IMEX America is now in its sixth year, what is it like to be able to invite this many event planners to your destination?
For us it is a very proud feeling to expose the destination in a very professional way to a lot of buyers, incentive planners, event marketers, and really the whole audience that comprises the convention sector. It has been a real win for Las Vegas and it has changed the perception of the destination for a lot of people.
How important is MICE to Las Vegas?
It generates $9.6bn (£7.85bn) worth of direct economic impact; over 22,000 meetings - more than any other destination on planet earth; and 5.8bn business attendees to various sized meetings. These can range from a ten person board meeting to the 176,000 consumer electronic show.
Is there a side to the destination that not many people know about?
One of the things travellers are really looking for are unique experiences and we literally have hundreds of those. For example, the world’s largest observation wheel at The Linq. Groups can go up there and have a 30-minute cocktail reception for up to 40 people and it’s something really unique. Then you’ve got MGM where the hotel has an outdoor space that is right next to the new T Mobile arena just off the strip.
LVCVA’s new ‘interactive wall’ debuted this week and will be rolled out again at World Travel Market in London next month. What was the thought process behind this huge piece of technology?
It was all about providing engagement and learning about the needs of our customers and potential new customers. IMEX brings a focused buyer to this trade show which allows us to have a very in depth conversation about the business opportunities they could bring to Las Vegas.
Lastly, what future developments can event planners get excited about?
We had a big announcement made recently revealing that £3.3bn is being committed to southern Nevada to grow our destination in the tourism sector. We received funding approval for the expansion and renovation of the Las Vegas Convention Centre, a project that will begin very quickly and help to keep the venue relevant for the next 25 years.
We also got funding to construct a 55,000-seat dome stadium. We hope to attract the Oakland Raiders football team to Las Vegas, but it will also give us a chance to showcase some European football matches, too. These will be constructed in the next 3-5 years and is will allow us to attract some unique business events and festivals. There’s demand out there because of the visitor volume into Las Vegas.• For more breaking news, as well as in-depth features and case studies, sign up to C&IT Magazine's daily Newstracker here