Las Vegas is a group meetings and events mecca for many reasons, not the least of which is that the city—which offers more than 150,000 hotel rooms and 15 million sf of meeting and event space—is uniquely equipped to handle events of any size, style and purpose.
“Add in an ever-evolving roster of entertainment and sporting options, world-renowned dining, unique attractions and outdoor excursions, and it’s easy to see why Vegas remains a top choice for meetings and events year after year,” says Lisa Messina, chief sales officer, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
One key feature of Las Vegas is that it is home to some of the world’s largest convention centers. These centers are designed to handle the volume, traffic and grand-scale requirements that make a successful show. For example, the Las Vegas Convention Center’s recently completed $1 billion West Hall expansion added 1.4 million sf of space to the existing 3.2 million-sf campus, for a total of 4.6 million sf. This includes 600,000 sf of exhibition space, including 328,000 sf of column-free space, the largest column-free exhibition space in North America. The LVCC also is equipped with cutting-edge technology and innovation, including the Loop transportation system that is comprised of a fleet of all-electric Teslas that transport visitors across the campus via an underground tunnel system.
Messina also points out that, “As we continue our evolution into the ‘Greatest Arena on Earth,’ sports venues have become a popular option for planners.”
Among the popular sports venues for groups is the state-of-the-art Allegiant Stadium, home to the Las Vegas Raiders, and Formula 1’s Paddock Building, which is currently under construction for the November Las Vegas Grand Prix and will remain in operation year-round for special events and unique programming.
Las Vegas is also able to offer unique experiences through a variety of interesting and original event spaces located throughout the area. AREA15, located minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, is an experiential art, entertainment and event complex that offers 40,000 sf of customizable space along with a variety of dynamic activities perfect for networking or teambuilding.
And this city never sleeps when it comes to developing new venues, properties and attractions. The Fontainebleau Las Vegas is expected to open in December 2023 with 3,700 rooms and 550,000 sf of meeting and convention space. Mandalay Bay is in the middle of a $100 million remodel of its 2.1 million-sf convention center, with the renovation expected to be completed by the end of 2024.
But perhaps the most hotly anticipated upcoming venue is The Sphere, expected to debut in September 2023. The Sphere will feature 17,500 seats, an exosphere with 580,000 sf of programmable lighting, the largest and highest-resolution LED screen on earth, advanced acoustics and an infrasound haptic system enabling guests to feel sound.
All of this convention space, unique venues and one-of-a-kind attractions make Las Vegas a big draw for attendees, Messina says. One thing planners may find surprising, though they probably shouldn’t, is how much their attendance is likely to pick up when they host an event in Las Vegas. “On average we see a 9 percent increase when comparing attendance with the same event held elsewhere, which is a testament to the continued allure of the destination,” says Messina. “There is nothing quite like Las Vegas.”