Playing to Wynn

I have a few minutes to check in before my next activity. I was up at 5 AM yesterday and didn’t turn in until 2 AM today. This is going to be a long week. The UX Summit went from 8 AM to 6:30 PM and we dined as a group in the private dining room of the upscale Daniel Boulud restaurant inside the Wynn hotel. There were 50 of us and, as co-host, I made the rounds throughout the evening and was in the last group to leave. The four-course dinner didn’t wrap up until 11 PM(!) but the evening still didn’t end.

A smaller group of us walked back to the Venetian and watched a colleague play roulette for about 30 minutes. We then went to the V Bar (also in the Venetian) and talked over drinks. I finally called it a night and headed to my room just after 1 AM to prepare for Day 2.

Day 1 of the Summit was great based on attendee participation and feedback. My presentation went smoothly and I successfully rolled out the marketing strategy for the duration of the fiscal year and ahead into FY2009. We started on time, ended on time and kept everyone engaged, which is an accomplishment for such a long day holed up in a hotel conference room.

Today I was up at 6 AM and we just wrapped up again at 6:30 PM. I am double-booked for dinner tonight with the Summit attendees dinner and an invitation-only event with key partners & press from Japan. (You may recall they love me over in Tokyo after Remix last fall…Keith-san Ichiban is back!)

Day 2 of the Summit was another long haul but it’s done and the event was a resounding success. Tomorrow is the big event, MIX, and I have a day/evening full of press briefings and press events following the 3-hour keynote. I’d better get some sleep. Perhaps after watching the presidential primary coverage while the results from Ohio and Texas are analyzed.

A Weekend in Vegas

no_seven TB and I celebrated our 3-year anniversary in Las Vegas this past weekend. She booked a package deal through USAir that had us fly direct from Seattle and stay at the Wynn for 4 nights. It was a nice getaway even though I have been to Vegas 4 times in 2 years. TB hadn’t been to Vegas in 5+ years so there were a lot of things she hadn’t seen. Random notables:

  1. It was hot: 105+ during the day and 80+ at night.
  2. It was crowded: Labor Day weekend.
  3. There are no deals left on the Strip: Food & gambling are no longer reasonably priced. You can’t beat the accommodations, however.
  4. Free Wi-Fi @ the Wynn: The Sugar & Ice restaurant (located in the Esplanade) offers free Wi-Fi. Many guests don’t know about it though and they wind up paying $11.99/day.
  5. I officially hate the number 7: Craps was crap for me this trip.
  6. ‘The States’ produced by The History Channel rocks: This DVD set is 8 hours of some of the most interesting and enlightening information about our country I’ve viewed in a long time. A great way to spend a weekend morning/afternoon.
  7. It’s easy to get in, but hard to get out: Our trip to Vegas was perfectly smooth. Our return to Seattle was fraught with delays, airplane maintenance issues and gate changes. The highlights of the return trip were the perks we received due to my 1K status on United. First, we avoided the long, post-Labor Day security line because the ticketing agent put a V.I.P. stamp on our boarding passes. Second, we had an exit row to ourselves. The plane was packed to the gills, but there was no one in the middle seat between us. Membership has its privileges.

I will stop the list at 7 since it is a number I saw all too often at all the wrong times last weekend. 🙂