It takes a lot of energy and shoe leather to cover a big industry confab, so there's always a bit of groan-factor when NATPE rolls around. But once you actually get to there, it's always fun to see friends and biz contacts that you don't regularly get to hang with, and you're in a setting that is somewhat detached from real-life for a finite period. Lots of parties, dinners and revelry.
Nearly every conversation begins with "When did you get here? And how long are you staying?"
That hey-howya-doin'? element was definitely there this week at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Vegas (for the record I arrived Monday evening and left Wednesday late afternoon) but the somber mood and sparse attendance was unlike anything I'd ever experienced at this confab.