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Extranea: What’s the difference between Hell and Vegas?

You only have to go to Hell once.

The world is divided into two kinds of people: those who love Las Vegas, and those who go there for conferences; again and again and again. Snippets from Cisco’s Partner Summit 2007 at the Venetian hotel and Sands convention center:

  • Best overheard conversational bit: Partner 1: “At least it’s warm; it’s snowing back home.” Partner 2: “Really? I haven’t been outside in five days.”
  • Best partner-interview snippet from the hallway right after the keynote dog and pony show: Reporter: “You guys don’t look that excited.” Partner 1: “No, we are excited. We understand the vision.” Partner 2: “We are German; this is what excited looks like in German.”
  • Most annoying work-related audio: the faux-polite bing-boong-bawng of the handheld wood vibrophones Venetian staffers ring to let the audience know meal or rest breaks are over and the next conference session is about to start. It’s pleasant, like your neighbor’s new wind chime at 8 o’clock on a windy night. After eight or ten minutes without a break it’s like the same chime at 2 a.m. The bongers move fast the whole time; for good reason.
  • Most annoying non-work audio: The Partner Summit is in the Venetian Hotel. The Phantom of the Opera is in a theater in the Venetian hotel. The hotel reminds guests about the show by playing Phantom almost continually in the elevators. Know how long it takes to get sick of Phantom of the Elevator? Six floors (on day one). There are still two days to go; welcome to the Venetian.
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