From Instagramable moments to strolling entertainers, MGM Resorts Event Productions uses design, décor and entertainment to drive home the point of your meeting.
Meeting planners are always searching for that “X factor” that will make their meetings memorable long after attendees have returned home. They’ve been on the hunt to improve attendee experience and engagement for years—but at what cost? Raising the bar high has become the norm, with attendees now expecting a novel element at each event they attend. Facing flat—or declining—budgets, how can planners keep up with consumer expectations?
The simple answer is partnerships. The most evident way to partner—one that many planners do exceedingly well—is to work closely with your host destination and venue. But increasingly, planners are looking to the venue to bring in their partners to elevate the experience and add an element of surprise. In fact, 76 percent of companies agree that partnerships are key to delivering on their revenue goals, according to the June 2019 Forrester Consulting study “Invest In Partnerships To Drive Growth And Competitive Advantage.” Forrester surveyed 454 global decision makers and found that over half of their companies (52 percent) generate more than 20 percent of revenue from existing partnerships.
For those planning events in Las Vegas, many have chosen to work with MGM Resorts for this exact reason. The company has a dedicated division for event productions that transforms everyday events to over-the-top experiences—all thanks to MGM Resorts Event Productions. MGM Resorts Event Productions produces more than 2,100 events each year—ranging from small, intimate gatherings to events that attract 1,000s of attendees.
Whether it’s creating a homey environment for a 10 x 10 trade booth through eye-catching graphics and comfortable furniture or providing design, décor and entertainment for a 1,000-person event, MGM Resorts Event Productions works with planners to make the most of their meeting, says Marti B. Winer, vice president Event Productions.
Event Productions serves all MGM Resorts’ properties in Las Vegas, including Bellagio Resort & Casino, ARIA Resort & Casino, MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino and The Mirage, and it includes 110,000-square-foot studio space for creating graphics, fabricating props, creating costumes and drapery, and developing floral arrangements. The studio also has shelves and shelves of props, accessories, costumes and drapes that have already been assembled.
“The warehouse is like a candy store for event planners who can peruse the aisles and gather inspiration and ideas,” Winer says. “Other than a Hollywood-style prop house, there’s nothing like it in the country.”
Having so much creativity at their fingertips is a gold mine for attendees. Because Event Productions’ team members are MGM Resorts employees, they are naturally intertwined with the properties and are trained in the company’s culture of delivering unparalleled service and wowing guests. This unique connection also allows many planners to benefit from lower costs than sourcing and bringing in outside vendors. Plus, in the spirit of true partnership, Event Productions offers more than just access to the warehouse.
“It’s important that planners meet with the design studio staff before an event to discuss meeting goals—including what they’re trying to achieve with the meeting and what they want the audience to experience during the meeting,” Winer says. “Based on that, we can create something really unique and creative.”
For instance, it’s essential to understand the demographics of meeting attendees. Last summer, a marketing association had its annual meeting at Mandalay Bay and its first event was a pool party that included Instagramable moments. “It signaled to attendees it would be a fun meeting,” Winer says. “It also made it easy for the digital marketing attendees to document their conference experience on Instagram, reinforcing the meeting’s brand and the attendees’ personal brand. An entire wall of pineapples and fruits wearing sunglasses was a very popular photo spot where attendees posed with pool party props.”
Planners at another recent meeting wanted to ensure attendees had ample opportunities to network. To help them interact, Event Productions created a traffic flow that encouraged attendees to talk with each other regardless of whether they had met before. “We like to take something common, like serving a drink, and make it interesting to encourage conversation,” she says.
This added boost of creativity especially comes in handy for repeat conference clients—those using the same space but looking for new design elements or surprises for attendees. “It’s a fun challenge to make the venue a different experience each year,” she says.
No matter the situation, the goal of any creative execution is to reinforce the conference’s theme and call to action with design, décor and entertainment. It can be what takes your meeting to the next level—leaving attendees smiling and inspired for weeks to come.
MGM Resorts offers 4 million square feet of meeting and convention space within a two-mile stretch on the Las Vegas Strip. Advanced designs feature robust and creative meeting options to meet the ever-changing needs for collaborative and productive work spaces. To learn more, view our available venues throughout the city.