A meeting with Bill and George…

Jun. 8, 2015, 10:16am

IMG_20150330_121922When the e-mail arrived inviting me to the Wyndham Hotel Group Global Conference in Las Vegas, my interest was low. However, the reference to the keynote speakers “two former Presidents” caught my attention.

“Former Presidents of what” I asked. The reply…Numbers 42 and 43 – former Presidents of the USA!

Hard to believe really. Two of them…. isn’t that greedy?

Further e-mails followed but even then it took some consideration, cogitation, procrastination, but eventually I took the plunge and booked.

One word to describe the whole thing? Sorry but an Americanism …. “awesome”.

  • Six thousand delegates (and me) at the Global conference of the largest hotel operator in the world (7650 hotels and counting);
  • Mandalay Bay Resort Hotel (2800 rooms);
  • Hotel exhibition areas big enough to park several jumbo jets (and there were two of these areas, plus further convention space);
  • All 6,000 delegates fed breakfast, lunch and dinner and absolutely perfectly managed
  • was ….. awesome.

The Americans certainly know how to organise a party in the middle of the desert (yes, the picture below is me attending a beach party in the desert)!

IMG_20150401_193729Anyway, following many nights of beer drinking and superb meals the hour came.Very tight security. You needed your name badge and passport to get in. 6,000 of us in one room.

At noon – Bill and George came in.

I was about 100 feet away. No photos allowed though. The presence of the Secret Service (why are they secret when you can see them?) meant that would have been dangerous.

Their one hour chat (admittedly prompted  by very gentle questions from the moderator) was both riveting and thrilling. What seemed like name dropping (Mandela; Helmut Kohl; Yitzhak Rabin and the Dalai Lama etc) was actually people they worked with. Truly surreal.

And their relationship (Hilary about to run; and Jeb still considering); was empathetic and very friendly. You could believe they were two very old friends.

The winner? George was much better than his public persona would have you believe; his self deprecating jokes were excellent. Bill though was truly electric.

It was all over in the blink of an eye. The cost $1M?

All I can say is, what an opportunity and… oh, yes “AWESOME”!!

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