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Covering Interop in Las Vegas

I write technology news articles as part of the part of my . For my gig writing , I generally just do like normal: working remotely, out of my basement home writing office. But, for the first time ever, Tom’s is sending my out into the field to cover something.

Specifically, I’ll be covering the Interop conference at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas. Of course, all the actual tech news I write about will go over on Tom’s IT Pro (check my  and more once they start coming). But, my best writing comes when I stay in the writing zone, so I’ll be posting stuff here about Interop that doesn’t fit over at Tom’s. Posts about what the hotel is like (it’s huge when you include the conference area), what Vegas is like (is it Vegas or is it me?), and the joys and tribulations of being a freelance writer on assignment on the road.

The good news is that this conference is in Las Vegas. It’s hard to be down about being in Vegas even if it doesn’t hit me the same way it used to. And, it looks like the folks handling the media operation for Interop have done a good job, so I don’t have to run around trying to force things that aren’t there.

I did end up walking all over the place trying to find the Media area. It is in Conference Room H. But, I found room G and room I. The trick being that there is no room in between them. I’m not sure how the lettering works, but I’m assuming it makes sense in an overhead view. If you are wondering, it was back (past room I) down a hall, and then there it is.

Interop itself is celebrating 30 years. They have a diagram about it in the convention area. Now that I think about it, that might be worth an article. That being said, this is my first year here. And, the folks at Interop, having both a sense of humor, and an affinity for Star Wars offer buttons regarding your Interop experience. Mine says, “Interop Padawan 1st year.”

In addition to this being my first, out of the home office, assignment for Tom’s IT Pro, it’s also my first tech conference in Vegas. For some reason I always seem to end up in New Orleans or San Diego for my conferencing.

What makes it different is that if you go to a conference at some hotel in San Diego, then you, and your conference attendees, are typically the main portion of guests. But, here in the Mandalay Bay, most of the people are just visiting the casino and Las Vegas in general. So, while I’m down in the conference hall area, it’s same old, same old. But, when I walk through the casino back to the hotel, I stick out a bit.

I can’t decide if the conference badge around my neck makes me a big old dork walking around, or if it is at least a good excuse for why I’m rocking khakis around Vegas casinos. Not that I’m a high fashion kind of guy, but my go to casino attire is shorts and a sweet cartoony t-shirt.

Tomorrow I’ll write up some thoughts about the hotel.

Sneak peak: It’s nice, but what the hell is the deal with not having any free in-room coffee? I have to pay $4 for a “coffee kit” from the mini-bar? Lame. Good thing I’m at a tech conference. Those guys always have plenty of coffee.

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