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From Monday 25 to Wednesday 27 I was in Las Vegas receving an award (IBM 2013 Beacon Award for Best Industry Solution, Healthcare and Life Sciences).

I don’t like Las Vegas, too flashy, too empty, too superficial… but every time I go, I end up with interesting experiences and observations. Like the devastating effect extreme market capitalism can have on the credibility of institutions (Judge Judy’s branded slot machine?? WTF!!).

The event, organized by IBM, took place at the Caesar’s Palace Hotel (I hold quite strong memories from that place, years ago): 2,500 people, busy schedule of work meetings and sessions, a lot of food, a few parties and a concert.

The first day, after my “virgin” flight there with Virgin America, I met with a senior IBM executive, rehearsed the award gala, and had dinner with the “Spaniards” (people from IBM Spain, Indra, El Corte Ingles, etc) at Margarita Ville, with live music, and a giant slide through which a girl slides down to a giant “margarita pitcher”.

The second day I had a meeting very early in the morning, then received the award on stage, was interviewed for TV, went to a party with great food and awesome bonbons, at Shadow Bar, and then another one with lots of good looking people (another kind of bonbon), at Pure Nightclub.

The last day I participated in a recorded round table debate with Tim Llewellynn (from New Zealand living in Switzerland) and Aleksandar Vidovic (from Slovenia) about cloud technology and security. It was filmed in a studio set incredibly set up a cafe down to the most minute detail, by a large TV crew, with a director from LA, and organized by the ad agency Ogilvy. Although it lasted for 2 hours, they told us they would bring it down to 2 minutes for TV!

After some more meetings, I went to the private gala reception at the Penthouse Suite (the “Celine Dion Room”) of the Forum Tower. Then some Nobu sushi for dinner and a concert by Train.

A red-eye midnight flight too me back home, tired, exhausted, but happy with the results, the networking, and the experience.