We all have them – those special occasions we commit to and look forward to attending.  For the last seventeen years, Healthcare Convention & Exhibitors Association (HCEA) has been one of these special events. As spring winds down, its late-June timing provides a great finish to a hectic show season (looking forward to breathing, recharging my batteries, gathering new insights and meeting up with old and new friends).  This year however, a family wedding as the HCEA event began meant forgoing taking a breath and instead jumping right into both events. “No Limits to Learning,” was the theme for this year and it was in Las Vegas (where there were also no limits to the scorching temperatures soaring to 100+ degrees). Turnout climbed with numbers topping last year’s event. The atmosphere was cool for learning and networking inside the Wynn

Enlightening educational sessions and this year’s seminars did not disappoint and whether you are a beginner or a seasoned professional -this group has lots of them. Workshops ranged from Event Planning & Logistics, Global Exhibiting, Marketing, Measurement and Professional Development. But no HCEA annual meeting is complete without time on the floor. Exhibitors incorporated interesting show-site activities ranging from gourmet cupcakes to designer tote bags and for those who visited the GES’ booth – personalized mosaics. No doubt about it, HCEA always sets the bar high (it isn’t for the faint of heart and always offers a full schedule).  With so much to keep track of, I’m thankful this year’s meeting leveraged technology and provided a mobile app and mobile text alerts that kept me up-to-speed on all conference details.

On a personal note, as a regular traveler to Las Vegas, I’ve had the opportunity to visit the Wynn, enjoy it’s amazing ambience and enjoy its fine dining  - The SW’s steak and seafood and Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare’s for great Italian food (thanks for the recommendation Errol), but I never had the opportunity to stay at the resort until now. The Wynn and its amenities exceeded my expectations. HCEA 2011 kept the tradition of being the perfect end to the spring season.

Did you have the opportunity to attend HCEA?  If so, let me know your thoughts and observations on the meeting at tcampanaro@ges.com.

I already marked my calendar for HCEA 2012 in Orlando - see you there!