Meetings

Las Vegas Bets on New Ad Campaigns to Attract Meetings

By / Jul 23, 2014 (iStock/Thinkstock)

Even though federal agencies are staying away, Las Vegas is holding its own as a meeting and convention destination. Still, Sin City thinks it can do better, and it’s using two new ad campaigns to bring in new meeting business.

Las Vegas isn’t hurting in the convention-business department: Sin City continues to be the destination of choice for a number of large tradeshow events each year. But as federal spending on conventions in the city has decreased in the aftermath of several conference scandals, the perception remains that Las Vegas might not be the most cost-effective place for an organization to host an event.

“Las Vegas is the meetings and convention capital of the world, and we intend to keep that title for a very long time.”

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) is combating that image with two new ad campaigns that rolled out this month.

“Las Vegas is the meetings and convention capital of the world, and we intend to keep that title for a very long time,” Cathy Tull, senior vice president of marketing for LVCVA, said in a statement. “Our new campaigns stand out by capitalizing on the energy and excitement of Las Vegas and adding our unique flair to the serious business of conducting meetings and events.”

The business-to-consumer campaign will focus on C-suite executives who have the final say in location selection for an organization’s meetings. A series of print and digital ads emphasize the return on investment that Las Vegas-hosted events can provide, on top of the destination’s unique personality. Here’s one example, below:

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The business-to-business campaign, targeting meetings professionals, will look to build on a segment that already brings 22,000 meetings and events to the city and will push Las Vegas’ ability to make “events more eventful.”

“The goal of the new ad campaigns is to continue to build awareness that Las Vegas is the premiere destination to hold a successful, memorable, and cost-effective meeting,” said Chris Meyer, LVCVA’s vice president of global business sales. “We are embracing the notion that Las Vegas is unique while underscoring the fact that no other destination delivers on the promise of value, convenience, customer services, and unlimited options like Las Vegas.”

Government meeting planners are a different animal for LVCVA. Despite attempts to court the GOP’s 2016 Republican National Convention, the city was outbid by Cleveland. And government travel spending in Las Vegas has plummeted in recent years. According to a recent USA Today report, the federal government spent $92,736 on Las Vegas hotel rooms during fiscal year 2013, down from a high of roughly $2.5 million in FY 2010—the year the General Services Administration spent $800,000 on a training conference at a Las Vegas resort that featured taxpayer-funded parties, expensive dinners, and clowns and mind readers.

LVCVA has moved past that, Meyer said.

“Surveys show Las Vegas is popular with meeting professionals, and … attendance increases on average 8 percent when meetings rotate into Las Vegas,” he said. “We often say, if you are an association meeting planner and want to be a superstar, consider Las Vegas because delegates will have an experience they will never forget.”

Rob Stott

Rob Stott is a contributing editor for Associations Now. More »

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