April 03, 2012

NIGA 2012 (Day 1)

My pal Victor and I headed to San Diego for the National Indian Gaming Association's annual convention Tuesday. For some reason, Native celebrities were thick on the ground this year.

We had several people at our Pechanga.net booth, so I was free to wander around. Here are some of my sightings:

  • I said hello briefly to Hollywood activist Sonny Skyhawk, who was wandering the floor like me.

  • Wes Studi was at the FNX booth to tout its nascent TV channel.

  • Nearby, Joanelle Romero attended NIGA for the first time to tout her nascent TV channel. Awkward!

  • The Crooked Arrows people had a booth to tout their upcoming lacrosse movie starring non-Native Brandon Routh.

  • Comedian Charlie Hill was eating in a lounge area.

  • Adam Beach stopped by our booth to tout Pechanga.net and pose for pictures.

  • Guitarist Steve Salas also stopped by and talked music with Victor.

  • I talked to Studi briefly, telling him I worked for the NativeCelebs page on Facebook. He was vaguely aware of its existence.

    I followed Joanelle's progress because I helped rewrite her press release and lent her my old laptop computer and monitor cable for her display. Alas, the laptop couldn't pick up the site's Wi-Fi for some reason.

    I got to test my new iPod Touch, taking photos and posting them to Facebook with it. It worked fine, though the picture quality left something to be desired.

    After a long day on the floor, Victor was anxious to get back to work. So we skipped the Wendell Chino dinner and performance by Dwight Yoakum. Someone said Yoakum's songs all sounded the same, which goes without saying because he's a country singer.

    Here's a brief report on the opening ceremony, which we missed:

    Records Break at NIGA Tradeshow Ribbon Cutting

    By Michael WoestehoffWith the organization’s Chairman Ernie Stevens Jr. presiding the ribbon cutting, he shared that over 5,500 people have registered for the convention, a record-breaking number.

    “Today, we have filled the 90,000 square foot floor with over 450 world-class exhibits, who are our friends in the gaming industry and Native-owned businesses who are eager to build their brands. There is a $26 billion industry behind these doors, and we welcome you,” Stevens said.

    And my photos: NIGA (Day 1)--April 3, 2012

    For more on NIGA, see Pix of NIGA 2011 and Report on NIGA 2011.

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