Meeting the Challenges Conventions

While it's too soon to know how quickly Las Vegas' convention and meetings attendance will resume after a loosening of crowd restrictions on Oct. 1, many facilities have implemented a number of health and safety protocols in anticipation of a restart.

The importance of the industry, dormant because of the pandemic since March, is in the numbers: An estimated 6.6 million people attended conventions in Las Vegas in 2019, a 2.3% increase from the previous year, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Bureau. The direct and indirect impacts of meetings, trade shows and events in Las Vegas totaled $11.4 billion and supported 68,000 jobs.

Hoping to alleviate concerns about large gatherings, the Venetian Resort Las Vegas and Sands Expo & Convention Center recently staged a mock trade show to demonstrate physical-distancing protocols and sanitization procedures.

The exhibit hall worked with government partners, public health experts, other resort companies and industry vendors on the project. The 296,000-square-foot exhibit included redesigned areas for arrival and registration, exhibitor booths, educational sessions, food courts and general sessions.

Chandra Allison, senior vice president of sales at the Venetian Resort Las Vegas and Sands Expo, said, "The Venetian Resort has established protocols to safely host meetings and events, part of our Venetian Clean Commitment, in compliance with Nevada Guidance for Safe Gatherings. In response to the governor's update, we are partnering closely with our groups in 2021 to plan their upcoming meetings using these protocols as a guide. We continue to work with our government officials on the next steps to continue the safe opening of our state."

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