Oct 16, 2018
Today is opening day for IMEX America 2018, the country’s worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events. Held annually at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, IMEX America runs Oct. 16-18. Smart Monday, the MPI-powered free educational day immediately prior to the main IMEX activities, broke attendance records yesterday, and keeping in line with the industry predictions for an event size increase, IMEX America’s showfloor will be its largest yet with more than 3,500 exhibitors representing 150 countries.  Twenty-eight percent of returning exhibitors opted for… more
Sep 19, 2018
Last week, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Board of Directors gave the go-ahead for construction to begin Phase Two of the Las Vegas Convention Center District expansion.  “This is an incredibly important and exciting time, not just for the LVCVA but for the entire destination,” said Steve Hill, CEO of the LVCVA. “With today’s approval, we’re delighted to join a boom in development that’s on a scale that we haven’t seen in more than a decade.”  He continued, “We’ve been the No. 1 trade show destination in North America for 24 consecutive years, but we must continue to be… more
Jul 19, 2018
On July 16, Caesars Entertainment Corporation broke ground on its newest development: the CAESARS FORUM Las Vegas conference center. Slated to open in 2020, it will feature 550,000 square feet of flexible meeting, event and convention space. As the emcee for the ground-breaking ceremony, Roger Dow, president and CEO of U.S. Travel Association and long-time meetings industry veteran, spoke about how when he was first starting in the industry, the meetings market was an afterthought for Las Vegas. Forty years later, the city is now the leading destination for meetings within the U.S.   … more
Apr 26, 2018
In a continuing effort to enhance its international business relationships, World Trade Center Las Vegas recently signed three Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) at the 49thWorld Trade Center Association General Assembly in the Netherlands with host World Trade Center Leeuwarden, World Trade Center Twente and World Trade Center Denver. The agreements encourage Las Vegas to co-market with the three cities under the WTCA’s expansive brand to create access to key trade information and market research as well as facilitate business trade missions around the world.  “Following a record-breaking… more
Apr 16, 2018
Trade shows in the fashion retail sector have gone through another shift, with Liberty Fairs buying Reed Exhibitions’ Capsule shows. "Bringing the Capsule show under the Liberty Fairs Fashion Group umbrella creates an even stronger platform for all of our shows,” said Sam Ben-Avraham, founder of Liberty Fairs Fashion Group. He added, “We are always thinking about the future, about what's coming, how we create the right thing to satisfy our core audience, and also attract new eyes to what we are doing. Together, we will have more opportunities to serve the fashion space and also build our… more
Apr 12, 2018
If the recently unveiled design drawings of its expansion project are any indication, the nearly 60-year-old Las Vegas Convention Center has a vibrant new look in its future. Presented on April 10 by architects from tvsdesign to the Board of Directors of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, the drawings depict an innovatively designed, modern-looking convention center as iconic as the city itself, according to Rossi Ralenkotter, CEO of the LVCVA. “This is one of the most important days in the history of the LVCVA,” Ralenkotter said. “Southern Nevada’s economy is driven by… more
Feb 21, 2018
In the past few years, MAGIC, the biannual series of shows serving the fashion retail industry, has undergone one major change of ownership and is on the cusp of a possible other, as well as bought even more shows so that now there are a dozen running at the same time in Las Vegas. The most recent MAGIC, held Feb. 12-14 at the Las Vegas Convention Center and Mandalay Bay Convention Center, marked a further evolution in the fast-growing series of shows. In 2016, MAGIC’s parent company, UBM, bought Business Journals Inc. and took several of BJI’s shows, including STITCH, MRket and… more
Mar 19, 2018
Trade Show News Network (TSNN) is pleased to announce the release of the 2017 TSNN Top Trade Shows list in the United States. Culled from show management and data supplied to TSNN, the list represents the top trade shows held last year in the U.S. ranked by net square footage. The full, searchable list, sponsored exclusively by Expocad and the Orlando/Orange County Convention Center, can be found HERE. The Association of Equipment Manufacturers’ CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2017 show snagged the No. 1 spot and spanned more than 2.67 million net square feet at the Las Vegas Convention Center. In… more
Feb 20, 2018
In an effort to enhance international business relationships, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) and the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), owner and producer of the annual Consumer Electronics Show, closed out last month’s CES with an official Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the World Trade Center Las Vegas and the World Trade Center Trieste in Trieste, Italy. Through the agreement, Las Vegas and Trieste will co-market under the World Trade Center brand, creating access to key trade information, market research and facilitate business trade opportunities… more
Jan 25, 2018
As part of an organizational restructuring that began in January 2016, The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s CEO Rossi Ralenkotter announced the hiring of Steve Hill to fill the role of president and COO.  As part of the restructuring, the organization developed a c-suite structure for the executive office to better prepare for succession planning and create an organizational structure to better mirror and partner with the resort community. Ralenkotter also announced the promotion of Cathy Tull to CMO and Ed Finger to CFO. Previous additions to the c-suite included Barbara… more
Partner Voices
