LAS VEGAS – Las Vegas’ visionary efforts to maintain its reputation as the most desirable destination for business travel was proudly on display for thousands of the world’s leading meeting and event planners during the most successful IMEX America in history. The event is billed as the industry’s largest trade show in the United States.
Taking place at the Sands Expo and Convention Center Sept. 10-12, IMEX Group reports an estimated 14,000 attendees participated in this year’s event generating an overall economic impact of more than $20 million. The show, which celebrated its ninth year in Las Vegas, included more than 3,500 exhibitors representing more than 150 countries. In total, IMEX Group estimates a total of 76,000 individual and group appointments in 2019.
“Every year we strive to be our own competition, to push ourselves to deliver richer experiences, better education and, of course, a really strong business pipeline for our exhibitors. Our partners keep rising to the occasion too, said IMEX Group Chairman, Ray Bloom. “We’ve seen some spectacular booths and activations this year and are delighted to see so many exhibitors aligning with our annual Talking Point and using it so innovatively each year. Their level of investment and commitment to business is remarkable.”
During IMEX America 2019, the Las Vegas once again exhibited on the trade show floor with 28 resort and industry partners in the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) trade show booth. The LVCVA conducted more than 140 meetings and group presentations. Collectively, the LVCVA and partners secured nearly 600 appointments, elevating Las Vegas’ presence as a leading travel destination.
“It’s been incredible to see IMEX America’s growth over the last nine years and it’s an honor for Las Vegas to serve as the home of this leading event as both brands continue to evolve and make impactful changes that shape our industry,” said LVCVA vice president of business sales, John Schreiber. “We look forward to celebrating many additional successes with IMEX Group for years to come.”
IMEX America is committed to exhibiting in Las Vegas through 2025, a tradition both Las Vegas and IMEX Group are proud to continue.
In 2018, Las Vegas hosted more than 6.5 million business travelers and was home to nearly 24,000 meetings. These visitors supported nearly 67,000 Southern Nevada jobs generating an estimated $10.5 billion in economic impact.
The Las Vegas meetings industry shows continued strength with more than $15 billion in investment projects taking shape across the destination. A marquee development for the destination’s meeting sector is the construction of the Las Vegas Convention Center District (LVCCD) expansion. The project will add 1.4 million square feet to the current Las Vegas Convention Center facility, including at least 600,000 square feet of new, leasable exhibit space. It will feature a stunning design, cutting-edge technology and contemporary meeting and working spaces. The expansion is slated for completion in December 2020.
In addition to the landmark LVCCD project, continued investment in the meeting and convention industry remains strong in Las Vegas. There is currently nearly 3.5 million sq. ft. of meeting space coming online in Las Vegas within the next five years. Monumental projects throughout the destination include the recently-completed 250,000 sq. ft. MGM Grand Conference Center Expansion, and several projects slated for completion in 2020, including the 550,000 sq. ft. Caesars FORUM, 430,000 sq. ft. Wynn Las Vegas meeting space expansion and the 315,000 sq. ft. Expo at World Market Center.
In order to better serve our valued meeting planners and business travelers with the latest destination updates, the LVCVA also launched ‘Lili’ during IMEX. Lili is a chatbot that utilizes artificial intelligence to engage visitors on vegasmeansbusiness.com during IMEX.
In the LVCVA tradeshow booth, the LVCVA also celebrated new developments in its partnership with Tencent and WeChat with the announcement of a new mini program on the WeChat Go platform. The launch of the “Smart Event Smart Travel” WeChat go campaign is aimed at attracting more Chinese visitors and enhancing business traveler experiences through innovative uses of WeChat, China’s largest social media platform owned by Tencent.
“WeChat created an ecosystem with over one billion monthly active users who are connected to millions of Mini Programs within the app. We are excited to collaborate with LVCVA to further expand the ecosystem and to foster a best-in-class hospitality and business environment for international travelers,” said Juliet Zhu, Head of WeChat Marketing. “Las Vegas stands out as a leading international hub for tourism and business. It has always been a great fusion of diverse cultures. We’re glad to see local companies reaching out to and engaging with our users on WeChat through innovative solutions that provide excellent online services across the convention, airport service, hospitality, food and beverage, shopping, tourist attractions and other domains. We appreciate their endeavors and look forward to facilitating and advancing their engagement with our users on WeChat.”
Additionally, in light of the exciting business opportunities IMEX America presents, Las Vegas utilized the show as a platform to announce the city has been selected as the host and destination for the 27th World Routes Development Forum in 2021. The world’s largest commercial aviation event is scheduled to take place on September 13-15, 2021.