Thursday, November 15, 2007

Conference Blogging, Part Three

On Tuesday, I collected a lot of swag and finished up a lot of hunts. I'm now registered to win a laptop, an iPod, a PS3, and a Wii, and probably many other things I can't remember. The thing is, some drawings you have to be present for, while others you don't. If I were more organized, I would have written these things down.

I also went out to lunch with my classmate from graduate school. And I gave him an invitation to the vendor party I was planning to attend that night. We went to the party together that evening. He had never seen such a thing before. At the front of the room, the vendor had an ice sculpture of their logo. There was a lot of delicious but expensive food, and an open bar. I don't know how much money they must have spent on this party, but it was a lot. Many of my colleagues were at this party, and I also saw some more people I knew from way back when.

After the party, I was going to split a cab with a colleague who is staying in the same hotel as me, but he wanted to go out for dessert with another guy, so I tagged along. While we were out, we met up with a Somewhat Important Guy, who said we could all get a ride with a Pretty Important Guy to go back to our hotel. It was going to be a little crowded but it seemed like it would work out. Unfortunately, a Very Important Guy then decided that he wanted to go in the car, so my colleague and I were uninvited. The Somewhat Important Guy uninvited himself and the three of us took a cab back to the hotel.

Yesterday I worked at our booth. I got a big breakfast at a buffet restaurant in my hotel before heading over to the convention center. The buffet was enormous, and the food wasn't bad. I had wanted pancakes, but unfortunately their pancakes were kind of dried out and not very fresh. But they had a chef making omelets to order, so I partook of that.

Standing on a concrete floor really takes a toll on your feet and back. I think that a massage should be a reimbursable expense if you've spent the day working at the booth! I enjoyed talking to people when they came to our booth, and hooking them up with other people who knew more about the topic they were interested in than I did. It was especially nice because people who came to our booth were generally interested in what we do, rather than on the prowl for prizes. We can't give away fabulous prizes like the companies can.

In the evening, I went out to dinner with four men I work with, before coming back to my room and turning in early. There were parties but I was too tired to go out to them. Also, since I'd already had a really big meal that day (breakfast) I figured I should really just eat a salad for dinner, and they don't usually serve those at parties.

Plans for today: go to some of the technical program talks, pick up good tickets for tonight's conference banquet, and go to the banquet. They're having the Blue Man Group perform for us tonight. If you want to see them live inside the theater rather than on a screen outside, you have to get tickets. I plan to be one of the first people in line.

Tomorrow I leave for home. It has been a fun trip, but I am definitely looking forward to being back at home and seeing my family again!

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