The VIBE Experience kicks off at the Palazzo in Las Vegas tomorrow, boasting an estimated 550 attendees, including approximately 225 chain and hotel beverage executives representing the nation’s largest dining and hotel chains, as well as numerous regional and fast-growing operations.
Nearly 80 sponsors stepped up to support the conference – and in doing so, their chain operator partners -- which will make VIBE a standout event.
From top-notch keynoters and presenters to action-oriented workshops, the VIBE agenda is jam-packed with informative and inspirational content. Networking opportunities abound as well, with breaks throughout the day and two dynamic cocktail parties.
Although it’s only in its second year, as with any hospitality concept, VIBE is evolving. Here’s a look at what’s new at the 2011 VIBE Experience:
• CORE (Children of Restaurant Employees) is now the official charity of VIBE, and VIBE attendees have a unique opportunity to support it through the Silent and LIVE Auction Fundraiser throughout the day and at the cocktail party on Wednesday, March 9, where Super Bowl XXXV Champion (former Baltimore Raven) and FOX NFL Analyst, Tony "The Goose" Siragusa will announce the Silent Auction winners, as well as host the Live Auction. As a second-generation restaurateur, Sirgusa is a strong supporter of CORE, and will provide some very valuable packages and prizes for Live Auction bid. Anyone who knows him or watches him on FOX NFL knows how much fun this Retro Revival Happy Hour and Auction event will be, adding to your enjoyment of raising money for a cause as worthy as CORE.
• Red Bull Lounge, open for informal meetings or just "shooting the bull" from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 9. Take advantage of this space and hospitality from Red Bull to make the most of your VIBE connections.
• The VIBE Supplier Excellence Awards will be presented on Thursday, March 10. The awards were created in recognition of beverage supplier partners demonstrating the ultimate professionalism and knowledge of their accounts' beverage business and their stellar assistance to these customers in reaching their beverage sales and marketing objectives. Winners are selected by chain beverage operators, from a list of pre-qualified companies in each category that have been approved by the operator members of the VIBE Advisory Council. The judging criteria includes innovation and creativity, understanding of the operator's needs, service levels such as communication and timely response, business-building programs and support, as well as training programs and support. Here are the VIBE Supplier Excellence Awards categories: Beer (Large Company, Small Company), Wine (Large Company, Small Company), Spirits (Large Company, Small Company), Non-Alcohol/Mixers (Large Company, Small Company), Allied Suppliers (one award, Glassware, Equip, Technology), Consultants & Agencies (one award). Good luck to all the nominated suppliers!