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The buildings are ready. Now all it takes are people.

Meetings, convention and trade show press heard from industry leaders in Las Vegas on Thursday and got their first glimpse of the $ 989 million, 1.4 million foot West Hall expansion squares of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority on World Meetings Industry Day.

Panelists said pent-up demand for a return to live face-to-face meetings is real, and major players in the Las Vegas meeting and convention industry say they are seeing impressive bookings for their show facilities.

“We are making great progress and I think things will continue to move quickly,” said Steve Hill, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

“There was already an appreciation of meetings and trade shows among our elected officials and I’m sure the absence makes the heart more loving,” Hill said. “It’s not a hard sell. Who can’t get enough of Zoom meetings? “

Two companies represented on the panel – Wynn Resorts Ltd. and Caesars Entertainment Inc. – just opened a whole new convention facility when the coronavirus took hold last March. Wynn’s new facility was only open for a few months, while the new Caesars Forum was only open for a few weeks when state health and government officials ordered closures to protect against the spread. virus.

Two other companies represented on the panel, Las Vegas Sands Corp. and MGM Resorts International, operate the city’s two largest private convention centers.

Chris Flatt, executive vice president of hotel sales and marketing at Wynn, said guests have craved back face-to-face meetings because they add to the energy that occurs when people build relationships. business. She added that in-person meetings also give attendees the opportunity to socialize and have fun while building business relationships.

“People are ready,” said Stephanie Glanzer, director of sales and senior vice president of sales for MGM Resorts International. “Groups were surprised by the popularity of face-to-face meetings.”

Mike Massari, director of sales for Caesars Entertainment, said meetings and shows are picking up where they left off in 2019.

“We have booked more in the past 12 months than we had” leading up to the closure, said Massari. “And that’s how you grow up.”

While meeting planners have emphasized the importance of meeting face to face, they have also worked hard to convince attendees that their return to Las Vegas will be safe.

MGM, for example, has implemented its Convene with Confidence program which allows for virus screening in hotel rooms and the ability to log an individual’s test results and possibly vaccination records through the company. Clear biometric identity application.

Chandra Allison, senior vice president of hotel sales and marketing at The Venetian and Las Vegas Sands Corp., said her company also had Venetian Clean, its own health and safety program that emphasizes cleaning. in-depth installations.

Allison said companies have added amenities in preparation for returning convention attendees. She noted that the most visible addition for Sands was happening next to the Sands Expo and Convention Center – the MSG Sphere at the Venetian, which is slated to open in 2023.

Hill said Las Vegas has an edge over its competition because longtime city fans already enjoy attending events there.

A recent poll indicated that convention attendees were confident they would be safe when they returned to meetings in Las Vegas and that Las Vegas is the best-equipped city to safely accommodate returning visitors.

The panel was hosted in the new West Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The LVCVA has the second largest convention center in the country with 4.5 million square feet with the addition of the West Hall.

The new west hall includes a 600,000 square foot concrete floor for a new showroom. Journalists were also to take a look at the property’s meeting rooms, food court, atrium and third-floor outdoor plaza when touring the building.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Sheldon Adelson, the late President and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at [email protected] or 702-477-3893. To pursue @RickVelotta on Twitter.



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