While the ability to host events virtually has served the meetings and event industry well, nothing can ever replace the tangible power of live events, and it’s no secret they’ve been missed. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel — in the Entertainment Capital of the World. Las Vegas has been busy adding 2 million square feet of additional event space.
But that’s not all the city has been doing to prepare for the inevitable return of in-person gatherings. As the No. 1 trade show destination in the country, Las Vegas takes its responsibility seriously and is dedicated to prioritizing visitors’ health and wellness. It all comes together with Meet Smart, Vegas Smart, the first step in the right direction to reigniting the meetings and events business in Las Vegas.
True to the city’s mission, many of the venues available for events have COVID-19 precautions in place. As part of its Convene With Confidence program, MGM Resorts is offering meeting and event planners the option for on-site rapid COVID-19 testing. The Venetian Resort’s Venetian Clean Commitment, certified by Bureau Veritas, gives meeting and event planners the option to leverage CLEAR’s Health Pass for a frictionless and secure COVID-19 screening solution.
The Las Vegas Convention Center, McCarran International Airport, Resorts World Las Vegas, and Sands Expo & Convention Center have all attained GBAC STAR Facility Accreditation on outbreak prevention, response and recovery. Additionally, The Venetian Resort and Wynn Las Vegas are Sharecare Health Security VERIFIED with Forbes Travel Guide, which helps ensure that guests and planners can book with confidence at properties that have appropriate health and wellness procedures in place.
Overall, many resort partners have put together health and wellness plans based on the advice of public health officials. That’s Vegas Smart.
Missing Live Events
Vegas’ readiness comes at a time when it’s clear that people miss the human connection and experience you get with live events. In a study commissioned by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, 58% of business travelers said they were “burned out” on virtual business meetings and events and, after experiencing various restrictions for almost a year of the pandemic, nearly 91% of business travelers surveyed said they miss the face-to-face interaction of in-person business meetings and events.
The same survey also showed that event attendees believe in Las Vegas’ commitment to keeping them safe as live events resume — 74% of business travelers said that Las Vegas will be prepared to safely host in-person conferences, conventions and trade shows in the last half of 2021. When compared to other destinations, 33% chose Las Vegas as the destination best prepared to host safe in-person events, while no other destination was selected by more than 18% of respondents.
What’s New in Vegas
As capacity limits have increased, the city is now welcoming larger groups — because there’s definitely room for more:
- A newer addition to the Caesars Entertainment family, CAESARS FORUM offers more than 300,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, a 100,000-square-foot outdoor plaza, and features the two largest pillarless ballrooms in the world.
- The recently opened Circa Resort & Casino has unique meeting spaces, including the now famous Stadium Swim, rooftop pool amphitheater, and the Legacy Club, which overlooks the city from the 35th floor.
- Wynn Las Vegas’ newest expansion includes a 20,000-square-foot event pavilion and adjacent lawn, perfect for outdoor gatherings.
- The new West Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center offers 600,000 square feet of trade show space, with 150,000 square feet of dedicated meeting space, and a 14,000-square-foot outdoor terrace with sweeping views of the Strip.
- Part of the Curio Collection by Hilton, Virgin Hotels Las Vegas opened this past March with 117,000 square feet of flexible indoor meeting and event space.
- The immersive entertainment and event complex AREA15 opened in September 2020 and features 40,000 square feet of immersive indoor and outdoor event space.
- The new home to the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders, Allegiant Stadium offers more than 10 event spaces, including once-in-a-lifetime opportunities with settings that provide unique backdrops for a variety of group sizes on and off the football field.
- The highly anticipated megaresort Resorts World will open in June on the Strip, offering world-class entertainment and dining options with 350,000 square feet of event space, including 50 multifunctional, state-of-the-art meeting rooms, five banquet halls and a rooftop terrace.
Vegas Sets the Standard
With more than 14 million square feet of possible event space, approximately 150,000 rooms available (and 10,000 more by 2022), Las Vegas offers the best group value proposition in the world. The destination offers world-class resorts and meeting venues, with most hotels located within 15 minutes of McCarran International Airport; options for every culinary taste; and, of course, 320 days of sunshine per year. Las Vegas continues to set the standard for this new era of meetings with cutting-edge options for events of all sizes.
This post was written in partnership with BizBash