Ghosts of conferences past

I’m in Vegas this week for NetApp Insight.  It’s been a few years since I was last in Vegas, but vegasthere were several years when I was here pretty often, between EMC World, Dell sales kickoff, and before that Interop and Comdex.

Yesterday as I was headed to the convention center, I went down an escalator and was struck by a huge sense of deja vu.  The feeling grew as I walked through the hallway, which had concert posters from the MGM Arena.  Except it wasn’t deja vu – I had been there, on that escalator, headed towards the convention center, a few years ago.

That was at Dell Sales Kickoff, it was the conference when we skipped evening events one night to take in the Cirque Du Soliel Beatles show.  Of course, that wasn’t the first time I had a moment like that – when I got off the plane I had an immediate desire for a hamburger, no doubt a homage to a former boss of mine who always went straight to Fatburger upon arriving in Vegas.  When I saw a taxi line, I remembered meeting Andrea Bocelli in line for a car service once time.  And every time I open a hotel room door I think for a moment of when I was “accidentally” upgraded to a presidential suite at the Bellagio my first time here.

Vegas is funny like this for me; it’s a place that – despite its continuous development – feels the same year after year.  So I can reflect on different points in my career that I’ve been here and what I felt like –

  • Excited but nervous going to my first major industry tradeshow and first time at Vegas
  • Curious to attend a sales kickoff when the company was redefining strategy
  • Shocked culturally to be at a major male-dominated vendor conference
  • Nervous to staff a partner’s booth and unsure if I know their technology well enough to be there
  • And now, proud to represent Infinio, and interested to learn more about this partner’s community.

Viva Las Vegas.  As for my memories of this trip – what happens here…you know the rest.

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