Well, there were over 5,000 at this year’s spectacularly successful Virtuoso Travel Week VTW, at some of MGM’s properties in Las Vegas, 12-18 August 2023. It is now so large that actually there were two major bases, ARIA and BELLAGIO, with concurrent events at both. Bellagio President Ann Hoff, introducing a press lunch at the property’s Mayfair Supper Club, pointed that Bellagio alone has 3,390 rooms, and 6,000 employees, of whom 1,300 have been there since the 2004 opening.
On the final full day, Embark Beyond’s Jack Ezon and Kempinski’s Amanda Elder, above, coincided at breakfast at Sardelle’s, in Bellagio. Others, meanwhile, were doing laid-on breakfasts – remarkably good, to be fair – in ballrooms at both host resorts. And lines at various to-go places, especially Aria’s Patisserie and Bellagio’s Palio and both places’ numerous Starbuck’s, stretched far far back.
How DO you manage so many people? Technology and military strategy. The Virtuoso app is really easy to use and has dispensed with nearly all paper. On the organisation side, there were armies of helpers ready to usher hordes, wherever.
Virtuoso is stretching, back from the necessary cut-off at the after party following Thursday’s gala. This year, Matthew Upchurch’s office set up camp at 7am on Sunday 6th August, with team cruise meeting Thursday 10th and workshops from Saturday 12th on. (Before that, both Internova and SmartFlyer had hosted industry event, interestingly both, simultaneously, at MAYBOURNE BEVERLY HILLS.)
Sunday night’s main opening started with words of wisdom from Matthew Upchurch and London-based young leader Steven Bartlett (The Diary of a CEO podcasts, and conceptor of Thirdweb and Flight Story). After a succession of evening events some did manage to get to bed at a fairly reasonable hour.