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Las Vegas offers excitement, options for meeting attendees

By: Tracey Bockhop, CMP

If you asked ten people about their favorite thing to do in Las Vegas, you will probably get ten different answers. To some, Vegas can be overwhelming and intimidating, but I find it to be an intriguing and enticing location to bring meetings to.

Why? When you think about what is important to groups when they are selecting a meeting destination, there are a few commonalities that most look for. Top on the list is ease of travel to and from the destination, free time for activities and adventure and budget-friendliness for guests. All of these are important when you consider the basic goals of most meetings - grow attendance, stay on budget and most importantly, leave a lasting impression on attendees.

However, when I’ve suggested Las Vegas to several groups I have booked there, it was a tough sell. Many resisted based on common concerns. With a plethora of entertainment options, will attendees come to the meetings and events we host? Will attendees be able to hold their attention all day with so many other things to do? Will attendees be able to get around the city easily? These are all reasonable questions to ask prior to an actual booking. But, whether your attendees are there for continuing education, a new product launch, celebration of successes or any other reason, those wishing to skip out on events are going to do so in any city. Plan a great meeting and those who are there to participate will benefit greatly from the experience.

Creating an exciting event that’s easy to travel to is important wherever you go. There’s a reason why 5 million convention attendees showed up in Vegas in 2013 alone. Here’s why:

  • Lower travel costs. When heading to Las Vegas, travel is easy. There are hundreds of flights into the city each day, accommodating all types of travelers and schedules. This saves many companies money, especially on overnight rooms for speakers or special guests. If speakers want to leave after their session at 5 p.m. instead of staying an extra day, there’s usually a flight for that.

  • Plentiful guest rooms. Many of the largest hotel, casino, and resort properties in the world are located on the Las Vegas Strip. Fifteen of the world's 25 largest hotels by room count are on the Strip, with a total of over 62,000 rooms. If for some reason your host hotel is full, your attendees will always have the option to find a close alternative at a sister hotel.

  • Hotels for all budgets. Since guest rooms are plentiful, meeting organizers can accommodate a variety of budgets. From high-end options to budget-savers, choose a property that will appeal to your guests, but also their pocketbook. Find out what price or amenities will be enticing to your attendees. Once determined, work with your hotel if you need to have different price points. A tip for meeting organizers; it’s common for Las Vegas hotels to slash room rates for weekend getaways or other special offers. Be mindful of the rates as the date of your event gets closer to make sure you have the best advertised rate available for your attendees. If the public rate is the same or lower than your meeting rate, contact your hotel to adjust yours.

  • Entertainment options. Las Vegas is an exciting destination that any group can play on. It’s easy to just come in and use the city as your back drop. But, to make your meeting more impactful, use the city paired with your own personal touches to make your event outstanding. Las Vegas entertainment is always changing, so there are new things to do each time your attendees visit. Host an event on the new High Roller, overlooking the Dolphin exhibit, backstage at Cirque du Soleil, at a private dining venue or one of the hundreds of banquet rooms available in the city.

Hosting your meeting in Las Vegas will not only bring more attendees to your event, it will inspire them to be creative and engaged as they learn and collaborate in this exciting setting.

Photo credit: Vegas Means Business

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