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Las Vegas celebrates power of face-to-face on Global Meetings Industry Day

Top industry professionals celebrated the power of face-to-face meetings at the newly opened T-Mobile Arena

Pictured: The GMID panel discussion in Las Vegas

Industry professionals celebrated the power of face-to-face meetings at the newly opened T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to mark Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID).

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) joined leaders from across the Las Vegas meetings industry including MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment, The Venetian and The Palazzo and Wynn Resorts.

The day is especially important for Las Vegas as the meetings industry has a significant impact on the local economy, supporting 66,500 jobs and generating more than $9.3 billion (£6.6bn) in economic impact.

“Tourism is the economic engine that drives this town and the meeting industry plays a significant role,” said Rossi Ralenkotter, president/CEO of the LVCVA. “The nearly six million people who come to Las Vegas every year for a meeting, convention or trade show, help fill hotel rooms mid-week, support tens of thousands of jobs and they significantly contribute to the local economy.”

The event kicked off with a keynote address by Roger Dow, president and CEO of U.S. Travel Association. Dow and U.S. Travel are both leaders of the Meetings Mean Business Coalition, which provides resources to promote and defend the value of face-to-face business meetings and travel. The Meetings Mean Business Coalition launched GMID in an effort to showcase the impact that business meetings, conferences, conventions, incentive travel, trade shows and exhibitions have on people, business and communities.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for meetings and events industry leaders to come together and showcase the profound impact of this critical sector on businesses, communities and the economy,” said Dow. “I like to say that there's no technology that can replace a handshake. The power of the unplanned interactions that so often occur at in-person meetings cannot be overstated. They are what build relationships, drive collaboration and spark ideas. I'm proud to join leaders in Las Vegas, a world-class destination, and a city known for and driven by its hospitality and events industry, to recognise this very special day."

GMID marks the expansion of North American Meetings Industry Day (NAMID), held in April last year in the United States, Canada, Mexico and parts of Latin America.

The keynote was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Ralenkotter that featured Chuck Bowling, president and COO of Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino; Chandra Allison, vice president of sales at The Venetian and The Palazzo; Chris Flatt, executive vice president of hotel sales and marketing at Wynn Resorts; and Michael Massari, senior vice president for national meetings and events at Caesars Entertainment.

“We have a saying that nothing good ever happened until someone had a meeting, and this is true when we’re talking about the value and power of connecting with someone face-to-face,” said Massari, treasurer of the U.S. Travel Association and senior vice president of national meetings and events at Caesars Entertainment. “We were once labelled the invisible industry but our value is unmistakable. That’s what makes an event like Global Meetings Industry Day so important. It allows us to celebrate our worth together as an industry while establishing the value to business, communities and the economy to the world.”

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