Live! From Hollywood!

Hollywood, Florida, that is…

OK, I really have no intention of “live-blogging” the annual Society of Pharmaceutical and Biotech Trainers conference. But I woke up incredibly early this morning, mind instantly buzzing, and there was no way to get back to sleep. Plus, I decided to allow the hotel to rip me off for at least one day of high-speed internet access (for the price of this hotel, you’d think they could throw in web access – but they hit up their customers for $14/day minimum if you want to get on the web. Note to Westin: maximum revenue extraction is a negative customer experience approach….).

diplomat-w-fl.jpgAnyway, other than the nickel-and-diming, the Westin Diplomat Hotel is quite striking. The lobby area, and (I’m very sensitive to this) the exhibit area both have an open and “airy” feel. Definitely one of the nicest exhibit hall layouts I’ve seen in a long time – high ceiling, light color, and no protruding posts/pillars to break up the traffic flow. Last night was the opening reception, which seemed lightly attended – because this hotel is right on the beach, and has some fabulous pools, the anecdotal evidence so far is that a lot of people brought their families.

As an aside, from a branding perspective, the Westin permeates the hotel with a “signature scent” – I feel that including olfactory elements in branding is very effective, and I’m glad to see it increasingly being utilized. Their “White Tea” scent is very pleasant.

The three hours of the reception went so quickly that I was astounded when they announced that the hall was closing at 8:00 pm. It’s like an annual homecoming – so many familiar folks from both the vendor and the client side, and it was a real joy to talk to friends and colleagues from the pharma industry whom I’ve come to know over the years. Really looking forward to the sessions, which start this morning. I’ll try to do one more blog post tonight or tomorrow morning.

Mrs. StickyFigure will be enjoying poolside quiet, with good books, a very welcome break from the endless demands of caring for and schooling our tribe, while I will be living on adrenaline and caffeine for the next few days. Friday will bring the inevitable post-conference emotional and physical crash!

Coming up next week – more coffee posts. Mrs. StickyFigure got me some mail-order coffees from Boca Java for Father’s Day, and I’ll review them. Couldn’t resist bringing one bag down here with us, and the first tasting was quite promising indeed!

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