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.)