Monday, December 04, 2006

No Toto, we are not in Kansas anymore...

In case you didn't know, or may be checking in for the first time, yours truly is making his debut appearance in the great state of Arizona as a guest speaker at the 33rd Annual University of Arizona Racetrack Industry Program's Racing and Gaming Symposium

I've only been here a few hours and a lot has already transpired. Before I get into any specifcs though, here's an email exchange I had with a "Respected Turf Writer" over the past few days:

RTW: "Congrats on speaking at the Symposium".
AvgH: "Thanks. I'm both nervous and excited. Very much looking forward to the opportunity to address the industry".
RTW: "Good luck. I've never been to the Symposium, but from what I've heard it's a drunkfest, so don't be too nervous :) "

Just for you, my readers, I thought I would set the stage for what the feeling is like around here. Again, I've only been around for a few hours, but already the crowd is settling in and getting quite comfortable here at The Westin La Paloma.

There was an opening "reception" this evening in one of the ballrooms and I will tell you that there are some really cool booths set up. From racing surface providers and barn builders, to Daktronics scoreboards and Trakkus reps, I am looking forward to exploring and chatting with many of those in attendance. I think the first people I will spend time chatting with are the Trakkus guys. From what I know about this new technology, it seems to hold the most promise for new (young) market penetration (in my opinion).

I've met some great folks already - the first of which was on the van ride from the airport. Don't think for one minute I'm not promoting the HELL out of the Blog Panel Thursday morning.

Though I think we all have a pretty good sense of where the industry stands on new technologies - blogs and social networking in particular - the more I chat with industry folks, the more urgent our message becomes.

I need to spend some time honing my presentation tonight, while being sure to keep an eye out for any rogue scorpions or spiders that might decide to make an appearance.

The wireless is NOT free here, which is pretty ghetto in my opinion, and there is some literature saying that "wireless may not be available in meeting rooms", so I'll try my best to update as much as possible.


Anonymous said...

I'm a student here at the UA-RTIP, and my roommate and I (also a RTIP student) thought the photo you posted was absolutely hilarious. We took a gander at our room and the first thing we noticed was that very sign. But don't worry, it's much too cold for those critters right now. We're looking forward to your panel!

Ruben Bailey said...

Excellent!! Thanks for checking in. Feel free to introduce yourself at some point during the week. I'll be the one with the Mac Book.