LAS VEGAS – On June 7, 2017, Las Vegas joins destinations and organizations across the world in celebration of Global Exhibitions Day. The observation, created by UFI—a global association of the world’s tradeshow organizers and exhibition center operators—aims to celebrate the outstanding value of the meetings and exhibitions industry.
Las Vegas is not only the Entertainment Capital of the World but also a leading destination for business travel. In 2016, Las Vegas experienced record-breaking visitation with more than 42.9 million visitors. In addition to breaking a record for overall visitation, Las Vegas also reached an all-time high for business travel after welcoming 6.3 million delegates.
Las Vegas boasts more than 11 million square feet of meeting space in addition to a wide array of event, dining and entertainment venues that are also used for group business. Trade Show News Network recently recognized Las Vegas as the No. 1 trade show destination in the country for the 23rd consecutive year for hosting 57 of the top 250 largest trade shows in North America.
In Southern Nevada, the meetings, conventions and trade show industry has a significant impact on the local economy, supporting 85,000 jobs and generating more than $12.4 billion in economic impact.
Beyond job creation, the influx of events and business travelers heading to Las Vegas each year leave a lasting impact on Southern Nevada’s community through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. The LVCVA works with these events, travelers and local organizations in need to make connections that will create mutually beneficial opportunities for all groups involved.
CSR activities are becoming an increasingly popular aspect of the nearly 22,000 meetings and events that take place each year. Initiatives include volunteer activities, donation drives, charitable contributions and even the commitment to provide materials left on the trade show floor following a large-scale event.
Event organizers are eager to explore opportunities to give back to host cities during their events. Clean Show 2017, an 11,000-attendee show taking place at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) June 5-8, kicked off with a special ‘Free Laundry Day’ event organized by the LaundryCares Foundation. Volunteers from across the United States attending the conference were encouraged to join in for a day of free laundry and educational activities that support the foundation's mission to aid childhood literacy.
Another shining example of CSR activities is the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Leadership Seminar taking place in Las Vegas July 13-16. The group is expecting a record number of participants, who will engage in intensive training and development while adding a number of community service opportunities to the event itinerary.
"Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority members from around the country and the globe are excited to leave a lasting imprint on the Clark County community as we host our bi-annual four-day Leadership Seminar focused on developing our members through training and learning opportunities and fulfilling our mission to be of service to all mankind,” said Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority President Dr. Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson. “More than 8,000 members will mobilize around the International Program ‘Launching New Dimensions of Service’ by participating in seven high-impact service projects that will benefit tens of thousands of Las Vegas residents and provide sustainable resources to meet local neighborhood needs.”
The lasting impact of these efforts are echoed through the sentiments of organizations throughout the destination.
“There are various groups across the country who organize conventions, however, the work being done by the LVCVA is exceptional and provides a service to the community above and beyond many others. Not only does the Las Vegas valley benefit from the economic impact from the conventioneers meeting in Las Vegas, but the philanthropy connected to those meetings provides an extraordinary social impact,” said Julie Murray, Moonridge Group Philanthropy Advisors, Principal and CEO. “There are numerous examples of conventioneers who donate time and funds while they’re in Las Vegas for their meetings. Things such as support provided to the Three Square Food Bank, United Way and Goodwill are just a few examples. As a result of their generosity, the community is a more vibrant and healthy place!”
Additional examples of the positive impact of the Las Vegas meetings industry, as detailed by community partners, include:
- Caesars Entertainment initiated the Green Meetings and Events Certification Program to help customers plan more environmentally responsible meetings. Customers can work with an on-site certified Responsible Meeting professional to designate an event as a Certified Responsible Meeting if it meets a list of environmentally-friendly choices such as organic meals, electronic signage, recycled meeting materials and post-meeting environmental reports.
The Responsible Meetings Program is a collaboration between our national Meetings and Conventions Division and our citizenship leadership. This program builds on Caesar’s sustainability strategy coined CodeGreen, embedding sustainable practices as part of its core business offering. Each Caesars venue provides seven Responsible Meeting commitments:
- Paperless online event menus, meetings guide and billing
- China, flatware and linen offered in place of disposables
- Energy-optimized lighting, heating and AC
- Water only preset on tables by request
- Responsible Meetings trained and certified sales and operations managers
- Environmentally-preferred choices specific to each location
- Silver IMEX Green Supplier Award Recognition and Green Key Eco Rating
In 2016, Caesars’ properties held almost 19,000 meetings and events with more than two million attendees. In addition, Caesars trained and certified over 350 Responsible Meetings professionals.
