Live at the ISM Conference 2007 #1

8 May 2007

Live report - 2007 Institute for Supply Management conference, Las Vegas, Nevada

Understatement was not really a feature of the opening of the the 92nd International Supply Management Conference on Sunday. Held at Bally's Hotel in Las Vegas - I know, a hellish assignment, but somebody has got to do it - the event promised to be as huge as last year's gig in Minneapolis where 3,000 or so people attended the three days of seminars, lectures and workshops.

Bally's has to be seen to be believed. It is the one with the Eiffel Tower outside the front door. Truth be known, it looks more like Blackpool Tower, but tacky is what Vegas does, and very well. The hotel is about the size of Hertfordshire.

In terms of the programme, social responsibility features very highly. It will be interesting to hear what that covers here. Is it what we call CSR? Does it cover more or less? And how does sustainability fit in? Are the priorities different, or just the terminology?

Is Vegas the best environment for work? It is odd to be "suited and booted" while everybody else here is on holiday. And I am slightly dubious as to how well attended some of the sessions here would be, given the vast number of diversions on offer. And totally around the clock. When I emerged jet-lagged into the lobby at around 6am, I expected to see a couple of cleaners and a bleary-eyed receptionist. The place was still packed with gamblers, whooping, drinking and smoking. Can't say for sure, but maybe they hadn't yet been to bed.

So, will the delegates be able to keep pace with the punishing schedule of cards and conference? Will the partying stand in the way of business? Needless to say, your correspondent couldn't possibly be diverted from his mission to report what's going on.

Stay tuned for updates.

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