The Arnold Classic has come and gone yet one more time and TeamEvilGSP was in the mix once again. Rather than pen a wrap-up type piece I thought perhaps I'd give you a few tips and tricks we've picked up over the last decade of ASF going.
First and foremost when booking your lodging look at the outlying towns. Towns like Dublin are only 10-15 minutes from the downtown and Expo center and are always cheaper and easier to book.
Second tip, study the ASF website to learn the layout and schedule of the attractions you see most interested in. Walking blind into the unadulterated mayhem that is the Arnold Classic is never an effective plan.
Third, take advantage of the FREE parking shuttles. One of the very best tips I can offer you is to park at one of the many satellite location around town like the fairgrounds and take the FREE shuttles to all the other locations. The shuttles are full-sized tour buses and get priority on the roadway, they will get you to your destination faster than you can on your own!
Fourth, pack some bottles of water (or whatever you care for) and some travel-friendly food like protein bars. The few food vendors in the expo are INSANELY BIZZY and fairly high priced. Bringing even a simple snack can save you a ton of time and money.
The fifth tip is a big one, stay for Sunday. Intact try to plan on Sunday bring the day you shop the Expo booths. Sunday you will find the crowds much smaller and more manageable. In addition, the expo vendors are more receptive to negotiation rather than face repacking and shipping product a second time. This is the day for the real deals if you take the time and work the room.
A quick bonus tip, network, network, network! It's easy to be overwhelmed by the size and scope of the event, take steps to ensure you make introductions. If you don't have already, print biz cards and hand them out liberally. Vendors love to get access to potential clients so it's never an imposition, and just might be the potential dialog you need in the future.