So, I won an Emmy. Well, more accurately we won an Emmy. To be completely accurate, my company was nominated for and awarded a Technology & Engineering Emmy in the category of “Secure Accelerate File Movement Over IP, Including the Internet”.

What this meant was thanks to some scheduling conflicts experienced by some of my more senior coworkers, I got to fly to Las Vegas and participate in the awards ceremony. Given that the day we flew out, the temperature in Ottawa was in the process of dropping down to -30 Celsius, I was even more thrilled than I might otherwise be.

The Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards were very much like any award dinner. There was no red carpet or throngs of paparazzi but that wasn’t much of a surprise as we didn’t have much in the way of celebrity. There were a few people who were big deals in the industry but not household names. The crowd of attendees was mostly men in mostly suits. There were a few outliers like the old bearded sysadmin in jeans and a t-shirt and the young guy in the ultra-modern tuxedo, but otherwise it was men in suits.

As we waited for the doors to the dining area to open, people mingled, drank, ate an amazing variety of amuse-bouches (the duck wontons were the highlight), and had their photo taken in front of the award backdrop.

Eventually, we were allowed into the dining room where we were fed one of the most amazing meals I have ever had. As I sipped my practically perfect coffee, our hosts appeared on stage: Alex Trebek and David Pogue. They exchanged some light hearted banter and Mr. Pogue performed a musical number that he had written for the event.

At our table we exchanged some banter ourselves as we waited through the various other awards until it was our turn. Efficient and well dressed assistants slipped up to our table and informed us it was time to go up to wait by the stage. There we stood, listening to our esteemed competition until, finally, we were ushered on stage.

Much to our disappointment, Mr. Trebek had retired from the stage prior to our award. So, sadly the Jeopardy clue in our acceptance speech was not quite as awesome as it could have been. After the speech, we were whisked away back stage where we did get to meet with Mr. Trebek, get a couple of photos with him, and exchange our stage Emmy for the real one that we got to take home. After that, I regret to say, we did not return immediately to the ceremony, but instead took the opportunity to take more pictures.

We returned in time for the final awards and then the ceremony was done and it was time to move on.

All of the bars in the Bellagio complex were full of Emmy winners who got there before us, so we kept moving. Walking through Las Vegas carrying a major award is a fascinating experience. The crowds were evenly split between asking if it was real and if they could get their picture taken with us. I did wish I had a giant silly straw to attach to it.

We ended up at Planet Hollywood where we hung out with a rock star (@Sarahvegas on twitter) and partied like Emmy winners until what was the wee hours of the morning in Ottawa (but was 3 hours earlier in Vegas).

So for those who have wondered, THAT’S what winning an Emmy is like.