Today's post has no crafty goodies to show, only a quick post about my recent business trip to Vegas.
So my job at Analog Devices involves pricing processes. Basically my group develops the quote systems that sales uses to negotiate, approve and document the contracts and discounts offered to our larger customers. We also develop the discount and approval policies. Our company uses a software product called Vendavo and each year they hold a pricing summit. Last year the event was in Chicago. This year Vegas. I liked Chicago better, but that's just me.
So have you been to Vegas in the last ten years? It's little over the top by anyone's standards. The strip goes on forever, starting very seedy on the south end and then becoming very tony at city center. My friend and coworker laughed to see that there were Gucci stores at every corner - like CVS's in New England.
Everything was concrete and glitzy. Everywhere were people - most like the people you see in Walmart, overweight in jeans and sweatshirts, and a handful of big busted, high heel wearing Barbie doll like girls (with older gentlemen.) Not my cup of tea but we had fun nonetheless.
So let's start with the fun stuff. There were some great restaurants in Vegas and we ate well while there. My friend and co-worker (Becky) and I enjoyed a nice salad (outside, under an umbrella) at Todd English's restaurant. Then all of us had a great steak dinner at Del Frisco's. Yum. An awesome salad then an 8 oz sirloin. The only bad part? Eating it at 9pm west coast time. That was like eating at midnight in Boston. I had gotten up at 4:30am east coast time to catch my flight so it was a long day. The second night we went to a place called Hyde's at Bellagio. Wow - the room was gorgeous and the buffet of roast beef was great. I enjoyed a few cosmopolitans and there was a super fun band that played U2 songs. The cool thing about the place was that it was open air - out to the lake in front of the Bellagio where they have a water show. It was cool to be in the bar watching/dancing to the band and have the water show going on behind the band. It was also fun (and funny) to be dancing with my boss, my bosses boss and my co-worker Becky. Too funny! The last day we had a nice lunch with the president of Vendavo at Javier's. This was a fabulous spanish restaurant with some of the best guacamole I've had in a long time. Yum! I'll start my weight watchers point tracking this weekend.
The other fun thing about Vega's was the sunshine. It's been a long time since we've had a warm sunny day in Boston and out there it was 60-70 degrees and sunny. It was killing me to walk around the convention center area where our conference was and look out at people at the pool with umbrella drinks, but it was nice to get outside (briefly) and feel the sun on my face and only have a short sleeve shirt on.
And I also have to say (as a pricing nerd/geek) that the conference itself was fun. It was great to meet with people from other companies and other industries who have the same challenges in business. It was cool to hear the keynote speaker talk about how statistical analysis can help improve pricing. It was interesting to hear the presenters talk about approval processes and win/loss analysis. Okay, I know I lost most of you on this, but I am really lucky to like the work I do and it's fun to be with others in the industry discussing it.
A few other fun things? Well, the fitness center was very cool. Lots of equipment, lots of fit people using it and a view out to the pool and desert. One of the nicer fitness centers I've used and yes, I hit the elliptical every day. I had to so something to combat all that eating.
The Aria hotel was pretty cool too. Very high tech. There was a touch screen pad next to the bed that operating everything - TV, curtains, temperature, lights. I was able to set my wake up call to open the curtains at 6:30am and wake up to sunshine instead of an alarm. That was very nice. I need to see where I can get one of those for my house! Well, it's probably a fortune, but it was nice while I was there!
And I can't forget to mention one of the best things. I won an ipad mini. And a bright green case. How did I win it? Well, let's just say what happens in Vega's stays in Vegas. Ummm, you are not buying the idea that I won a dance contest or a talent show or worse? Okay I entered a survey and was randomly chosen the winner from all the entries for the conference. I set it up this morning and I think I'm going to love it. The touch keypad is very nice, the screen is very crisp and it's small enough to fit in my purse. Sweet!
As for the rest of it, well, in a state where prostitution and gambling are legal, it attracts some non-desirable stuff. I wanted to walk around on my last night and after a bit headed in and hit my room to watch TV. Every few feet someone was trying to hand me a card for how to get a prostitute to my room in less than 20 minutes. Guys and girls were everywhere in tee-shirts that said 'girls-girls-girls' with cards to hand you. Of course I didn't make eye contact and walked on by, but it kind of made an evening stroll a little hard to enjoy. And the billboards, well, they were very clear about what they were selling and it was a bit over the top for me.
I didn't put a quarter in slot machine or gamble one penny. I also found it a little off-putting to see how objectified women were there. After our party at the Bellagio Hyde, the club got ready for their 'normal' evening set up. I have a 23 year old daughter so I was a little uncomfortable when these young ladies showed up in itsy bitsy outfits and started dancing (gyrating) on the tables. The saddest part of it was that they had masks on so all you saw was their bodies and not even their faces. It made it all the more impersonal and dehumanizing. But what do I know. Maybe it allowed them to hire ugly girls with good bodies! But it was Vegas so I wasn't surprised.
Next year they are talking about having the event in South Beach or Chicago. Either of those locations would be better for me. I hope I get to go again next year.
How about you? Have you been to Vega's? What was your experience like?
Well, thanks for visiting my blog today. Stop back on Sunday when I have a DeNami card for you for the birthday blog hop.