Las Vegas, Software University Day 1
Today started very early for me – up at 6:30am, then at 7:30am walk across the road to the MGM Grand and through to the MGM Grand Garden Arena (a 15 minute walk from our room at the New York New York Hotel) to collect my ticket for the opening “main tent” of the IBM Software University – the conference I’m attending here in Las Vegas all week.
Next it was down to the conference center to the huge marquee they had set up out the back to feed us all – I think this tent could seat somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 people for a meal !! Breakfast wasn’t all that exciting, but it did the job, and then it was back to the Grand Garden Arena to find my seat for the opening show.
The show was full of loud music, colourful lights, enthusiastic presenters and even included an (American) olympic champion, Jackie Joyner to give us a pep-talk about keeping our eyes on the goal, about staying focussed and not letting things distract us from our path. It was all a bit over-done, but I must admit it was no where near as corny as last year’s event. Over 16,000 IBM Software Group employees (and business partners) in the arena was, as always, a very impressive sight, and the effect of glow-rods all shining in the dark together (Red for Americas, Blue for EMEA, and Green for AP), was quite spectacular.
After the two hour event, it was off with the rest of the AP team to Bally’s convention center, where we had a very early and very long lunch, which was great for catching up with colleagues from around the region, followed by a rather boring AP presentation for a couple of hours.
Next it was off to the Venetian, where we had the Lotus session – a further two and a half hours of boring presentations which finished at 8pm, by which time we were absolutely starved (since lunch had been so early). We finally got to eat dinner at the Venetian, before I walked back to the MGM with my colleague Matt.
While I was off doing work stuff, Leanne had had a relaxing day, starting off with sleeping in before having a very late breakfast and then wandering around the New York New York and MGM Grand Hotels before heading down the strip to Excalibur and the Luxor.