Launched in 2016, Caesars Meetings for Good promotes community engagement among Caesars-operated resorts, meeting customers and local nonprofit organizations. Through the Meetings for Good menu, meetings customers can give back to local communities as an integrated part of their event by working with Caesars partners, including nonprofit organizations dedicated to seniors, environmental sustainability, education, health & wellness, deployed soldiers and veterans. Turnkey community experiences range from two-hour on-property hygiene kit builds for homeless shelters to full-day off-site volunteering with local elders.
- Clean the World is an organization that aims to collect and recycle soaps and hygeine products that would typically be discarded. These products are then donated to people in need. A total of 33 Southern Nevada hotels currently partner with the organization, totaling more than 40,000 of the destinations’ nearly 150,000 hotel rooms. The organization also offers programs for meeting planners to create event-specific partnerships. In 2016, the agency reports:
- 60,421 pounds of soap collected
- 59,605 pounds of bottled amenities collected
- 322,245 bars of repurposed soap distributed
- 44,764 pounds of plastic recycled
- Keep Memory Alive Every convention that hosts an event at the Keep Memory Alive Event Center contributes to the Southern Nevada Community as all proceeds benefit nonprofit organization Keep Memory Alive. These funds support research, treatment and clinical studies of neurological disorders at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.
- MGM Resorts International MGM Resorts International is committed to a number of CSR initiatives and aims to find innovative ways to create shared success for employees, the company and nearby communities. MGM Resorts International embeds CSR values throughout the company with a variety of programs, including CSR Councils, Empoyee Network/Resource groups, MGM Resorts Foundation, employee volunteerism, diversity initiatives and Green Advantage activities. One recent example of exemplary community service occurred in celabration of T-Mobile Arena’s first anniversary, where partners MGM Resorts International and Bank of America positioned a new home build in front of the arena with Habitat for Humanity Las Vegas as a way of saying ‘thank you’ to the community for helping to make the venue's first year a tremendous success. In 2016, the company reports:
- 102,902 volunteer hours logged by MGM Resorts employees
- More than $11.9 million in company donations and employee charitable contributions
- 1,394 nonprofits aided by individual employee MGM Resorts Foundation contributions
- Opportunity Village, an organization serving Southern Nevada adults with intellectual and related disabilities, works in partnership with a number of organizations to connect with more than 20 exhibitions, tradeshows and conventions each year to gather much-needed materials. The nonprofit says the benefits of working with Las Vegas-based events extends beyond monetary support as the networking potential allows them to increase visibility within the community and share its mission with attendees from across the globe
- Paragon Gaming and its affiliates are one of North America’s leading destination resort developers. Established in 2000, Paragon Gaming heads landmark projects throughout North America, with special emphasis on developing and operating gaming destinations. With deep roots in Las Vegas and a passion to support each community, Paragon Gaming works alongside Moonridge Group, who proudly act as philanthropy advisors to ensure each property has a strategic and impactful approach to community investment, consistency across business units, day-to-day support in implementation and decision-making. In Las Vegas, Paragon Gaming manages the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino. The strategy behind Westgate’s giving is guided by their identified pillars which include providing support to eliminate homelessness and domestic violence and efforts to strengthen education and veterans through in-kind support, employee participation programs, and cash donations.
- United Way has engaged more than 5,000 corporate volunteers partnering with more than 75 nonprofit organizations and schools to complete these projects. Volunteers have assembled thousands of reading and educational kits, hygiene kits and back to school backpacks onsite at their conference or convention. Volunteers have also had the opportunity to go off-site to assist students with reading, planting gardens and completing school makeovers. In total, these organizations have made an investment of more than $250,000 back into the Southern Nevada community.
Looking ahead, the positive impact of exhibitions, trade shows and business events has the potential to grow in Southern Nevada. The LVCVA is moving forward with plans for the Las Vegas Convention Center District. The project will add 600,000 square feet of exhibit space, new meeting rooms and other amenities, as well as renovating the entire existing property. The project will continue to cement Las Vegas as North America’s premier business destination, allowing the destination to attract new shows and the opportunity for existing shows to grow in both square footage and attendance.
To participate in Global Exhibitions Day digital conversations, follow @LVCVA and @UFI on Twitter and use the hashtags #VegasMeansBusiness #GED17.