Putting on a trade show from the ground up involves many moving parts and teams. A crucial partnership for Expo! Expo! is that of show management and host partners. This year, Expo! Expo! will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada at Mandalay Bay. Packed with numerous networking opportunities over three days, Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition offers attendees a wealth of information and valuable face-to-face connections. Here, IAEE spoke with Chris Meyer, CEM, CMP of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) as he shared his perspective on hosting Expo! Expo! this year. Chris also served as the IAEE Chairman in 2010 and currently serves as the ex-officio to the IAEE Board representing the Past Chairpersons’ Advisory Group.
Tell us a little about yourself. What are your current responsibilities?
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) is tasked with promoting Las Vegas as the world’s most desirable destination for business and leisure travel- and with more than 42 million visitors annually, it’s a task we take seriously. Additionally, the LVCVA also owns and operates the Las Vegas Convention Center.
It’s safe to say Las Vegas is incredibly close to my heart as earned my I bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) Lee School of Business. UNLV is also where I met my wonderful wife!
I joined the LVCVA in 2000 as a manager of convention sales after working at the Sands Expo & Convention Center for ten years, including serving as director of sales and marketing. Now, I am the Vice President of Global Sales.
There are many exciting opportunities on the horizon for the LVCVA and destination Las Vegas and I’m looking forward to the opportunities that are quickly taking shape.
Why do you attend Expo! Expo!?
I look forward to attending Expo! Expo! for the countless opportunities to network with and learn from my peers, clients and the international exhibition Industry.
This year, Expo! Expo! will be held in Las Vegas and the LVCVA team has been working with the IAEE team closely in incorporating Vegas flair into Expo! Expo!. What can you say about that experience?
Las Vegas is the destination leader for hosting the top trade shows in North America and at the forefront of innovation and hospitality strategies. Last year alone, Las Vegas hosted nearly 24,000 meetings and conventions attracting an astonishing 6.5 million attendees. As you can imagine, this volume of business requires a great deal of support, and Las Vegas is well equipped to deliver an outstanding level of service with nearly 150,000 hotel rooms and thousands of incredible industry professionals ready to meet the needs of our valued guests.
What education sessions caught your attention at Expo! Expo! in the past? Did you have any takeaways from those sessions?
I have always enjoyed the education sessions about attendance and audience acquisition techniques for live events. Through these sessions, I have collaborated with our team to develop and deploy attendance promotion campaigns for our trade show organizers. Over time, these programs have evolved and helped our partners achieve continued success.
A recent example of this evolution is the addition of our new chatbot, ‘Lili’, that utilizes artificial intelligence to engage visitors on vegasmeansbusiness.com to provide information about ‘What’s New in Las Vegas’ and why Las Vegas is a good fit for your next event.
How do you approach your time spent at Expo! Expo!?
Prepare to be busy! The agenda is full of incredible learning opportunities and the time goes by fast. Don’t waste a single moment to reach out and shake a hand or exchange business cards. The connections you make at Expo! Expo! are incredibly valuable and rewarding.
Name an unforgettable moment that has happened to you at Expo! Expo!.
I was named Chairman of IAEE in December of 2009 and my wife came to Atlanta to hear my acceptance speech. That was very special. The next year, in New Orleans, I was carried into the general session aboard a Mardi Gras float. The photo of this was published in the Trade Show Executive Magazine. It was definitely memorable!
If you were talking to someone who had not attended Expo! Expo! and was considering going, what would you say to him/her?
Face-to-face interactions are critical when it comes to professional development and moving business forward. Don’t miss out on the networking opportunities you will have at Expo! Expo!. We anticipate high attendance for this year’s event and guarantee the experiences in store for Las Vegas won’t be forgotten, providing even more opportunities to develop memorable connections with your peers.
What tip would you give to a first-time attendee that you wish someone had told you when you attended Expo! Expo! for the first time?
I highly recommend approaching any board member of the association, past or present, and asking them to introduce you to another member. We are in the business of making meaningful connections and our association leaders are always eager to help foster those relationships.
What is one event or program that attendees cannot miss at Expo! Expo!?
In addition to the extensive educational programming offered throughout the conference agenda, you won’t want to miss out on the receptions held in Las Vegas. We are the Entertainment Capital of the World and we always deliver on our brand promise!
What should attendees expect when they arrive in Las Vegas for Expo! Expo!?
Expect the unexpected. It won’t take long to realize ‘Vegas Changes Everything’. In fact, that’s the sentiment behind our latest marketing campaign and the messaging holds true. Whether you are traveling to Las Vegas for the first time, or joining us for a return visit, you’ll be amazed by all of the experiences and amenities the destination has to offer. Las Vegas is a 24-hour destination, and we encourage you to make the most of every moment. We are looking forward to welcoming our IAEE friends to Fabulous Las Vegas!
Trade show floor, education and networking…all in one place. Attend the “show for shows” in Las Vegas this year. Register today!