F&D 2021 Spring

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DESTINATION

LAS VEGAS

Spearheading the return of face-to-face conventions with health protocols and next-generation meeting venues

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By George Seli

ore than ever, meeting planners are looking for destinations that inspire confidence. As inperson conventions begin to make their return this year, they will bring a variety of concerns around implementing health protocols and, in many cases, hybrid formats. A destination partner that answers such concerns is crucial, as is a meeting site with significant drawing power since many delegates will remain hesitant to travel. Las Vegas meets all of these criteria. Indeed, prior to the pandemic, the city had proven itself as a top-drawing destination in the U.S. convention and tradeshow market, welcoming more than 6.6 million attendees in 2019. Part of the reason for that stellar performance year after year is the destination’s rich portfolio of meeting spaces, currently totaling nearly 14 million sq. ft. Five convention centers — the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), Mandalay Bay 12

Events Center, Sands Expo Center, CAESARS FORUM and The Expo at World Market Center — offer a diversity of choices for large groups that is unparalleled among U.S. destinations. The latter two venues opened last year, exemplifying how Las Vegas’ developers have forged ahead during these difficult times. “Even during the pandemic we’ve built an NFL stadium, we’ve built the West Hall [of the LVCC], we’re in the process of finishing the MSG Sphere [at the Venetian Resort], Resorts World is going to open this summer, and Elon Musk’s The Boring Company has launched its first commercial application of the underground transportation system at the LVCC campus,” says John Schreiber, Vice President of Business Sales at the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA). “So we’ve not rested at all during the pandemic; it’s given us a chance to enhance the customer FACILITIES & DESTINATIONS 2021 SPRING