Anyone who knows me well has probably heard me say, “If it’s not important, send an email. If it’s important but not mission critical, pick up the phone. If it’s really important, go see someone in person.” I’m a die-hard believer in the value of face-to-face meetings, and no amount of technology will convince me that they’ll ever cease to be a fundamental means of doing business.
According to research by the Events Industry Council, the Meetings Mean Business Coalition and Oxford Economics, the meetings industry plays a crucial role in our national economy. In 2016, companies spent $325 billion on meetings and events in the U.S., making it possible for 251 million people to conduct business face-to-face, and powering $845 billion in sales—more than the fashion and automobile industries combined.
The value of face-to-face meetings is indisputable, and at Caesars Entertainment, we recognize how vital they are to our own success. It’s why we are so passionate about serving our clients who choose to conduct their important business with us. Having hosted 1.9 million attendees at 17,300 meetings and events across our nearly 40 U.S. properties in the last year alone, we are experts in helping businesses achieve their goals through face-to-face interactions.
Destination: Las Vegas
As a company headquartered in Las Vegas, Caesars Entertainment is proud that the city we call home is renowned as one of the world’s top meeting destinations. A recent report by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority detailed the city’s record-breaking convention attendance in 2017, with 6.6 million people visiting to attend a meeting or conference. It’s no surprise: business decision-makers continue to laud Las Vegas for its easy access, wealth of options and year-round sunshine. It’s why meetings held in Las Vegas see an average increase in attendance of 8 percent over other destinations.
Our commitment to meetings also means that we continually invest capital to better serve our clients. Over the summer, Caesars Entertainment broke ground on Caesars Forum, a $375 million conference center located in the heart of Las Vegas that will debut in 2020. With 550,000 total square feet of meeting space, this state-of-the-art facility will feature the two largest pillar-less ballrooms in the world at 110,000 square feet each, configurable in virtually limitless ways and providing the ultimate in flexibility. Located entirely on one level, Caesars Forum will be connected to Harrah’s, LINQ and Flamingo hotels, offering direct access to 8,000 hotel rooms, while an additional 20,000 Caesars Entertainment guestrooms are within easy walking distance. The conference center will also be connected via sky-bridge to the LINQ Promenade, a lively outdoor dining and entertainment district perfect for buy-outs and dine-arounds. Redefining meetings in Las Vegas, Caesars Forum will also feature the 100,000-square-foot Forum Plaza, the city’s first dedicated outdoor meeting and event space.
The message here is clear. While our world continues to be increasingly technology-driven — and more and more people seem to be glued to their devices — at the end of the day, we are all in the people business. And as such, face-to-face meetings have endured as an irreplaceable means of conducting business because their effectiveness spans all generations, every industry and any set of organizational priorities.
To put it more simply, meetings mean business.