Tale of the Tape: BlogWorld LA vs. BlogWorld Las Vegas

If you’re a sports fan, you probably remember those Nick Bakay Tale of the Tape segments on ESPN where he’s pit one team, mascot, segment of fans against another in a “vs”-type scenario (here’s an example). It was 10 percent serious, and 90 percent comedy, but at the end of the segment he always had a winner. They weren’t always the funniest comparisons (with the exception of the mascot Tale of the Tape between the Stanford Tree and the Cal Bear–that was one of my favorites), but I liked the way he set up the segment and I loved his patented “advantage–push” phrase.

So, I thought I’d completely steal Bakay’s approach and use it for an event I’m very excited about this week (Disclosure: I co-organize the Social Media Business Summit track and I’m speaking this year): BlogWorld.

This year, for the first time, BlogWorld is moving from Las Vegas (which had been its home for the last several years since its beginnings) to La-La Land. So, why not compare and contrast the two venues? While the content in LA looks to be fantastic, I want to focus more on the “intangibles” around the event–those factors that round out your BlogWorld experience. So, let’s break it down: Vegas vs. LA.

After-Hours Scene: Las Vegas casino clubs vs. Los Angeles downtown clubs

I’m just thinking about the clubs where BlogWorld parties have been held in the past. Many of which have felt like big-time, big-city clubs. With a mix of summer flair–remember the closing BlogWorld party a couple years ago poolside at the Hilton with the 100-foot Barry Manilow mural? LA will most likely offer more of the same in the downtown area around the Convention Center. Just look at the line-up of official BlogWorld party sites: ICON LA Ultra Lounge, J Lounge and The Belasco. LA should be pretty solid, but damn, I’m going to miss Jason Falls annual Slushie-Bar Party.

Advantage: LA (for the change of pace)

Airport: McCarran International vs. LAX

I haven’t flown through LA in years, but flying in and out of Vegas is always a relative breeze. Easy in, easy out. Very few weather delays. And very few delays period in my limited experience. LAX is a west coast hub airport, so it’s obviously going to have a heckuva a lot more traffic than McCarran. Also, one of the biggest perks of McCarran for BlogWorld visitors? FREE Wi-Fi! Doesn’t look like LAX offers the same perk.

Advantage: Vegas (gotta go with the free wi-fi)

Vibe: Drunken gamblers and tourists vs. Wannabe actors, writers and producers

Vegas is a city based on tourism–especially on the strip (where BlogWorld was basically held). So, you’re pretty much exposed to all tourists during your visit. LA will be much different. Sure, there will be some tourists, but we’ll also get a heavy dose of “Hollywood types”–actors, writers and producers and those aspiring to hold those positions. Plus, it’s LA, so we’ll undoubtedly see our fair share of folks who are far more concerned with style than substance. You’ve seen The Hills, right?

Advantage: Push

Sight-seeing: Gambling/Cirque du Soleil Shows/Elvis Sightings vs. Hollywood/Trips to the beach/Larry David Sightings

There may be no better sight-seeing city in the U.S. than Vegas. You have the casinos. You have the world-class shows. You have amusement park rides. And, of course, you have the people just walking around. It’s a feast for the senses. LA’s no slouch in this category though. The Hollywood sign. Many beaches just a short drive away. And, of course, many potential celebrity sighting opportunities. Tough call here.

Advantage: LA (just for the additional beach angle and the fact that LA has a bit more “soul” than Vegas)

What Makes the City Unique: The Strip vs. Hollywood

Let’s break this down. The Strip offers: Rollercoasters atop tall buildings; replicas of major worldwide landmarks, endless buffets. volcanoes, 128 oz. daiquiris; sports books; and the most wedding chapels per square mile in the US. Hollywood offers: Hollywood Bowl; the Capitol Records building; Kodak Theater, Hollywood walking tours; the Hollywood sign; and many different Hollywood studios.

Advantage: Vegas

Fine dining: Vegas vs. LA

Sure, when at BlogWorld you’re usually eating at least two meals a day on-site or very close to on-site at the event. But, you usually have dinner options. So, that’s 2-3 meals in a feature city–a chance to see some of the better haunts that city has to offers. In Vegas, that largely meant the many restaurants inside casinos on the strip–which is actually a pretty impressive list. Vegas has come a long way in terms of upscale dining. On the other hand, LA will offer a whole different dynamic. Given the money of Hollywood (and just a big city, in general), fine restaurants shouldn’t be hard to find. Especially down by the Convention Center. And, given the melting pot that is LA, I’m guessing we’ll also find a wide variety of good food from different ethnicities as well.

Advantage: LA

By my math, we have a 3-2 margin for LA, with a one Nick Bakay push, which is good because I’m really looking forward to LA this week. New city. New opportunities. And, since I haven’t been to LA in more than 20 years, I’m looking forward to re-exploring the city a bit. So, while I will miss Vegas, the casinos, the shows, and Jason Falls Slushie Mall Bar party, I think most can agree we’re looking forward to discovering a new city for BlogWorld this week.

Photo courtesy of ertailara via FlickR Creative Commons.

4 comments
kmskala
kmskala

Keep in mind I moved from downtown LA 5 years ago, so a lot has changed. However...

A) It's November, Hanson. No one in LA goes to the beach in November.

B) Actually, in my opinion, Vegas has some of the best food in the U.S. You'll find solid choices for food in LA, but at twice the price as Vegas. Tip: If you're a fan of pasta and you can get a table, check out La Scala in Beverly Hills. Not only does it match my last name, it's fantastic.

C) The "after conference" -- whether it's networking or grabbing a drink/food is a lot easier in Vegas.

Essentially, this is me trying to justify the fact that I'm not going. Enjoy LA. Take some time to get out of the downtown area and check out Santa Monica (3rd St. Promenade).

arikhanson
arikhanson moderator

@kmskala A) All the more reasons I want to go.Get the whole beach to myself! B) Vegas does have a nice lineup of choices, but the ambiance is hideous. I HATE eating $400 dinners in strip malls. C) Might be easier, but again, ambiance wise, LA has Vegas beat (in my opinion). Besides, gotta take cabs in Vegas, too.

Yeah, wish you were coming along. Damn man, I haven't seen you in a while. Need to change that soon.

Ari Herzog
Ari Herzog

@arikhanson You've never seen me -- and conferences like BlogWorld are partially the reason why.Help me understand why a conference that is supposed to represent something larger than the west coast is typically always held on the west coast. And, if it's not for the people you want/expect to see at these events, Arik, would you still go? You're sad @kmskala isn't going so what if you knew nobody going, would you still go? Is it about what you LEARN or who you SEE?

I won't be there. I'd love to speak at such an event but organizers apparently don't know who I am.

arikhanson
arikhanson moderator

@Ari Herzog@kmskala Actually, BlogWorld is not held in two destinations each year--NYC in the spring (May) and LA in the fall (Nov).

Your second question is a valid one. I do get a lot out of the networking--in fact, I dare say it's probably a bigger reason I go over the learning. As with most of these events, it's as much, if not more, about the people you meet and see as it is about the learning component.

And, about you speaking, I'd like to hear more. Chuck and I only organize a piece of BlogWorld, but if I better understood what you can/could speak to, I'd be happy to pass your name along to a few others folks. Shoot me a note at arik@arikhanson.com?