Today has been spent immersed in my first SATW conference. Like last night, I wish I’d had my camera handy when a bevy of folk dancers entered the room to entertain us during the opening ceremonies. So I ran upstairs and grabbed it in time to take photos of the crowd – more than 500 travel professionals in a single room! – and of the food.

SATW awards luncheon Chile
My first SATW awards luncheon. It won’t be my last!
Muster Awards SATW 2006
Lights dimmed for presentation of the Muster Awards

A traditional dish was served for lunch, consisting of a corn pudding with beef beneath and a hardboiled egg and olive within, and a multilayered dessert that melted on the tongue.

Chilean food
The mystery meal. It was fabulous.

Tim Cahill entertained us over lunch, and we’re off to the city tonight for late night dining at local restaurants and a chance to catch some of the nightlife.

Tim Cahill SATW 2006
Tim Cahill gives the keynote speech

Here are a few peeks at the conference venues. I’m staying in the Sheraton Hotel, where this luncheon is being held. Most of the conference events are at the Hyatt, which means taking a bus back and forth between them.

The Sheraton Santiago
The Sheraton Santiago
Hyatt Santiago
Pool and gardens of the Hyatt Santiago
Hyatt Santiago
Our opening reception at the Hyatt Santiago