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by Padraic Gilligan, Vice President, Ovation Global DMC

Early AM on The Strip

Early morning is a good time in Las Vegas. The relentless ebb and flow of people along the Strip abates completely and you’re left with cleaners, early morning construction workers, a flurry of joggers, the odd staggering drunk and maybe a hard working hooker on her lonely way home. There’s freshness in the air and the palpable promise of another sunny day.

Brahma ShrineDuring an early morning stroll you can take easy stock of the changes in this ever-evolving metropolis. You see details that normally pass you by like the extraordinary Brahma shire outside Caesar’s Palace – a tiny oasis of other worldly calm in a place not known for spirituality.

The City Center facility, an enormous mixed development of retail, residential and hospitality outlet appears to be complete now with the addition of street facing retail outlets including a Starbucks at Mandarin Oriental with terrace seating right on The Strip. If City Center is finished, then next door at Monte Carlo and New York New York it’s just starting with a brand new street level outdoor retail plaza – no doubt it’ll all be complete by the time we return for IMEX14, in 12 months’ time.

IMEX has taken to Las Vegas – and vice versa – in double jig time. Normally it can take up to 5 years for a city wide trade show like IMEX to bed down in a new destination. Shows like IMEX have as many moving parts as a Patek Phillipe watch and getting them all to synchronise usually takes a lot of time. The synchronicity between destination and show in the case of Las Vegas and IMEX has been almost immediate and the IMEX global community has settled into this place willingly, despite the horrendously long journeys that many have to make to get here. It shows clearly when new initiatives in the meetings and events industry are introduced where relationship equity is high and confidence and trust have been earned and established, success is guaranteed.

FRESH Reception

This year we arrived too late to attend SmartMonday and Site Nite, two “must attend” events in the IMEX experience. By all accounts we missed some great education and networking. I did attend the FRESH reception, however, following a very full-on day on the show floor, and finally met Julius Solaris of The EventManagerBlog and a number of others with whom I had previously connected on Social Media. The dynamo of digital, Tahira Endean, was my wing man and my connector into a great exciting community of #eventprofs who are at the frontier of our industry. Today I intend to find time to visit with many of them who are exhibiting at the Tech Hub.

Ovation / DMC Network Talent Search

Today we have a busy day of appointments on the Ovation / DMC Network stand and a busy night of parties starting with the IMEX Reception at Pure and the much anticipated MCI Rendezvous at the same venue. Our evening then concludes with our own fun “Talent Search” taking place at 1-OAK in The Mirage. If you don’t have an invitation and would like to attend, then be sure to stop by our booth and pick up a wrist band.


5 acts will battle it out in this inaugural event in front of a panel of highly qualified meetings industry judges.

See you there!

Padraic Gilligan works for Ovation Global DMC.


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