Meetings Industry Groups Turn Out In Support Of Las Vegas
While investigations carry on in Las Vegas following the October 1 shooting, the city has continued its healing with moments of silence and fundraising for the victims, and by going on with the show.
The city has resumed its meeting schedule, hosting 126 trade shows and conferences over the past two weeks. Among the largest events was IMEX America 2017, a hosted-buyer trade show for meetings and events industry professionals at the Sands Expo & Convention Center. It brought 12,000 attendees to the city and provided an overall economic impact of $23.7 million.
At a news conference during the event on Tuesday, individuals from the Las Vegas hospitality community as well as media and industry association members packed the room to hear executives from International Association of Exhibitions and Events, Society of Independent Show Organizers, American Society of Association Executives and others speak about their support for the city.
“It is very fitting we have the meetings industry here to show their support,” said Ray Bloom, chairman and founder of IMEX Group, in an article in TSSN Trade Show News. In the same article, Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, said, “We’ve been so proud to see the way you all have handled this. One fear, one senseless act—Las Vegas has refused to let this define them.”
Jim Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International, the parent company of Mandalay Bay, praised the associations for going ahead with IMEX America and thanked them for helping to support the 50,000 men and women who work for the MGM properties in Las Vegas. “We are heartbroken, but we are not broken,” he said in the article.
In a video produced by Meetings Today, a publication covering the event, Carina Bauer, CEO of IMEX Group, reiterated the importance of her organization’s decision to go ahead with the conference this week, and Michael Dominguez, senior vice president and chief sales officer of MGM Resorts International, expressed his gratitude and hope for the future.
“This community needs IMEX now to heal. What we’ve seen from support around the industry this week has been overwhelming,” said Dominguez. “It reminds us here in Las Vegas that we are not alone. It’s given us strength, it’s given us hope, it’s inspired us to move on and find some type of normalcy, whatever that new normal looks like. This is exactly what Las Vegas needs this week.”
A fund has been set up to benefit victims and families of the Las Vegas shooting; find more information and donate here.