As the leading destination for business travelers, Las Vegas welcomed more than 6.6 million convention and trade show attendees in 2019 and, for the past 26 years, according to Trade Show News Network (TSNN), was named the country’s No. 1 trade show destination.
While Las Vegas has an excellent reputation for its citywide conventions, this is also a meetings destination that knows how to service smaller groups. In fact, small- and medium-sized meetings make up the majority of the events this eternally popular city hosts every year.
To reinforce its standing as a top meeting destination, Las Vegas set out to better understand business travel sentiment among U.S. business travelers, specifically for the second half of 2021, when the COVID-19 vaccine becomes widely available. To this end, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) commissioned proprietary quantitative research to address the topic.
In conclusion, and of no great surprise, was that 91% of business travelers expressed the fact that they miss face-to-face interaction.
When considering the last half of 2021, a strong majority of business travelers (74%) believe that Las Vegas will be prepared to safely host in-person conferences, conventions and trade shows during that timeframe. In fact, when comparing Las Vegas against other major U.S. business destinations, business travelers see Las Vegas as the destination best prepared to safely host in-person business conferences, conventions and trade shows in the last half of 2021.
This confidence is well earned. Las Vegas has launched the citywide “Meet Smart, Vegas Smart” campaign with a host of protocols (show organizers should check directly with the convention sales manager at their venue for full details around operations and compliance with reopening protocols). And Las Vegas’ McCarran Airport (LAS) will continue with its “All In” campaign to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 with its best practices and guidelines of local and national health officials.
Additionally, most of the destination’s resorts have some type of health and safety protocol in place, such as MGM Resorts International’s “Convene With Confidence” that begins before guests arrive and ends with check-out and clean up. That includes ARIA’s “Seven-Point Safety Plan,” a comprehensive, multi-layered approach that includes screening, temperature checks, physical distancing and enhanced sanitation. MGM is also pioneering a COVID-19 pilot testing protocol with some of the most cutting-edge companies, so planners can create a safe perimeter around their events.
With no shortage of Vegas venues for meeting professionals to choose from—including Wynn’s 20,000-sf outdoor Event Pavilion that looks out over Wynn Golf Club’s 18th hole fairway and signature waterfall—2020 added more than two million sf of meeting space, including the expansions of the Las Vegas Convention Center’s West Hall, the Wynn Las Vegas convention space, and the addition of CAESARS FORUM. The latter is a $375 million, 550,000-sf conference center located on the Las Vegas Strip, features the world’s two largest pillarless ballrooms and played host to its first group at the end of October 2020 with ConferenceDirect’s annual partner meeting.
Las Vegas also celebrated the debut of Circa Resort & Casino in downtown and Allegiant Stadium, home to the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders. The latter is home to 10 versatile event spaces, and once-in-a-lifetime events include dinner on the 50-yard line, or a reception overlooking the Las Vegas skyline; there’s also exclusive access to Raider enhancements. At Circa, one of the coolest venues for events is the rooftop pool amphitheater, which features a 40-ft-tall screen, hundreds of chaises lounges and six tiered pools.
Another meeting venue turning heads is The Stella Studio, a new, multi-functional venue with over 8,000 sf of flexible event space that’s perfect for VIPs who prefer a more intimate setting. Located in The Palazzo tower in The Venetian, the space offers a modern minimalist style. It’s highly customizable to meet the needs of small to midsize groups. The studio’s kitchen and bar make the space ideal for receptions, coffee and Continental breakfast. Planners looking for a more intimate place to gather, with just 1,495 guest rooms, MGM’s casino-free, smoke-free Vdara Hotel & Spa offers the convenience of a room on The Strip, with stylish, contemporary setting and amenities.
A new resort awaiting meeting professionals is Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, Curio Collection by Hilton. Opening early this year, the property features 1,504 well-appointed chambers, grand chamber and penthouse suites, and 130,000 sf of expansive indoor and outdoor meeting space. Your attendees will delight in this new resort with multiple pools sprawled over five acres, world-class restaurants, lounges and bars.
Las Vegas delivers not just first-class existing facilities, but a host of new ones as well, and in all cases, professionally developed health and safety protocols for the safety and wellbeing of your attendees. Look at Las Vegas now and for the future.
For more information, visit vegasmeansbusiness.com.