Thousands flock to Las Vegas next week to watch the hedonistic surplus dry up.
It has been almost 40 years since Steve Hill attended his First World Concrete event, but he has never been more excited about a trade show than this one. It is not just a prospect of seeing the latest mixer trucks or watching concrete finishing competitions. that is, WOC 2021 will mark the return of conventions to a city whose economy depends on them և an industry struggling to reproduce their attractions online.
Decades into the ready-mixed concrete industry, Hill is now the CEO of the Las Vegas Convention և Visitor Body, which is tasked with attracting visitors to the Nevada Gaming Center, which hosts the Information Program. ,
Last year, when the coronavirus closed casinos and showrooms, the total number of visitors to Las Vegas fell by 55% to 19 million. But although the population has doubled since January to two-thirds of normal levels, the LVCVA has had zero or “unavailable” number of conference attendees every month since April last year.
That will soon change. On June 1, Las Vegas lifted restrictions on large gatherings, ավելի More than 40 percent of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, and organizers of online conferencing events over the past 14 months feel confident resuming trade fairs.
“Healing happened faster than we thought or even hoped for,” says Hill. With so few international visitors flocking to Las Vegas և the event being postponed until the busiest time in the construction industry, attendance at WOC 2021 will almost certainly be below the usual 60,000 people, but it will be the first show that Hill describes in a surprising way. strong
After the Las Vegas Convention Center used ” pandemic To stop the $ 989 million extension, Hill’s venue now has more square footage rented than ever since July 1 of the year. Scheduled events range from the Nightclub վերջին Bar Exhibition later this month to the July Quality Association’s Quality Convention.
Each would be important for Nevada, which estimates that conventions invest $ 11.5 billion a year in a state with a gross domestic product of about $ 178 billion, its most famous city with an April 9 percent unemployment rate. only the second Los Angeles is one of the 50 largest capitals.
Prior to the epidemic, Las Vegas on weekends could expect travelers to occupy more than 95 percent of their casinos over the weekend, but it relied on conference attendees to keep its 150,000 hotel rooms full on weekdays.
Era Cricket CEO Herve Sedkin plans 90 events for August, almost all in Las Vegas. From Pizza Expo to Antiques to Arder, these will be the biggest events in the company’s history, he said, despite participants running just one-half of their pre-epidemic level.
Saski notices that Las Vegas has followed the example of Florida and Texas. “Which have never really closed completely,” և its reopening has been encouraged by other cities, such as Chicago and New York.
Manhattan’s Jav Avits Center, which calls itself the busiest convention center in the United States, was transformed into Covid-19 Field Hospital last spring and has recently become the largest vaccination site in the city. By August, however, it plans to return to host events.
According to Sedkin, the desire of cities to open trade fairs reflects their need to stimulate the economies hit by the epidemic. “Eighty plus percent [our] Customers are small businesses. Not having a trade show is really problematic for them. “As we think about reopening the economy, it is possible that this business will start doing business again,” he said.
Organizers such as Informa և Emerald moved many events online last year to try to keep the business alive, but “virtual exhibitions honestly do not give the value our customers are looking for,” says Sedky. :
The informative content of the virtual shows has been relatively well received, he says, but “the part about copying the trade show online online does not work. That’s terrible. ”
Era dipped his finger in the waters of personal events in January for the show surfing industry in Orlando, Florida. Attendance was about half what it was before Covid-19, but exhibitions shone with hints that it had brought significant orders.
“The 3,500 buyers were” not so happy, “Sedkin admits. “Their complaint was that there was not enough to see.”
Such experiments have allowed the industry to improve safety protocols to soothe guests who are still nervous about the risk of infection.
Surf Expo had Plexiglas screens in the pavilions, no handshake policy – “ambassadors” of health and safety, who applied a policy of zero tolerance for the face mask, Sedki recalls. “We had three people who were arguing to wear the mask.
He says Hill’s location has similarly introduced irrevocable registration, otherwise it will prepare the food presentation, although several nearby casinos have reopened cafeterias synonymous with Vegas. World of Concrete 2021, however, will not require vaccination proof from its participants.
The epidemic has shaken the finances of many of the industry’s largest companies. Revenue from events at RELX, the owner of Reed Exhibitions, fell from 1, 1.3 billion to 2 362 million last year.
But Reed he said Last month, when the vast majority of its customers made their 2020 bookings by 2021, and in March it attracted nearly 3,000 buyers և 170 exhibitions at its Miami Beach International Jewelry Exhibition, 10 percent above the norm.
One example that has already emerged is that travel restrictions mean that local shows in the United States and elsewhere work better than those dependent on international visitors.
That dynamic is also rapidly restoring Las Vegas tourism business, says Hill. With so few Americans flying abroad, many of them are vacationing in Las Vegas. He notes that the number of players going to the city to place bets, rather than flying, is now higher than where in 2019.
With unemployment still so high in a city that is disproportionately dependent on visitors, Las Vegas is now stepping up efforts to pull many of them back, advertising the risky escape that the city has long ridiculed gamblers and conference attendees.
The new ad campaign on all US TV channels invites visitors to accept the “adult freedom offered only by Las Vegas.”
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