Friday, August 13, 2010

NBTA Conference!

Spent the whole last week in Houston at the National Business Travel Association conference. With 6,000 of my closest friends, we were educated, entertained, and enlightened about all things business-travel related.

I personally had a great time networking with my hotel partner contacts, other airline professionals, and met some wonderful people who bestowed their knowledge on me. I attended 5 or six hour to hour-and-a-half educational sessions and learned everything from international security recommendations at hotels to strategic meetings management to leadership characteristics.

Some really fantastic speakers attended as well - highlights were Condoleeza Rice, Richard Branson, and Lance Armstrong each giving keynote addresses during lunch.

Every day started at 8:30, and went till after midnight. There were also at least 3 to 4 hours of expo time during the day, and then the evenings were also jam-packed. Happy hours, dinners, and parties abounded - and of course my group had to make an appearance at all of them to avoid looking like were playing favorites. (Of course.)

The highlights include: a Studio-54 themed party, complete with martini bar, live band, Cher impersonators, and professional dancers in cages, and really great dancing; and another party with 5 levels of fun including a pulsing floor to DJ beats, contortionist and fire throwers, living art via a naked guy in a bathtub of olives (!), henna tattoos, star in your own music video, and more!

Thanks to all my new friends and colleagues for a GREAT conference! (But boy does it feel good to be home. Trip was Sunday till Friday.)

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