A rapidly recovering Las Vegas will be the focus of the global tourism industry on Monday when World of Concrete hosts the first major trade show in the United States since the COVID pandemic that wiped out the lucrative convention and meeting business.
The limelight is especially welcome in southern Nevada as World of Concrete will be the first major show in the new West Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, valued at $ 1 billion.
Roger Dow, President and CEO of the US Travel Association, said a successful World of Concrete show will open the doors for other large meetings in Las Vegas and elsewhere as the spread of COVID declines, the number of Americans vaccinated increases, and what was once strict Security protocols relaxed.
“The rest of the country sees this as a guideline for major conventions,” said Dow. “This is the first major convention in America since COVID.”
Dow said the Congressional registration, even if it’s half the size of 2019, will be considered a success.
“I find it hard to think of anything that was more than 5,000,” he said. “This is going to be the most reported big convention in America, and in my opinion, if it goes well – Vegas will do the job – it will open the doors to a lot of bigger things.”
Congress participants will arrive on Monday for the educational part of the four-day fair, with the fair exhibitions opening on Tuesday in both the west and north halls.
World of Concrete usually meets in January, shortly after CES delegates leave town. The show typically attracts 60,000 masons.
“The world of concrete is an important milestone in our recovery,” said Amanda Belarmino, assistant professor at UNLV’s William F. Harrah College of Hospitality. “A successful recovery will involve convention.
“The ability to successfully and safely host the World of Concrete will be a signal to all travelers that Las Vegas is a safe and reliable destination,” she said. “Equally important will be our ability to provide a high level of service that shows all travelers that we are open to business and ready for action.”
Brendan Bussmann, director of government affairs at Las Vegas-based Global Market Advisors LLC, said the arrival of World of Concrete marked the beginning of the next chapter in the recovery from the Great Shutdown.
“Meetings and conventions are the key to the economic vitality of Las Vegas,” said Bussmann on Thursday. “This is the beginning that will help bring the customer back during the week.”
World of Concrete, he said, is the first domino to fall into a busy schedule of meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions for the remainder of 2021.
“While we still need to remain cautious as the world recovers from the pandemic, this is a welcome sign of better times,” he said. “This is another signal that Las Vegas is open to business again. While the leisure guest has jumped back, the return of the business customer starts this week. “
There are several major shows coming up in Las Vegas over the next seven months. On the calendar are the Men’s Apparel Guild fashion show in California from August 9th to 11th; the National Mining Expo, 13.-15. September; the National Association of Broadcasters – usually April – October 9-13; Specialty Equipment Market Association’s Automotive Aftermarket Show, November 2-5; and CES 2022, 5.-8. January.
LVCVA has been preparing for months
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority has been preparing for the World of Concrete for months, ensuring that all health and safety protocols are followed. With Clark County lifting most of the social distancing requirements for large groups on Tuesday, LVCVA President and CEO Steve Hill believes Las Vegas is ready to start conventions and meetings that are off the calendar due to the COVID-19 pandemic in late March 2020 were blown up.
Congresses and fairs are one of the main tourist elements of the city as attendees fill hotel rooms and take advantage of the city’s amenities during the week rather than at the weekend when free and independent travelers arrive.
Virginia Valentine, president and CEO of the Nevada Resort Association, said conventions and trade shows are the main driving force behind the economy in southern Nevada.
“World of Concrete is the gateway to southern Nevada’s economic recovery considering the importance of convention attendees to increase hotel occupancy and business during the week throughout the resort corridor in restaurants, shows and entertainment venues, retail stores and other attractions.” Promote amenities. “Said Valentin.
“Trade fair and convention delegates spend more than recreational visitors during their stay, and they do so Monday through Thursday when we need it most,” she said. “The resort industry is very pleased to welcome this first important trade fair business in more than 14 months and to set the standard for safe major events.”
In 2019, a record 6.6 million convention attendees visited Las Vegas for a meeting. Trade shows contribute an estimated $ 11.4 billion in economic impact to the region annually.
“We are very excited to welcome the exhibitors and visitors to the World of Concrete as our first major convention in Las Vegas returning to our destination,” said Hill in a press release. “We appreciate our longstanding partnership with Informa Markets and their shared commitment to health and safety protocols to ensure their attendees have a safe, trustworthy, and ‘Vegas only’ experience.”
More from Informa
Informa, a British publishing, business intelligence and exhibition group based in London with 150 offices worldwide, including one in Las Vegas, produces the World of Concrete and a handful of other shows here.
World of Concrete representatives know they’ll be in the spotlight when the doors open for the show.
“We are ready to have a safe and successful event,” said Lauren Lamb, vice president of marketing, World of Concrete.
In order to prepare for the rapidly changing health and safety conditions, the organizers show monitored actions of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and actions of local health organizations.
External surveyors have been surveying former trade fair visitors since February to gauge their interest in participating in a live event.
The organizers agreed to recommend face coverings at the fair, but not to require them. There will be thermal temperature controls and the LVCVA agreed to improved cleaning procedures and the installation of an improved air filtration system at the venue. Masks are given out to those who want them but don’t have them.
Dow said studies from Harvard and Iowa State University, due later this month, will explain how congressional meetings will be safer than other major events like concerts and music festivals.
“You know who’s coming, you control the front door, you control the distances, you control everything, and that’s very different from most mass gatherings,” Dow said.
Changes before the show ahead
A few more changes are planned for World of Concrete.
The Spec Mix Bricklayer 500 competition for the world’s best bricklayer – known as the Super Bowl of Masonry – starts earlier in the day on Wednesday as the temperatures in June are much higher than in January. Contest prizes include more than $ 125,000 in cash, a 4-by-4 truck, and an SUV.
The World of Concrete presents a new pavilion for cement production in the north hall with demonstrations of ovens, separators, mills, dryers and silos.
“We worked really hard,” said Lamb. “Jackie James, our group leader of World of Concrete, and her team did an incredible job preparing it and we are very excited to officially open the LVCC West Hall and to usher in trade shows in Las Vegas.”
Lamb expects visitor numbers to decline from previous years, but said this had nothing to do with the pandemic.
“Summer is the busiest time of year for us and it may not make sense for all of our customers to come this June,” she said. “The show may be smaller, but the quality will be good and we will all be back in January.”
Contact Richard N. Velotta at [email protected] or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.