Michael Dominguez shared the latest trends in the hotel industry and how they affect meetings and incentives at the opening education session in Treasure Island’s ballroom. He gave the audience a better understanding of the economic environment—how it is shifting in 2015 and beyond—and identified ways to optimize relationships with hotels and other key stakeholders. Dominguez is senior vice president, global hotel sales, MGM Resorts International, and immediate past chairman, International Board of Directors, Meeting Professionals International. He is also co-chair of the Meetings Mean Business coalition.
How Social Media Intersects With Events
Justin Ramers, chief marketing officer at MeetingMatch, Inc., spoke on “Using the Latest Social Technology to Engage Your Audience.” The best events are figuring out how to create a digital bridge between face-to-face experiences and today’s social platforms, Ramers said.
Beer and Food Pairing:The Latest Trend
The first afternoon ended with a beer-and-food pairing adventure, facilitated by Sarah Johnson, director of food & beverage at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. She holds the title of Certified Cicerone and is the first female in Nevada to earn this beer-expertise distinction. The hands-on exploration of beer flavor and texture expanded everyone’s horizons and was a big hit.
What's Not to Like?
Gummy bears and IPA? Tom Richardson, Paragon Meetings & Events, and Steve Bellini, Sidney Frank Importing Co., enjoy a toast at the beer-and-food pairing.
Welcome to Treasure Island
Don Voss, vice president of sales and marketing, Treasure Island Hotel & Casino, gave a warm welcome to the audience at a “Taste of TI” poolside party, where participants sampled fare from Treasure Island’s seven restaurant experiences, including Pho (Vietnamese cuisine), Gilley’s, the Seafood Shack, Kahunaville, and Señor Frog's.
Gilley's in Las Vegas
Rich Litvinoff, Superior Meeting Services, helps himself to some braised short rib from Gilley’s.
A Taste of the Tropics
TI’s popular restaurant Kahunaville and its Island Heat show performers brought a taste of the tropics to the Invitational.
Patti Sabo-Karsten, BI Worldwide, left, enjoys a laugh with Chris Meyer, vice president of global sales for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, and Peter Shelly, HelmsBriscoe.
Julie Green, MeetingMatch, Inc., tries on a pair of Maui Jims at the fitting table.
Time to Reacquaint
Eric Steigerwald, The Mirage, and Scott Durkin, Experient, catch up poolside at TI’s opening reception.
The Watch Word
Adrienne Forrest, vice president corporate sales, Bulova, encourages participants to take part in a raffle on the opening evening.
Networking at its Best
Rick Connor, Meeting Your Needs America, LLC, and Richard Goellner, Halcyon Shades, pause poolside.
Kevin Hannon, BI Worldwide, and Cindy Kramer, Aimia, share a smile.
Alan Waxler, AWG; Michael Uhl, HelmsBriscoe; Betsy Bair, MeetingsNet; and Peter Shelly, HelmsBriscoe, catch up.
Praise to TI for a Job Well done
The TI banquet and conference services team take a well-deserved pause and pose for the camera.
Teams played at Spanish Trail Country Club on day one. From left, George Yin, Yin Hospitality International; Kevin Hannon, BI Worldwide; Brian Hunt, Maritz Travel; and Mark Skjervheim, Aria
Front seat, from left: Mike Bauer, Maritz Travel; Alan Waxler, Alan Waxler Group; back seat: Patti Sabo-Karsten, BI Worldwide; and Peter Shelly, HelmsBriscoe
From left, Jacque Goldy, Bellagio; Danny Salas-Porras, South by Southwest; Pam Harris, Remax; and Justin Aarsvold, Maritz Travel
Hard Rock Team
From left, Mike Rowland, Hard Rock; Tai Taitano, Suzuki Motor of America Inc.; Scott Young, The Meeting Co.; and Brad Hayden, Hard Rock Las Vegas
iCo Store Team
From left, Tom Meissner, iCo Store; Curtis Smith, Crown Imports; Miguel Piedra, Rock Orange LLC; and Victor Iacovone, Novasphere
MGM Resorts International Team
From left, Paul Van Deventer, Meeting Professionals International; Steve Kinsley, Kinsley Meetings; Kevin Olsen, One Smooth Stone; and Mike Dominguez, MGM Resorts International
The Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority team included (from left) Vic Ocampo, HelmsBriscoe; Doug Wheeler, Summit Performance Group, LLC; Rich DePastino, Delta Global Services; and Adam Gordon, LVCVA.
