On Monday and Tuesday this week, I’m nestled in that bosom of excess called Las Vegas while I attend a conference.

Before you mutter “Uh-huh” with a knowing smile, you might want to know that I intend to learn quite a bit at this year’s Society of Professional Journalists event.

I’ve attended the annual convention before, and I’m always amazed at the good stuff people share—tips, tricks, resources: it’s all here (and for a reasonable price).

(A few weeks ago, I wrote about another SPJ event, sponsored by our local chapter. It focused on social media. My blog post was in regard to what a mash-up professional groups can be.)

This year, my conference schedule opens with a half-day workshop on what we used to call “New Media.” It’s called “The Entire Conversation: Using Social Media Tools To Reach Content-Hungry Audiences.”

Are we really all that hungry? Well, I guess I’ll find out.

I also plan to improve my skills with our family iPad. Typically relegated to Netflix use, I have signed it out for the trip. I’m also intrigued by a conference-specific app that the SPJ has provided for free. Will it really improve my educational experience? (Inquiring minds want to know.)

My trips to Vegas are rare, but I lived there one summer back in 1992. I was summer-clerking for the United States Attorney’s Office, and it was a blast. I split my time between the criminal section and the organized crime/racketeering section—apparently they have both in Las Vegas! (Who knew?) The work was phenomenal, and the buffets back then? They were actually cheap. I hear things have changed quite a bit since then.

I plan to tweet some from the conference (Find me here.). You can follow all the tweets at the dedicated hashtag: #SPJ10

Here are a few other seminars I may attend (in no particular order):

  • NewsGear 2010
  • Expert Advice on Covering Disasters (and other breaking stories)
  • Weird Careers in Journalism
  • A Federal Shield Law
  • Covering Courts and Crime
  • Networked Journalism
  • How To Use Liveblogging and Webcasts
  • The Art of Access: Getting Public Records
  • Business Journalism
  • The Art of Interviewing
  • Google 101
  • Dangers of the Borderland Beat

I’ll give you a roundup of what I learned (and where I ate) when I return.