60 seconds with... Las Vegas' Chris Meyer

C&IT caught up with Chris Meyer, VP of global business sales at Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, on all the latest developments in the city, which hosted its fourth IMEX America last week.

How’s 2014 been for Las Vegas?

We’re having a record year this year and are on target to attract over 40m visitors to the city for the first time ever. Business and group sales are strong – up around 5% on 2013, with the number of convention delegates up 3.7% year to date through August compared to the same time last year. We had 22,000 events in 2013 and over 5.1m delegates, and many of our properties are reporting a high number and diversity of groups this year. We do host major trade shows and conventions, but 80% of the events are under 500 people, so we attract groups of all shapes and sizes and from all sectors too. The IT sector has always been strong for us, but we’re seeing financial services and healthcare, in particular, coming back.

How important are international markets for MICE business?

International meetings business has been a big focus for us and we now have dedicated staff in six markets globally including the UK, Sao Paulo, Mexico, Shanghai and Canada. We have seen an increase in international delegates attending large trade shows – as much as 30% of attendance, which is a positive trend. From the UK, we tend to see smaller groups coming out for sales incentives, but its increasingly popular, helped by the fact getting here is so easy now with direct daily flights from both Heathrow and Gatwick.

Has hosting IMEX America boosted business?

Yes we have definitely seen a boost as a result of hosting the show here. It’s a great partnership and has bought an audience to us that didn’t know much about the destination. It also works well in conjunction with the European IMEX show as Vegas gets a boost from Frankfurt and vice versa.

 

What’s new in Vegas for event planners?

The new SLS Hotel just opened on the strip in August, which is really cool. We’ve also seen the opening of The Cromwell hotel, which is a great all-suite boutique property and home to Giada restaurant, which is one of the most popular in town, and the Delano at Mandalay Bay this year. The High Roller big wheel opened at The Linq in April, and that offers some great group packages.

What’s in the pipeline?

We have lots of new developments in the pipeline, including an expansion to the Mandalay Bay convention center and development of a new meeting and special event project downtown. Across from the SLS, MGM is building an outdoor festival area, which will host the Rock in Rio festival next May for over 250,000 people across two weekends. MGM is also partnering with AEG on a $375m new 20,000-seat arena for 2016, while the Resorts World Las Vegas is expected to open in 2017. In addition, a planned $2.3bn Global Business District project is in the planning and funding stages are expected to be rolled out over the next five to eight years.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles
and free email bulletins.

Register now
Already registered?
Sign in
License to chill: Follow in Bond's footsteps

License to chill: Follow in Bond's footsteps

With new details about the latest filming locations in Jamaica released, we look at some of 007's previous business trips.

There is an industry expectation for people to 'work for free' to get experience

There is an industry expectation for people to 'work for free' to get experience

A-List 2019: AOK Events' senior account manager Louise O'Keeffe.

Top 6 incentive travel destinations named by CR Worldwide

Top 6 incentive travel destinations named by CR Worldwide

Game of Thrones location, an island dubbed the new Ibiza and a landlocked land of gorillas have all been tipped by incentive experts.

'A lot of clients use agencies as bait to get cross quotes, which isn't a fair way of working'

'A lot of clients use agencies as bait to get cross quotes, which isn't a fair way of working'

A-List 2019: Stephen McIntosh, head of experiential at Audience.

How to use influencer marketing for B2B events

How to use influencer marketing for B2B events

There are five key things to consider if you want to use the medium to its full potential, says Mariska Kesteloo from Word of MICE.

Which European city has the most bars, cafes and restaurants?

Which European city has the most bars, cafes and restaurants?

Study reveals the top UK and European cities for those wanting to eat and drink their way round a destination.

Last chance for early-bird entries to C&IT Awards

Last chance for early-bird entries to C&IT Awards

The deadline to enter the C&IT Awards at the early-bird entry price is Thursday 13 June.

'I don't think event management degrees know enough about real-life events'

'I don't think event management degrees know enough about real-life events'

A-List 2019: Fiona Kelly, senior project manager, The Turner Agency.

Experience12 hires three new staff in account management

Experience12 hires three new staff in account management

Agency brings in two new account managers and an executive to boost the London-based team.

Voice-activated entertainment systems and first-class cabins with three beds

Voice-activated entertainment systems and first-class cabins with three beds

Case study: Hamburg hosted 20th edition of the Aircraft Interiors Expo in April, full of the latest aviation innovations.

LATEST JOBS