How the Stars Partied Before the VMAs

With the MTV Video Music Awards on Thursday night, stars including Jessica Simpson, Vanessa Minnillo and Justin Timberlake have been in New York City all week to host parties, hit the clubs and collect swag from celebrity suites. Though the awards will be at Radio City Music Hall (check out the nominees here), PEOPLE hit all the hot pre-VMA events – which are sometimes as memorable as the show itself:

During the day on Tuesday at Marquee, celebs swarmed the Polaroid Lounge, cruising for the perfect freebee:Vanessa Minnillo sipped champagne while booking through the suite in a mere 15 minutes. Why? She was late for work. Still, she collected gear including a camera and a Sidekick, which may come in handy for keeping in touch with Nick Lachey when he's on the road.

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