(l to r) Julie Burn, Rob Treadway, Linda Budzinski, Nadira Baddeliyanage, Joe Budzinski, Sheila Cephas.
This above is the "A" Team, myself not included in that description. After the final night we went out to Mirage for dinner and the Cirque du Soleil "Love" show.
It was one of the best-run conferences we've ever conducted. My hat is off to the ICCFA staff for the work they did. There were a lot of moving parts to this meeting, and these folks above did a magnificent job making it happen. We dealt with a broken air-conditioning system, a large number of attendees, rapid-fire succession of speakers with video and audio needs in addition to Powerpoints, tight schedule, multiple rooms, a hotel that decided to close most of its restaurants on our first night ... and yet as far as I could tell all the attendees left happy. It was not just a great meeting this year but laid the groundwork for more great Sales Conferences in future years.
But this is a "non-industry" post, which means the focus is not ICCFA but ...
...the unbelievable Cirque du Soleil. That Beatles show, "Love" is off the charts. I don't have the adjectives in my vocabulary to describe how good it is, both from immediate artistic and historical cultural perspectives. It is definitely one of the two or three coolest stage performances I have ever seen in my life. Because of the unavoidable grogginess that goes along with working these meetings, my first thought when the show concluded was "I need to see this again."
Beatles' producer George Martin re-engineered a bunch of the group's songs specifically for this show, apparently from the recording session archives, including live mike chatter among Paul, John, George and Ringo between takes. The audio quality is exquisite, with three speakers implanted in the headrest of every seat in the auditorium - which cost something like $100 million to build just for this show (in the space that used to be occupied by Siegfried and Roy at the Mirage). It is more dance- than athleticism-oriented than most Cirque performances, no contortionists for instance, and the role of the "clowns" is more narrative than circusy. But my goodness, the wow factor of the performance and special effects is stunning. Just to watch the first ten minutes - which I will not even attempt to describe because of my lack of necessary erudition and because I don't want to spoil it for anyone who has not yet seen it - is something you will never forget. The event is an aural and visual feast. If you are going to be in Vegas, be sure to see Love.