Mandalay Bay Team
From left, Steven Jones, SRJ Enterprises; Sarah Brady, Creative Group Inc.; Brad Bronenkamp, Teradata Corp.; and Steven Walker, Mandalay Bay. The Mandalay Bay team was the day-two golf winner, with Jason Glascock playing for Mandalay Bay. Golfers played at the Revere Golf Club on day two.
Maui Jim Team
From left, Doug Chorpenning, Wet Paint Group; Denny Jones, TRU Incentives Inc.; Jim Elder, Maui Jim; and Greg Lewis, Motivation Excellence Inc.
Monte Carlo Team
Monte Carlo’s team won the tournament overall. From left, Mike Pistano, Monte Carlo; Amy Vigil, Credit Union Association of New Mexico; Jenn Mowry Brooke, Bruel & Kjaer; and Rick Connor, Meeting Your Needs America, LLC
Par 4 Team
Playing on Par 4 Golf Management’s team, a company that operates seven golf courses in Las Vegas, are (from left) Ray Riley, Citizens Inc.; Matt Utter, Par 4; Jan Baum, A. T. Still University; and Walter Galanty, AIM Meetings & Events.
Treasure Island Team
Treasure Island Hotel and Casino’s team (from left): Ty Apodaca, Rovia; Doug Caldwell, JP Morgan; Don Voss, TI; and Randy Campbell, Formfast
Tropicana’s team (from left): LeeAnn Peterson, Cox Peterson Group; Greg Marlier, The Tropicana Las Vegas-a DoubleTree by Hilton (who won a prize for closest to the pin on day two); Michael Buonaccorso, Mobile Beat Magazine; and Bill Callahan, MVP Global Events
Walters Golf Team
Walters Golf’s team were the winners on day one of the Invitational (from left): Rich Litvinoff, Superior Meeting Services; Jody Niemann, Walters Golf; Hutch Looney, MeetingsNet; and Jim May, Royal Links/Walters Golf.
Off to the Races
Tami Maynard, Council on Occupations Education, enjoys her time at the Exotics Racing, included in a day of activities for non-golfers. The day also featured make-overs and shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue at The Fashion Show.
Haest Makes Waste
At Exotics Racing, participants drove the car of their dreams. Barry Haest, Hart Energy, is all smiles.
Mob at the Mob Museum
Day two’s activities included a visit to the Mob Museum, located in the heart of downtown Las Vegas. It showcases both sides of the battle between organized crime and law enforcement. Groups can rent out the whole museum or private rooms for events.
Hands On at the Mob Museum
Lisa Perrin, MeetingsNet, and mastermind behind the Las Vegas Invitational, takes aim at the bad guys at the Mob Museum.
Interactivity at the Mob Museum
Amanda Perez, UBC: An Express Scripts Company, tries out an exhibit at the Mob Museum.
Upscale Comfort with a Twist
Anil Melnick, B with a Twist Catering, catered a luncheon at the Mob Museum for the group. It’s upscale comfort food, with a twist.
The Neon Museum
Ian Zeitzer gives the group a guided tour of the Neon Museum’s Boneyard. The museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the city's most iconic art form—the neon sign—and is available for group rental.
Bellagio at Hyde: Closing Reception
The closing night award ceremony was held at Bellagio at Hyde, overlooking the famed Bellagio fountains. Michael Dominguez, senior vice president, Global Hotel Sales, MGM Resorts International, welcomed the Invitational participants.
You Don't Have to Play Golf to Win
Corie Rand, AIR Worldwide, won a Bulova watch at the closing reception.
Walter Galanty, AIM Meetings & Events, shows off his Gilley’s jacket to Kim Romano, MeetingsNet.
The coveted trophies at the MeetingsNet Las Vegas Corporate Invitational
And Bulovas for (Almost) All
From left, Eva Lee McCrossin, The Gores Group; Adrienne Forrest, Bulova; and Kathrine Faubert, PricewaterhouseCoopers, at the closing evening
They Clean Up Nice
The tournament winners, the team from Monte Carlo, with their trophies.