Monday, April 28, 2008

MMS 2008 – Las Vegas – The Venetian

The Microsoft Management Summit kicked off today in Las Vegas, NV. The event is being held at the Venetian, which boasts a large conference center amongst the posh environment. We came into Vegas on Sunday a day early. A large number of people fly in on Monday and start the event with afternoon classes, coming in early allows us time to relax (even have a night to ourselves) and schedule a Monday morning session or two.

This being my first trip to Vegas I am excited to see the sites and if time allows play a little black jack or craps. One thing I am pleased to see is (at least the Venetian) still has real cards, instead of the digital ones, most of the smaller casinos in the North Carolina area are using today. However, before we get to the gaming I will briefly talk about the accommodations.

We heard from many people the Venetian was a very nice place and it thus far has lived up to its reputation. In many ways it is a stunning environment, with a lot of attention to detail. The rooms are spacious; contain 2 HD TVs, a business desk, printer/fax, huge bathroom with separate shower/tub and a host of other smaller niceties. See some of the pictures below for the room/view.

Each of the modern hotels basically has its own mall and themed attraction (Think Disney world for Adults). The Venetian has the Plazio, which is a Venice themed mall with a canal and gondoliers running through the middle. The ceiling is styled to look like the sky at the perfect time of dusk and actually provides ample illumination. It is a large and winding shopping area, which provides the guest room to wander.

Since this is a business trip and 90% of my time will be consumed with the expo, lectures, hands-on-labs, and networking there is not much chance we will be leaving the Venetian grounds. We may walk the strip on Friday (as we are staying an extra night to relax some), but largely a true visit of Las Vegas will be required on personal time to explore all the city and surrounding area have to offer.
Tomorrow the conference really begins with breakfast, the first of three keynote speeches, and the launching into the lecture, expo, and labs with full force.