What exactly goes on in the week leading up to an award show? If you have ever wondered what occurs in the days prior to the big show, we have your answer. Last month, Heineken offered a select few members of the media on a trip to Las Vegas to attend the 2013 Latin Grammys to get an idea as to what a presenter, performer and/or nominee goes through in the days before the 14th annual show. From being wined and dined to becoming heavily immersed in Latin culture to everything in between, this five-day adventure seemingly had it all.

In an effort to pair the use of technology with music, Heineken developed the Heineken House at the Eye Candy Lounge located at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino. Split into sections, the venue offered a visitor various opportunities to experience both aspects in a unique way. Upon entering, you immediately encounter the Sound Lab, a state-of-the-art recording studio which shows how the creative process unfolds right before your very eyes. Separated by only a plexiglass, anyone can see as iconic producer Toy Selectah works on the boards, instructs his talent and in the end, delivers an incredible final product. For Toy, it was all about having the music world and the everyday person connecting, experiencing new things and giving visitors an opportunity to see that incredible moment where artists come up something special without expecting anything at all. 

As you delved deeper into the Heineken House, you came across the Touch Lab which is where the company's initiative fully came to fruition. As consumers entered this section of the venue, they were surrounded by iPads and LG touchscreens which allowed a person to make their own beats with the help of some amazingly helpful apps while also getting more familiar with the artists that make up the roster at the 2013 Latin Grammys. For a couple seconds there, I seriously considered becoming a producer. Luckily, I came to my senses. 


The day before the Latin Grammys, we were given an exclusive tour where we saw the Media Room where the artists visit after winning an award and engaged with various media outlets, the Gifting Suite where they receive some free swag, and witness a rehearsal where presenters practice their lines and rapper Pitbull practiced his performance prior to hitting the stage the following night. 

In the week leading up to the Latin Grammys, you couldn't stroll through the Mandalay Bay Casino without hearing the alluring sounds of Latin music pumping outside of the Heineken House at night. Each evening, there was a new genre to discover, explore and possibly, fall in love with. All of which led into the big night where the likes of Marc Anthony, Wisin y Yandel and the aforementioned Pitbull performed.

The bright lights, vibrant sounds, the energy, the frenetic pace at which everyone behind-the-scenes worked were the type of things you simply cannot experience by simply watching on a TV. While the nominees and performers, who go through these shows every once in a while every year, probably get accustomed to it all, it was something that we will always remember and tell the kids about. OK, maybe not everything because you know how that famous Vegas saying goes...