior Design Studio; and Britni Flores, Interior Designer at Studio McCormack.  We had them disclose their insider info, because what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas!

Las Vegas - HD Expo 2018

What’s your favorite restaurant on the strip?

Niemann has two: “CUT by Wolfgang Puck. The food is amazing and also because I have gotten to know Wolfgang’s right-hand man Tom Kaplan, who is extremely charming. All of this makes me love this restaurant. I also love Giada at The Cromwell. The octopus appetizer is amazing and has a clever interior. I think she is very talented.”

Novelen states her favorites: “Mastro’s Ocean Club at Crystals. Warm Butter Cake; I am huge seafood fan and I love the king crab legs, plus the truffle gnocchi is amazing.  I also love Carbona at Aria and the Lakeside Grill at Wynn.”

Flores loves: “Rose. Rabbit. Lie. at Cosmopolitan. It has beautiful design, great live entertainment and amazing food. When dessert is served in a cloche with smoke, you can’t lose.”


What is on your must do hit list for Las Vegas?

Niemann: “It’s so much fun to people watch and walk through the hotels. I think all of us are guilty of that, being a member of this industry. There’s always something new or renovated to see and experience. I find it all very inspirational!”

Novelen: “A Golden Knights game. It’s the most intense fun atmosphere to be in and the support of this brand-new team from this city has been insane. As a survivor, this team has played a huge part in the healing of the city after the Route 91 music festival shooting.”

Flores: “The Neon Museum is a great nod to the city’s past, The Outlets for great shopping; Red Rock Canyon and Seven Magic Mountains just outside of Vegas provide inspiring scenery.”


Best Party to attend during HD:

Niemann: “The Samuelson party! I love connecting with the people attending that one, they are MY people. Plus, I love and adore the Samuelson team.”

Novelen:  “Samuelson’s party is THE party of HD Expo. No one misses it, that is, if you can get in.”


Best Show or nighttime activity:

Niemann: “: I have two! I love Zumanity, which is a raunchy, funny, and burlesque style. It’s a very small theater so it’s intimate.  Plus the ad libs are terrific, the acts are amazing, and the action is right there. Warning, don’t get the absinthe cocktail, my adult kids got sick from it.”

Novelen: “Magic Mike Live. It’s hilarious and I just go for the dancing and shirtless men. I’ve seen it two times and would go back for a third.”

Flores: “The people watching, late night (or early morning), is unreal.”


Best Pool Party:

Niemann: “Party by the Pool.”

Novelen: “Wet Republic, they remodeled it a few years back. Plus it balances nicely in being a nice size so you do not feel smothered, yet it’s intimate.”


Favorite hotel in which to stay:

Niemann: “Vdara, because the hotel is small, but the rooms are spacious suites. Plus, it has nicely lit bathrooms with tubs, which you don’t see much anymore. Also, the bar is busy, but not too busy, and there’s no casino so I can stay away from the cigarette smoke.”

Novelen: “The Cosmopolitan. The recent and extensive remodel has made it even sexier than before. They nail it every time.”


Best hotel design:

Niemann: “Wynn Encore. It’s just so pretty. There are so many clever uses of materials, details and an all-around beautiful place to experience.”

Novelen: “The Cromwell. It's the first boutique hotel on the strip and delivers a mix of sexiness and quirkiness into a super inviting package, which makes it fun.”

Flores: “The Cosmopolitan always feels fresh and not overly done.”


Best hotel to wander around within:

Niemann: “Encore again.”

Novelen:  “I love people watching at Bellagio conservatory while they take pictures. I also really love the revolving entry doors- no one can figure them out.“


New things to do in Vegas:

Novelen: “A Vegas Golden Knights game is the best new thing to do, I hope they’ll still be in the playoffs during HD. I also like Alexxa’s Sangria bar in front of Planet Hollywood which overlooks the Bellagio fountains.”

Flores: “I’m looking forward to checking out the new The Park MGM and restaurants at the Venetian.”


Worst HD Expo Horror story:

Novelen: “Heels. Period. We try to look cute during the day at the show, but with so many walking miles in uncomfortable shoes it hurts, a lot. Some women consider wearing flats out at night, but I could never!”

Flores: “I stayed at the Luxor once. Enough said.”

Niemann: “One year during the final night at the show, I was at a big group dinner and lost my phone. While I was able to get it back at a later date, I had to head home without it. Of course, I had a flight delay, just missed a connecting flight, and had to be rerouted to another city before getting back to my home in Orlando.  What put me over the edge was that I needed to find a pay phone to call my husband to let him know about my delay…….good luck with that”


Best Networking Event:

Niemann: “Samuelson party, but also JLF partners with other manufacturers on a great dinner and wine pairing at Four Seasons.”

Novelen: “Party by the Pool. It’s earlier in the night so you can get a lot more accomplished before it gets late. Plus, everyone who is anyone wants to be there and be seen. Great to linger there and meet people.”

Flores: “Owners Roundtable provides an excellent opportunity to network with executives in the industry.”

HD Expo Party By The Pool Drai's at the Cromwell Las VegasParty by the pool- Thursday May 3rd 6:30pm-8:30pm Drai's at the Cromwell


Best way to meet the people you need to meet:

Niemann:” I strategically sit with my friends on the tradeshow floor and with the vendors I like to hang out with. If you stay still long enough, you will see many people. The Samuelson booth is always perfectly located, and they have beverages of choice and comfortable furniture to sit on.”

Novelen: “Any happy hour or cocktail party. When you’re in a room with like-minded people you’re bound to  know some who can help you meet people you don’t yet know.”

Flores: “With vendors I prefer scheduling time to meet at their booth, or catch up during a meal. Breakfast is a must needed meal during HD Expo after a long night the day prior, and you're not rushing to the next event. With clients I try to be respectful of their time. I have clients in town for HD every so often, and I know they're busy at the show. If I know my client is taking part in any of the events while there, I'll make a point to schedule it in to show support and say hello. When it comes to industry friends I’ll coordinate calendars to ensure we meet up to hit a party or two (or three) together.”


booth1Samuelson Furniture HD Expo Booth #2951 Open Bar Wednesday and Thursday Noon – 5PM


 As you can tell our experts love Las Vegas, and by following their advice you’re sure to have a productive, educational and fun experience during HD Expo 2018. Our advice, make a plan, stick to it, drinks lots of fluids, and be sure to wear some comfortable shoes.


Topics: Hospitality Design, Custom Upholstery, Custom Seating For Hotels, Custom Casegoods For Hotels, Interior Design