You might not think a conference center is the place you want to party on New Year's Eve--but only if you've never been to the annual black-tie gala hosted by International Conference Resorts. For two decades, the company has hosted its best clients in grand style at the Scottsdale Conference Resort in the Arizona Desert. (The word is the centerpieces get more elaborate every year.) Richard Joaquim, managing director of the Scottsdale Conference Resort and president of ICR, welcomed this year's 448 guests, promising that the year ahead would be a busy one for the company. "ICR's acquisition of four conference centers in 1998 marked the beginning of a pattern of growth that we expect to continue in 1999," he said.