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PLANNER: MICHELE SCOTT
Director of Events
It takes a certain kind of planner to wrangle a group of 8,000 and brush it off as no big deal. You need to be a person who sleeps easy and stomps on excuses. It helps if you have a hotel conference staff who knows what they’re doing, too. And a 17,000-seat arena attached to the side door where Elton John, U2, Madonna and the Stones perform.
Say hi to Michele Scott, director of events for Arbonne International. The company formulates botanically-based skin care and personal care products, distributed through an international network of independent consultants. In April, Scott put together Arbonne’s annual meeting for 8,000 attendees at MGM Grand Las Vegas, involving training, recognition and product launches.
“I have to say the staff really gets it at MGM,” says Scott. “I don’t have to educate anyone, which is great. It lets you pay attention to what you need to pay attention to.” She says size, availability and decent weather were major factors involved in the decision to book the enormous 5,044-room hotel.
“The glitz and glamour is appealing, too. Like MGM’s conference center, everything is already beautiful. We only had to brand our identity, we didn’t need to bring in anything to make it pretty.”
The attendees were on their own for dinners, except one night where Scott organized a “re-celebrated New Year’s Eve” event for 1,000. Buffet stations were spread around the room representing nine of MGM’s restaurants, including: FiAMMA Trattoria, craftsteak, SEABLUE and Diego. Desserts were baked in star chef Joel Robuchon’s kitchen.
“We, along with MGM Mirage Events, transformed the Premier Ballroom into the most grand New Year’s Eve party even New York City has ever seen,” says Scott.
What was some of the feedback about the dining?
“Well, it’s pretty amazing all around,” says Scott. “Quite a few people raved about craftsteak.”
Scott also booked the 5-diamond Picasso at Bellagio for a formal dinner for 150 VIPs.
“Very elegant. Very high-end. Just magnificent,” she says. “This is a special recognition dinner deserving of such an extraordinary restaurant.”
Michele, tell us about the rooms.
“All the rooms at MGM and Signature Suites are great, but if you’re looking for a truly amazing experience, the Skylofts are gorgeous. I’ve never seen anything like them. You have a butler and everything is electronically controlled,” she enthuses. “They have an infinity tub and this amazing shower, and there’s a television inside the bathroom mirror. I mean, right inside the mirror. It’s awesome! If it’s not in the 1000 Places To See Before You Die book, then they need to change it to 1001.”