An Attendee's Perspective
LAS VEGAS -- The 2014 Combined Sections Meeting is getting started. I've been in Las Vegas since Saturday evening for my preconference course. It was two days of sitting for eight hours listening to people read information off slides. The next three days will be three presentations of two hours each spread over the course of the day. In between, the expo center will be open.
I have to say I was disappointed with the preconference course. The information was good but very basic. They stressed evidence but very little was practical application. There were several presenters. I don't think they were accustomed to presenting to groups. Reading the lecture directly off the slides is boring and invites loss of attention.
I've already changed my mind several times about which courses I'll be attending. That happened to me at other CSMs so I was prepared. I printed the handouts for every presentation I thought I would want to attend. I have them all in a binder in sequential order, divided by days. Plus I carry a pad of paper for notes. I'm prepared. Once the expo hall opens, I'll also have plenty of pens, post-it notes and notepads.
People have been arriving throughout the day. The line for registration started before 8:00 this morning and was still there when I left my class this afternoon. I'm seeing more and more people carrying the CSM program as I walk through the hospital. This year they gave us a small tote bag when we registered. It will come in handy. I brought one from home (that one of my horses won) so now I have one for my program and binder and one for the expo center.
I'm staying in the Venetian. Vegas is a completely different world compared to everywhere else. The hotel is easily the size of a city block. During breaks we joked about getting lost walking from the hotel room to the convention center. This morning it took me almost 20 minutes to complete the walk without getting lost. You have to walk through the casino to get anywhere. People really are in the casinos at all hours.
There's a shopping mall built into the hotel. I've gotten lost every time I've tried to walk through it. The shops are mostly upper-end merchandise. I did find a few bargains though. During lunch today we decided the casino, while seemingly endless, is a good marker. If you can make it to the casino, you can find your way out.