March 7, 2011

We survived; and another Catersource/Event Solutions Conference in Las Vegas is behind us.

It was a blur but thanks to a great team effort from Freeman, the Dock Scheduler and the Dock Master, a seemingly impossible situation worked as we managed to unload almost 60 trucks inbound and got a little more than half that loaded out…with almost no problems.

Oh yes, we had the inevitable one delivery that couldn’t follow the rules, and one incident of raised voices but both were show producer incidents so they had to be overlooked and fortunately, did not have long term impacts.

And of course since we survived, the two hours we spent lost in the bowels of the hotel trying to move two carts from the dock to the Marquee Nightclub will become- at least for Jean Peine, Meredith and me- a hilarious story that with each telling, will grow to become a show legend! A hint to those who follow us:  If you are unloading ANYTHING that needs to go to the Marquee – search for the Dockmaster.  He will place a call to his friend Jupiter to request an escort to help you find your way.  Otherwise, even with a breadcrumb trail, you may disappear into the maze forever more.

But the dock demands meant little show time…in the four show days, I attended a great Event Solutions class, one of three general sessions and did manage to catch 2 short appearances of fellow ISES members  – BeEvents and the Wedding Guys- on the xperience stage.

All in all, it was a typical show.  I checked in on Friday, out on the following Thursday and left the property only twice:  once, to the Awards at Meet where I was underwhelmed by the facility, the set up and the production (but was glad I went so I could experience the AirStar Dome); and once took a quick trip to the Convention Center where I was overwhelmed as I raced through 900 booths and caught the shuttle back to the hotel just two hours later.  So rather than the ballroom mole of old, this time I emerged as the dock mole.

As usual, the most memorable moments were spent in reunions with old friends-not only the Mintahoe /Catersource troops, but Rhonda Couchigan whose client won an award, and Elissa Hernandez from Hargrove, and of course, Tara Rae and Pat – the King of Losberger structures.

So despite laboring for less than minimum wage, this “Mother Trucker” had a good time.

But please, could a little more be put into the show next year to mask that the Event Solutions side is still-in the minds of some of the staff- the ugly stepsister?  The first general session displayed every unaddressed issue I pointed out during the site visit so thank goodness it was the classy Preston Bailey on the stage.  But it started the negative buzz…a buzz that was an undercurrent through the entire week. That was not a good scene and needs to be addressed.

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