I'm off to Las Vegas tomorrow morning for a care management trade show.
Let's parse that for a moment, shall we.
Las Vegas + Trade Show
Now try this one on:
Teaneck + Trade Show
Doesn't quite pop the same way, does it. No offense, Teaneck, but you're not the trade show destination everyone thinks of first. Third, maybe. Right after West Orange.
But I digress.
I've spent my fair share of time in Vegas. I've never had the opportunity to see the real Vegas of the Rat Pack, or CSI, or Mo Green, or even Tony Bourdain. Their Vegas is a snappy, hip place of high-rollers and low-lifers. Their Vegas is a place of extremes.
All I've gotten to see is the unterVegas, a surreal ur-world that exists out of time and out of phase with the rest of reality.
My Vegas never changes.
I've seen the insides of convention halls and the enclosed, mall-like shopping zones that connect them to the casinos. They all look the same.
The ding-ding-dingdingding sounds of slot machines ringing in my head for days on end, and the flat tang of stale smoke infused into every article of my clothing, these never change. The feeling of my head spinning from too much oxygen and my eyes aching from the sudden blast of sunlight at the end of the trip when I finally emerge back into the world, these are familiar and constant sensations. They are perfectly predictable.
I've seen the shows, the big smiles, the snazzy encores.
I've eaten too-big steaks, endured too-big sounds, been threatened with too-big fun.
I've been to Vegas. And now I'm going back.
If you're a PM, you've been to Vegas.
Maybe I'll see you there. I'll recognize you by the look in your eyes.