What does it mean to “meet smart” in a post-Covid-19 world? Responsible event professionals are partnering with destinations and venues that understand attendees today are looking for inspirational experiences that marry thoughtful safety protocols within an exciting destination that fuels engagement beyond what is possible through a computer screen.
The recipe for a can’t-miss meeting starts with easy access and ample meetings and event space. Add a dash of modern, tech-enhanced spaces and a generous helping of exciting dining experiences, sports and entertainment and you have the makings of a must-visit meetings destination.
A Trusted Partner
A recent study by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) showed that a majority of business travelers (74%) believe Las Vegas will be prepared to safely host in-person conferences, conventions and trade shows by the second half of the year.
The meetings and events pros in Las Vegas have been thinking about how to get everyone together safely for the last year, and they have developed some creative answers. The innovative COVID Trace contact tracing mobile app developed by the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services leverages Google and Apple’s Exposure Notifications System to embed peace of mind in every event. Hospitality workers have been prioritized for vaccinations and venues across the destination have invested in bioprotection and antimicrobial measures, as well as technology for safer registration and F&B experiences.
Recent Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR certification is more than a stamp of approval; it is a new way of creating a positive framework for meeting responsibly. The expanded Las Vegas Convention Center was the first facility in Nevada to receive certification from ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, and is considered the gold standard for safe facilities. Also certified are Sands Expo Convention Center, McCarran International Airport and the soon to open Resorts World Las Vegas.
Wide Open Spaces
Throughout 2020, Las Vegas added 2 million square feet of new, distinctive and flexible venues with lots of opportunities to get outside for team building and more.
Virgin Hotels Las Vegas and Curio Collection by Hilton recently welcomed the first guests to 1,500 “chambers” off the Vegas Strip, with design inspired by the desert landscape. The completely redesigned former Hard Rock Hotel will eventually include a five-acre desert pool oasis with an event lawn, a live music and entertainment theater with room for 4,500 delegates, 24 meeting rooms, and 12 varied dining concepts.
On June 24, global casino resort developer and operator Genting Group will throw open the doors on Resorts World, three luxury Hilton brands—Conrad Las Vegas, Crockfords Las Vegas and Las Vegas Hilton. The massive new build on the Strip across the street from the Las Vegas Convention Center will include a 100,000-square-foot event center, 40 dining options on site, and an array of immersive LED walls for personalizing the space.
Wynn/Encore Las Vegas debuted its new 439,000 square feet of meeting space in February 2020 and has developed a signature health and safety plan that includes outdoor spaces overlooking Wynn Golf Club’s 18th fairway and waterfall.
SAHARA Las Vegas is focusing on intimate, boutique events that are big on style, sophistication and service. While the recently remodeled venue boasts 80,000 square feet of indoor-outdoor space, including a 9,000-square-foot ballroom, it is known for its 19 distinctive venues.
MGM Resorts International, which completed a 250,000-square-foot expansion of MGM Grand Conference Center in 2019, is now focusing on digital innovation to improve the attendee experience with contactless check-in and other pandemic-proofing measures.
All Together Now
These major meeting destinations worked together over the last year to ensure that wherever visitors ventured on the Strip and throughout the destination, they would feel safe and welcome. At a shared panel at the expanded Las Vegas Convention Center West Hall celebrating Global Meetings Industry Day, hospitality representatives shared their optimism for the future of events.
“Now that we have all seen what it feels like to have to do without, we will be stronger,” said Steve Hill, LVCVA president and CEO.