Minister for Tourism to pay respect to victims of recent tragedy as host city declares it is #VegasStrong
Although the preshow week was marked by tragedy in the city, from the moment the doors opened, it was clear that North American and international planners, executives and suppliers had turned out in force.
Ciobo will pay respect to the victims of the recent mass shooting by laying a wreath at the Healing Gardens, a memorial built near the shooting site by community volunteers. During the visit the Minister will also meet with Las Vegas hotel and entertainment venue developers and operators, to highlight the investment opportunities in Australia for tourism infrastructure. Last year IMEX generated more than 50 business leads, highlighting the importance of the US market.
A record 3300 companies are exhibiting on the IMEX show floor, with pre-booked appointments between buyers and exhibitors tracking slightly higher than in previous years.
“Appointment numbers are an important measure for us and our appointment-led business model is an asset for both buyers and suppliers,” said Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group.
“By arranging appointments in advance, frequently based on an RFP or event specification, we can see how much business is conducted across the week. And we know from experience that appointments at IMEX frequently lead to big deals, sometime two and even three years down the line.”
Earlier in the day an audience of over 500 gathered in the Sands Showroom to hear meetings industry leaders speak about #VegasStrong, the campaign created following the tragic events that preceded the opening of the show. Ray Bloom, IMEX chairman, was joined on stage by Jim Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International, Roger Dow, president and CEO of the US Travel Association, Rossi Ralenkotter, president and CEO of the LVCVA and David Peckinpaugh, resident Maritz Global Events.
Murren told the audience; “We are heart-broken but not broken. People here have a job because of you. Meetings and conventions are the backbone of this city. Without them everything else falls away.”