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Why Meetings Mean Business to Las Vegas—and North America

April 16 marked the first North American Meetings Industry day, an initiative designed to throw the spotlight on the importance and value of meetings, conferences, conventions, incentive travel, trade shows, and exhibitions.

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Photo: Kabik

Chandra Allison is vice president of sales for the Venetian & the Palazzo as well as a board member of the Meetings Mean Business Coalition (@MeetingsMeanBiz).

The meetings industry in Las Vegas—and across North America—recently came together to celebrate the positive effects of the industry on our communities, during North American Meetings Industry Day on April 16. While Las Vegas is known as a leisure destination, its prominence for meetings and conventions has continued to strengthen.

The metrics certainly are impressive:

The meeting and convention industry supports $2 billion in Las Vegas wages and salaries and sustains 53,000 jobs, nearly 8,000 of which are at the Venetian, the Palazzo, and the Sands Expo alone.

These meetings bring a $7 billion total impact to our local economy.

And nationally, according to a study by PwC, our industry contributed more than $280 billion to the United States national economy and put another $88 billion back into the economy through federal, state, and local taxes in 2012.

In fact, Las Vegas has been named the number one trade show destination in North America for a record 21 consecutive years, and meetings and convention attendees accounted for nearly 13 percent of all visitors to Southern Nevada in 2014 or nearly 5.2 million visitors. Las Vegas hosts more than 22,000 meetings, conventions, trade shows, and incentive programs annually, ranging in size from 10 to more than 160,000 attendees. Nearly 25 of the world’s 200 largest conventions are held in the Venetian Palazzo Congress Center and the adjacent Sands Expo and Convention Center.

The North American Industry Day in Las Vegas featured a special “Meetings Mean Business Rally” at the Linq, attended by tourism employees, sales teams, meetings services organizations, news media, and elected officials. The event was planned by a committee of representatives of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and some of the largest hotel companies, including Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts International, Las Vegas Sands, and Wynn Resorts.

The meeting business keeps our meeting rooms, guest rooms, restaurants, showrooms, and shops full and busy during the week. This steady business volume throughout the week keeps jobs secure and plentiful. Steady employment is the foundation of our community and enables all of us to build our lives and futures with confidence.

It truly is a privilege to serve on the board of the Meetings Mean Business Coalition and help our industry and the public know the industry’s true value. On this North American Meetings Industry Day, it is the perfect time to reflect on the coalition’s three central pillars:

Creating Personal Connections
Personal relationships are at the core of every business decision, and face-to-face meetings provide professionals with that personal interaction, which leads to deeper relationships.

Driving Positive Business Outcomes
Meetings and events deliver profits, help win new accounts, serve as education platforms, and allow colleagues and partners to come together to innovate and achieve results.

Building Strong Communities
Outside of the results driven by business meetings, the event and meeting industry creates hundreds of thousands of jobs, generates billions of dollars of revenue, and supports communities across the country.

So if you are a member of the meeting industry in any capacity, take special pride in your work and contribution to your community and country. And share with your family, friends, and co-workers just how important your industry truly is.

Learn more about the Meetings Mean Business Coalition and the North American Meetings Industry Day (NAMID) here.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions in this article belong to the author, and do not necessarily represent those of BizBash.

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