Less than six months ago, Lisa Messina joined the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) as the first-ever chief sales officer after leading the sales team at Caesars Entertainment. A 12-year Las Vegas resident, Messina is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and serves on MPI International’s board of directors. TSNN had a chance to catch up with this dynamic leader and talk to her about her vision for the new role, current shifts in the trade show industry, creating more diversity and equity within the organization, and advice to future female leaders. Lisa Messina, Chief Sales Officer, LVCVA With Las Vegas becoming The Greatest Arena on EarthTM, what are some of the things you’re most excited about in your role? Our team was at The Big Game’s handoff ceremony earlier this month, and I couldn’t help but think, “We’re going to crush it next year!”  These high-profile events and venues not only drive excitement, but also provide unmatched opportunities for event planners. Allegiant Stadium hosts events from 10 to 65,000 people and offers on-field experiences. Formula 1 Grand Prix will take place in Las Vegas in November, after the year-one F1 race, the four-story paddock building will be available for buyouts and will also offer daily ride-along experiences that will be available for groups. And, of course, the MSG Sphere officially announced that it will open in September, ahead of schedule, with a U2 residency. It’s going to be the most technologically advanced venue as far as lighting, sound, feel, and even scent, and it will be available for buyouts and next-level sponsorships inside and outside. There’s no ceiling to what you can do when you’re doing events in Las Vegas.  Allegiant Stadium As the trade show and convention business returns to the pre-pandemic levels, what shifts are you noticing and how do you think they will impact the industry going forward? Our trade show organizers are very focused on driving customer experience. Most of our organizers are reporting stronger exhibitor numbers and increased numbers of new exhibitors, with trade shows proving to be almost or above 2019 levels. Now our organizers are really doubling down on driving attendance and focusing on the data to provide that individualized, customized experience to help attendees meet their goals and get the best value. Some companies continue to be cautiously optimistic with their organizational spend when it comes to sending attendees, but I think it will continue to improve. As the U.S. Travel Association makes more progress on the U.S. visa situation, we also expect a growing influx of international attendees. What are some innovative ways the LVCVA helps trade show and convention organizers deliver the most value for their events? We focus on customer experience in the same way that trade show organizers are thinking about it. We got rave reviews with the West Hall Expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), so over the next two years, we will be renovating the North and the Central halls, which will include not just the same look and feel, but also the digital experiences that can be leveraged for branding and sponsorship opportunities.  Vegas Loop, the underground transportation system designed by The Boring Company, is also a way we have enhanced the customer experience. Vegas Loop at the LVCC has transported more than 900,000 convention attendees across the campus since its 2021 launch. Last summer, Resorts World and The Boring Company opened the first resort stop at the Resorts World Las Vegas , with plans to expand throughout the resort corridor, including downtown Las Vegas, Allegiant Stadium and Harry Reid International Airport. The LVCVA also purchased the Las Vegas Monorail in 2020, the 3.9-mile-long elevated transportation system that connects eight resorts directly to the convention center campus. This is the only rail system in the world that integrates fares directly into show badges and registration. For trade show organizers, these transportation options mean saving time, money and effort when it comes to moving groups from the hotels to LVCC and around the city. Also, the more we can focus on building the infrastructure around the convention center, the more it supports the customer experience and ultimately supports our trade show organizers. Scheduled to debut in Q4, Fontainebleau Las Vegas will offer 3,700 hotel rooms and 550,000 square feet of meeting and convention space next to LVCC.  What are some of the plans for advancing DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) within your organization? We’re currently partnering with instead of working with a leading consulting firm, to lay the foundation and create a solid DEI plan and be the leader when it comes to DEI initiatives. The heart of that journey with the consulting firm is also talking to our customers about their strategic approaches to DEI and driving innovation in this space.  What are your favorite ways to recharge? My husband and I have an RV and we’re outdoorsy people. So, while we have over 150,000 world-class hotel rooms and renowned restaurants right outside our doorstep, one of my favorite things to do is get out to Red Rock Canyon, the Valley of Fire, and Lake Mead. Five of the top national parks are within a three-hour drive from Las Vegas, so there’s a lot you can do. We love balancing the energy of Las Vegas with nature, and we’re noticing that a lot of attendees add activities off the Strip when they come here.  Valley of Fire What advice would you give to women following leadership paths in destination marketing? I think it’s about being laser-focused on what you want to accomplish; building a team around you that lifts you and helps you achieve your goals; and being humble and realizing that you do it as a group. No one gets this done alone. Thankfully, there are a lot of women in leadership in this organization, in our customers’ organizations, and in this city that we can be really proud of. We’re a formidable force that is making things happen.   This interview has been edited and condensed. This article is exclusively sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority. For more information, visit HERE.