Las Vegas Events Undeterred by Cancellation

Las VegasOther major upcoming Las Vegas trade shows and events are expected to go ahead as planned, following the recent cancellation of the National Association of Broadcasters’ (NAB) October convention.

The NAB Show event is one of Las Vegas’ top three annual trade show gatherings, in terms of attendance, attracting around 90,000 to 100,000 broadcasting professionals in the years before the pandemic. Its 2020 show was one of the first major conventions to be canceled in April 2020 when resorts and casinos in Las Vegas shut down for 78 days. The 2021 NAB trade show had previously been postponed from April and rescheduled for October before the cancelation.

“We deeply value our three-decade long partnership with NAB and will greatly miss seeing their exhibitors and attendees this fall,” said LVCVA president and CEO Steve Hill in a press statement. “We eagerly await the show’s return in April.”

Analyst Brendan Bussmann, director of government affairs for Las Vegas-based Global Market Advisors, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the move was expected.

“This will only further elongate our recovery as this is one of many conferences that are facing some tough decisions as attendees are choosing their travel carefully. Meetings and conventions are one of the key components to our long-term recovery and getting back to normal,” said Bussmann. “Many of the upcoming shows are making the decision to mandate vaccines, including G2E and CES. While this has helped with the current mask mandate per the governor’s latest directive, it will still be some time before business is fully back in Las Vegas. Once this latest curveball gets cleared, there is no doubt in my mind that the pent up demand to do business face to face will come roaring back. ”

IMEX America is going ahead with its 10th edition at Mandalay Bay on Nov. 9-11, and has confirmed that all participants must provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 to gain entry. IMEX published its safety plans in September and will employ the CLEAR Health Pass app for all North American attendees. The CLEAR app offers validated, onscreen proof of full vaccination status against the World Health Organization’s list of approved vaccines. IMEX will also be providing a specialized health clinic onsite, together with access to testing stations for homeward bound international travelers whose travel providers require them to show a negative test before departure.

“We’ve consulted widely about this decision and have been watching the events landscape in North America very closely these past weeks,” said Carina Bauer, CEO, IMEX Group, in a press statement. “The requirement for participants to prove their full vaccination status is fast becoming the unofficial ‘gold standard’ for large events in the US. Now that we’ve published our plans, we hope that everyone has enough time and space to make their own arrangements to attend the show.”

CES 2022, the Consumer Technology Association’s (CTA) international consumer electronics show is also going ahead at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Jan. 5-8, 2022. More than 4,000 exhibitors participate in the event each year, which is attended by over 170,000 professionals. CES moved to a successful all-digital event in January 2021, and in 2022 will incorporate a digital component that will allow audiences to experience the spirit of the event remotely. CES 2022 will also require in-person attendees to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination for entry.

“Based on today’s science, we understand vaccines offer us the best hope for stopping the spread of COVID-19,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA, in a press statement. “We all play a part in ending the pandemic through encouraging vaccinations and implementing the right safety protocols. We are taking on our responsibility by requiring proof of vaccination to attend CES 2022 in Las Vegas.”

Other major upcoming events in the calendar include the Global Gaming Expo (G2E), set to take place at the Venetian Expo on Oct. 4-7, 2021. The event has announced that proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be required in order to attend.

“Our highest priority for G2E 2021 is providing a safe and productive event for the global gaming industry,” said Meredith Pallante, vice president, global events at the American Gaming Association (AGA), in a press statement. “We know how important vaccines are to continuing gaming’s strong recovery. Vaccinations are also one more tool to help us safely welcome the industry back to Las Vegas for another fantastic show.”

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