At a traveling roadshow promoting the opening of Caesars Forum, Las Vegas’ newest conference center, Smart Meetings chatted with Lisa Messina, vice president of sales at Caesars Entertainment, about trends she is seeing in the meetings and event industry during the 14-city tour called “All Roads Lead to Caesars Forum.” The five-week tour, which began in Dallas on Feb. 11, is offering a pop-up preview of the 550,000-square-foot conference center that opens March 18.

Crafting Spaces for Creativity

Lisa Messina

Messina said creativity is taking centerstage with the planners she has met on the tour. “We were in Washington, D.C., two weeks ago, and a customer was literally showing off her diagram because she can do something in the forum ballroom that she’s never been able to do before,” she said. “There’s a lot of excitement around being able to design the events that our customers have been wanting to do, but maybe they didn’t have the space, or there was an obstacle of some sort.”

The new Caesars space, Messina said, “Lets people’s creative side come out.”

Campus Feel

From Google to Facebook, businesses have adopted a campus-like atmosphere. “I think it’s very natural that organizations want collaborative workspaces. They want places where people are naturally creative, and creativity comes from you and me talking versus me sitting in my cubicle or my home office,” Messina said. “And it’s like ‘Hey, let’s go grab a coffee and talk about x.’”

Large, often outdoor, spaces provide the relaxed ambiance that stimulate productive teaming. Messina refers to this as a “throwback to school,” adding, “It’s the connection. The whole reason you have face-to-face meetings is because of the collaboration, the connection and the engagement. That’s what the campus feel allows you to do.”