I love people-watching when I travel, and Las Vegas is one of those places where you can always find something of interest. When I’m with a group of girlfriends for one of our spa-pool-show weekends, we have a good time with everyone’s favorite Vegas spectator sports – Which State are They From? and Is She a Pro? (honestly. sometimes it’s hard to tell).

Things are a bit different when traveling to Sin City on business, usually since you know almost everyone around you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the sport of People Watching.  I’ve decided that during conferences it’s fun to see  how people handle the off-times, and I’m rarely disappointed.     Like tourists, I’ve noticed people tend to fall into 3 different categories:

The Partiers: This group tends to be single and have lots of stamina.  And I mean LOTS.  You can see them all over the strip – traveling in packs with nametags or company logowear, taking multiple huggy-pics on their mobile phones.   Some are drinking heavily, and others are trying to pace themselves – with varying success.  All are planning their next stop after the company-sponsored reception is over, usually in loud voices.  Most make it back to the hotel at some point during the night and snatch a few hours of sleep.   Others will toddle into their hotel rooms in time to shower and get ready for the next day’s round of sessions.  You know who you are, and trust me – so does everyone else.

The Parents: This group obviously doesn’t get out much.   They REALLY want to party and have a good time, but it’s way past their bedtime at home.  They’re not used to staying up late, but stick it out for a while with the partiers because they know no little one is going to wake them up at 5am.  They know they get to sleep in until 7 before their first session in the morning so figure they need to make the most of their one night without responsibilities.   Some look all-in after one drink, others can go the distance with the best of the Party Crowd.  One easy way to tell them from the Partiers – they’re the ones showing pictures of their adorable little ones on their cell phones to everyone they see, in between yawns and drinks.

The Chaperones: With this group,  if you asked their age, you’d get clocked.  Let’s just say they’ve gone through the Partiers and the Parents stage, and now they’re at the age where they’re sipping their lone cocktail, and watching the other groups.  What they’re really doing is laughing and making bets on who is going to make it back to the hotel that night.   Having a few Chaperones along on an evening reception is not a bad idea.  They’re usually the ones who make sure the others they find who are out of hand make it back to the hotel in what is relatively one piece.   They’re also the ones the next day who are bright and cheerful at breakfast, and razzing those who are hanging over their coffee in pain.

Whichever group you belong to, enjoy the delights of Sin City and remember – when at a company convention, what Happens in Vegas DOES NOT Stay in Vegas!  And you KNOW who you are (so do we!).

View from the Mix Lounge at THE Hotel.