IF YOU MISSED the 2005 ICPA convention in New York City, you missed one heck of a good time. Here's what I remember.
SUNDAY — Arriving at LaGuardia airport, I found myself in a traffic jam of epic proportions caused by 20,000 people running through the streets as if they were late for a sale at Bloomingdale's. It was the New York City Marathon and it was won by a guy from Kenya, just like last year and the year before that. I wonder if a guy from New York ever won the Kenyan Marathon.
After arriving at our host hotel, the Marriott Marquis, and registering for the conference, I roamed the streets of New York and was amazed at all of the deals I found. I bought a really nice watch for only $25! I don't mean to brag but I am now the proud owner of a R-O-L-E-C-K-S.
MONDAY — Monday morning was packed with speakers, seminars, and the marketplace, but in the evening we experienced real American history.
Monday night's party was held on Ellis Island, the gateway for millions of immigrants in the early 20th century. To appreciate the real immigrant experience, we were placed on buses to travel three miles in Manhattan traffic. I'm not saying that traffic was bad, but as I looked out the bus window I saw people in walkers passing us by. Eventually we made it to Battery Park where we were placed on a boat bound for Ellis Island, just like the first immigrants.
We were met by a brass band, servers giving us glasses of wine, and a standing ovation…just like the first immigrants. In the Great Hall we feasted on food from all of New York's boroughs and had our pictures taken with the Mime of Liberty. Then, it started to get nutty. Before you could say “Saturday Night Fever,” we were surrounded by the Dancing Showgirls, although I don't think that was their real name. They were attractive women who couldn't afford a lot of clothing. Then it was time to get back on the boat and go back to where we came from…just like the immigrants who didn't pass admissions.
TUESDAY — It was Election Day in New York City and Mayor Bloomberg won a second term in a landslide. I voted for him three times and I don't even live in New York. We spent our day in informative meetings and spent our evening at another party, at the Sheraton New York, which also hosted Mayor Bloomberg's victory party. His party had music and balloons and people wearing campaign buttons. Ours had great music, fantastic food, and transvestites. I went to both parties because I am a firm believer in the two-party system.
WEDNESDAY — The final day of the conference was capped off with a speech by Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City and a man whose name would cost a lot of money to solve as a puzzle on “Wheel of Fortune”: 12 letters, and seven of them vowels. Then the new name of ICPA was announced: Beginning immediately, ICPA will be known as, which needs a few vowels just to become pronounceable.
At the final event, a delightful party at the Marriott Marquis, we had an excellent meal and then were treated to what could best be described as a two-man band — well, one man and a woman on congas. The party went on until the wee hours, at which point I had to wee, so I called it a night.
It was another fantastic week with my friends from FICP, née ICPA, and I hope we can do it all over again next year.
To have Dale Irvin professionally summarize your next meeting, call Speak Inc. at (848) 457-9880.