For the last week, I’ve been in Las Vegas for a software conference called TUCON (Tibco User Conference). Thankfully, I am now home where I belong. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Las Vegas as much as the next person. But, when you’re there for business, it isn’t as fun as it is when you’re only purpose there is to have a good time. The company I work for is currently under going an RFP and POC for a Master Data Management (MDM) solution from a company called Tibco (short for “The Information Bus Company”). Every year, Tibco has a gathering in Las Vegas where all of their customers are invited to hear keynote speakers from some of the world’s largest companies that also happen to be Tibco customers. For 4 days, Tibco also provides technology breakout sessions where you’re invited to listen to other customers give feedback on what their companies are doing and how they’re using Tibco products.
The conference is held in the convention center of the Aria Resort and Casino (http://www.arialasvegas.com/) located in what is now called “City Center” (http://www.citycenter.com/). The Aria is a property of MGM that holds several world-wide awards. One of the awards that the Aria holds is for being the greenest hotel in the world. However, being the geek that I am, the award that Aria holds that interests me is the award for the most technology advanced hotel in the world. Yep. The Aria is decked out with all kinds of sweet treats for the techno geeks. For example, each room comes with its own bedside touch-screen tablet that is capable of controlling everything in the room. It can control the TV, lights, curtains, temperature, etc… Compared to other hotels I’ve stayed in, this one little feature is a huge bonus. I say that because I’ve also stayed in other hotels in Vegas where it was almost impossible to locate and change the temperature of the room. Being situated in the middle of the desert, temperatures can reach in the triple digits even at night. So, being able to keep my room comfortable is definitely expected, but made simpler by the cool gadgets offered in each room of the Aria.
Since the majority of my trip was spent sitting in banquet halls, I didn’t have much time to venture out. But, I did get to visit some really nice restaurants in the area. One of the nice restaurants I ate at was located on the casino level of the hotel. Called “Cafe Vettro”, this restaurants offered something on the menu I had never thought of trying, but turned out to be more than delicious. It was the BBQ grilled salmon. Who in the hell would’ve ever thought to put BBQ on salmon? I know I never would have ever tried it, but it did sound interesting. So, I ordered it and would highly recommend it to anyone else that enjoys salmon.
Another nice restaurant I went to was a nice little Meditteranean restaurant located in the Bellagio. I can’t remember the name of the place, but it was really nice and really expensive. My waiter recommended the Swordfish which was remarkable! Plus, I got a window seat where I was able to watch the beautiful Bellagio fountains. By the time dinner was over, night time had fallen and the entire strip was lit up. So, I decided to take a stroll to see the lights and night life that the strip had to offer. But, before I strayed too far, I did stop to watch the Bellagio fountains’ night time show where everything was lit up, making it 10 times better than the day time show where the only source of light comes from the scorching sun over head.
Being the big sushi fan that I am, I went to a sushi bar called the Social House one day for lunch. The Social House is located inside the Crystals mall which happen to be attached to the hotel I was staying in. Having stores like Tiffany’s and Harry Winstons, shopping in the mall was a little out of my price range. But, the Social House sushi bar had a lot of really good food to choose from. Since it was lunch, I decided to keep my meal small because we were also expecting to be eating a large dinner only a couple of hours later. So, I went with the seared albacore roll and the crunchy eel roll. Both of these rolls make my mouth water just thinking about them.
On the last night of our trip, our sales rep took myself, my boss, and 2 co-workers to a restaurant at the Cosmpolitan hotel called the Blue Ribbon. This too was a sushi shop, but had way more on the menu to choose from than the Social House. Being self-proclaimed sushi specialists, me and 3 of the other guys decided to go with a $200 sushi platter which was suppose to feed 4. Well, the platter was definitely capable of feeding 4, but it also invoked a feeding frenzy between the 4 of us. So, we had no other choose but to order a couple more of the same platters. Each platter came with about 5 different kinds of rolls such as a dragons roll, mixed fish roll, lobster roll, etc… The platter also included plain sushi and various selections of shashimi. Having eaten at a lot of sushi restaurants, I’ve eaten a lot of really good sushi. Although I wouldn’t say this takes the number 1 spot, I would definitely rank it number 2. However, I would definitely give the Blue Ribbon the title of best sushi in Las Vegas and the best sushi on the west coast. My number one sushi place is a restaurant called “Strip” which is located in the Atlantic Center of downtown Atlanta, Georgia.
Anyways, the overall trip was definitely a success in my opinion. I got to meet a lot of great people and learned a lot about the way other companies conduct business both with and without Tibco’s software. Unfortunately, I’m now back in the real world where none of that matters any more. Instead, it’s back to the day-to-day life and politics that I enjoyed an escape from even for the brief time that it was. I did, however, gain a lot of knowledge about the Tibco products that my company is now considering. I know that the information I gathered from the conference will help make more informed decisions about the purchase and use of any software my company purchases from Tibco. Plus, I also want to go on the record as saying that I learned a lot of valuable information that can benefit my company even aside from the Tibco software.
Even though I had a great trip, it’s still good to be home!
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