70 New Conventions Coming to Vegas

Sin City’s convention business is booming. Last year, more than 5 million conventioneers visited Southern Nevada, and generated almost $7 billion in revenues. This year will be even better.

Return of ConExpo welcomed

Las Vegas, a mecca for conventioneers and a contender for the next GOP presidential convention, will welcome 70 new conventions this year, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

“Las Vegas has been the No. 1 tradeshow destination in North America for 19 consecutive years,” said Chris Meyer, vice president of global business sales for the LVCVA. “We offer an array of unique resorts, entertainment and the equivalent of 185 football fields of meeting and exhibition space in one destination. The combination provides groups the opportunity to conduct serious business but also balance it with teambuilding or networking activities. We are always seeking new business.”

And business has been responding. In 2013, convention and trade show participants comprised almost 13 percent of all visitors to Southern Nevada. That’s more than 5 million people. Sin City’s meetings and convention industry employs about 58,000 people and generates as much as $6.8 billion in nongaming economic impact. Last year, a total of 22,027 conventions and meetings were held in the city, up 1.9 percent from 2012.

Along with new business, nine rotating shows will return to Vegas this year. These shows, including the ConExpo-Con/Agg construction show, should attract in excess of 320,000 delegates for an economic impact of $404 million. That doesn’t even count the potential gaming revenue.

Research from the consulting firm Rockport Analytics found that the U.S. Travel Association trade show, which visited Las Vegas in 2013, will have a dramatic positive effect on tourism for the next three years. The show, known as IPW, will result in a 1.06 million increase in the total number of international visitors to Las Vegas over the next three years, reported the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Though the 14th annual trade show will take place in Chicago, the positive benefits will continue to accrue for Las Vegas, helping increase tourism spending by $1.6 billion and benefiting the economy to the tune of $891 million.

“A city’s investment in IPW is the gift that keeps giving, paying dividends over three years in the form of more international visitors and spending in the host city and throughout the country,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow in a statement.