Don't Miss

Why take a group to Vegas?

By on November 13, 2013

Apparently what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, hence the name Sin City. Now, such terms may not exactly conjure up images of absolute professionalism, however, the WEC proved that Vegas has in fact a perfect balance of both work and play, which enabled attendees to achieve their objectives of networking and learning. The bright, lively ambiance of Las Vegas turned the daily taxing grind of conference itineraries into a productive and enjoyable retreat. The city proved itself to be a great conference destination, so I sat down with Chris Meyer, Vice President of Global Business Sales for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to talk about the benefits of planning in Sin City.

No other destination offers the experience and value of Las Vegas. With 10.7 million square feet of meeting and exhibit space, and expertise in hosting groups of all sizes and budgets, Las Vegas is one of the world’s premier meetings destinations. Events held in Las Vegas also enjoy increased attendance. On average, attendance increases 13 percent when conventions rotate into Las Vegas. Research also shows that attendees spend more time in meetings and on the trade show floor when programs are held in Las Vegas.

Q How do you view your geographic location as an advantage?

With more than 950 inbound and outbound flights per day and nonstop service from 130-plus U.S. cities, Las Vegas is easy on your time and budget. Also, McCarran International Airport is conveniently located just one mile from Las Vegas Boulevard and 3.5 miles from the Las Vegas Convention Center. More than 150,000 hotel rooms are in Las Vegas, most within a 15-minute drive from the airport.

Q. What are the traditionally high and low seasons and what are the advantages with each season?

Las Vegas is an exciting and attractive destination because it holds special events and has a busy convention calendar throughout the entire year. In addition, Las Vegas averages 320 days of sunshine per year and averages less than five inches of precipitation annually.  This warm, dry climate is attractive for meetings throughout the year.

Q. What are some of the seasonal activities and attractions?

Las Vegas hosts some of the most exciting special and sporting events in the nation, many of which are the top events in their respective industries.  From NASCAR to National Finals Rodeo to major sports like baseball, basketball and more, sporting events are always successful in Las Vegas. 

Other special events such as major concerts, Bon Appetite’s Vegas Uncork’d and Las Vegas’ annual New Year’s Eve celebration dubbed “America’s Party” also bring national attention to the destination.

Q. What are some of the activities a group could participate in, teambuilding or otherwise?

Las Vegas offers a number of group and teambuilding activities depending on the focus.  From sailing over Fremont Street on the highly popular ziplines, to the Richard Petty Driving Experience, helicopter tours, Colorado River Rafting, to Dig This, a unique attraction allowing visitors to drive bulldozers and excavators, Las Vegas has something for everyone.  The activities are really only limited to your imagination.

Q. Can you provide some fast facts for planners, number of hotels, rooms, number, unique meeting rooms, conference and/or convention centre info?

  • More than 10.7 million square feet of meeting and exhibition space
  • 3 of the 10 largest convention centers in North America with the Las Vegas Convention Center, Sands Convention Center, and Mandalay Bay Convention Center
  • Wide variety of meeting space to fit groups of all sizes and budgets
  • No. 1 trade show destination-19 consecutive years

Q. If you had to briefly describe what makes Vegas different what would you say?

Las Vegas is the undisputed convention capital of the world hosting more of the top trade shows in the country than our next two closest competitors combined. In 2012, Las Vegas hosted more than 21,000 conventions and welcomed 4.9 million delegates.

Las Vegas has evolved tremendously in recent years, and continues to capture the world’s imagination as the one destination where nearly anything is possible. Beyond the 24-hour-a-day casino excitement are some of the best restaurants, the most unique entertainment options, world-class sporting events, premier shopping and fantastic golf.

Las Vegas has a long history of reinventing itself to make sure the customer experience is always fresh and new. The destination will be reinvesting $6.6 billion in new projects over the next several years, which will continue to make Las Vegas a leading destination for both leisure and business travel.

Q. If planners are interested in holding their activities in Vegas who should they contact?

The LVCVA is the ultimate authority on Las Vegas.  Our team of friendly Las Vegas experts has an extensive array of tools available to assist you, and our services are free. Planners can get started on our website by visiting



After attending the Rise Award luncheon I spoke to a panel judge, Daniela Caputo, who stresses the importance of nominating your peers and giving back to the leaders in our industry. The MPI RISE (Recognizing Industry Success and Excellence) Awards were created in 2008 with the first award presented in 2009.  The RISE Awards are peer-nominated, giving power to those in the industry to nominate leaders in their community for their achievements. The award program recognizes exceptional performance and best practices within the meetings and events industry. The awards have an emphasis on transformational change, innovation, global transferability and industry impact and influence. 

The RISE Awards are organized into three categories, with seven awards. 

Individual Category:

Young Professional Achievement

Meeting Industry Leadership

Member of the Year*

Community Category:

Community Achievement in Knowledge and Ideas*

Community Achievement in Marketplace Excellence*

Community-Emerging Excellence*

Organization Category:

Organizational Achievement

*Only Member of the Year and Community awards require MPI membership.

This year, winners were announced July 22nd in Vegas at the WEC Rise award luncheon.

Young Professional Achievement – Maria Meschi
Member of the Year – Miguel Neves
Meeting Industry Leadership – Scott Friedman, CSP
Community Achievement in Knowledge and Ideas – MPI Canada Chapters for National Meetings Industry Day

Way to go Canada!

Peer nomination forms for the 2014 MPI RISE Awards will be available on the MPI website November 1-December 13. Recognize the industry’s best by submitting a peer nomination. 

The 2013-2014 MPI RISE Awards Judging Panel members are:

  • Chair: John Ehlenfeldt, CMP
  • Danielle Adams, CMP
  • Daniela Caputo, CIS, WPICC
  • Sherry Cummins, CMP, CMM
  • Kimberly Knight, CMP, CAE
  • Alise Long, CMM
  • Michal Maziarczyk
  • Tiffany Smith

For more information check out:


 Amber Jackson

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *