By the time the SHOT Show opens this coming January, Las Vegas will be a well-oiled veteran in welcoming the return of large trade shows and business events. Many industries have already launched successful and safe large-scale trade events. In case you aren’t receiving this type of information in your news feeds, we wanted to take a moment to celebrate Las Vegas’ success, and to look forward to bringing our own industry back together in just a few more weeks!
Las Vegas Means Business About Getting Back to Business
Large meetings and conventions successfully returned to Las Vegas without capacity restrictions this past June, starting with World of Concrete. From June through September, approximately 25 events were held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, welcoming more than 310,000 attendees, and now through January 2022, another 22 events are currently planned with more than 515,000 attendees expected.
— Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA)
Vegas Hosts its Biggest Show of 2021!
From November 2–5, the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) Show was held at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The event was held in conjunction with AAPEX and welcomed over 100,000 people, confirming delegates are confident about traveling and eager to get back to business.
The industry was clearly excited to be back in-person at the SEMA Show, both to capture business opportunities and to network and celebrate the world’s greatest collection of innovation on wheels,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “Our industry was waiting to reconnect, and the SEMA Show was a welcome homecoming after nearly two years apart.
PACK Expo Returns to Las Vegas with Rave Reviews
PACK Expo, the packaging and processing industry’s trade show, held a successful and safe event this past August at the Las Vegas Convention Center with over 23,000 people in attendance. The event saw great traffic in spite of rumors circulating pre-show that attendance would be light. On the contrary, the busy aisles of qualified and motivated professionals generated incredibly positive feedback from both exhibitors and attendees of the event.
— Jeff Pressman, ConvExx
Healthcare, Fashion Industries Hold Successful In-Person Shows in August
Two industries—healthcare and fashion—returned to in-person trade shows in August in the city, and the results exceeded expectations. The healthcare industry came together for the 2021 HIMSS Global Health Conference & Exhibition, held (like the SHOT Show) at both The Venetian Expo and Caesars Forum. Also in August, the fashion industry’s MAGIC, PROJECT, and SOURCING at MAGIC trade shows returned to the Las Vegas Convention Center. Kelly Helfman, commercial president for Informa Markets Fashion, told the Review-Journal, “Fashion is so tactile, these buyers want to touch and feel the product that they’re buying for their stores. So it’s really important that we’re here, in person, doing business.” A similar statement can be made of our industry, and what we’re learning from our trade show industry peers and partners is greatly helping us in preparing for our return to Las Vegas this January.
— Chris Dolnack, NSSF
A Successful Return to In-Person Events Underway
As live events continue to return with great success in Las Vegas and across the country, leaders from the trade show industry and associations gathered in Washington, D.C., recently to present a strong data-driven message: in-person events are safe, they are returning safely and successfully, and they are helping to reinvigorate the U.S. economy. Trade Show News Network featured a very good summary of the “Let’s Meet There” event. The campaign also released an informative fact sheet: “Data to Support the Safety of Travel for Professional Meetings and Events.”
— Melissa Schilling, NSSF
Nonstop Flights from Europe Return to Las Vegas
As international borders open into the United States, Las Vegas is happy to welcome international visitors. Nonstop service from London Heathrow began recently, along with additional airlines adding routes in November. Nonstop service from Amsterdam will return on December 7. To date, the SHOT Show has seen international buyer registrations from 74 countries.
— Lindsay Schaeffer, ConvExx
Pedestrian Bridge to Caesars Forum Completed
With the SHOT Show’s expansion to the new Caesars Forum, this will be our largest floorplan in show history. To make navigating between The Venetian Expo and Caesars Forum as seamless as can be, a bridge was recently constructed connecting the two convention centers—with attendees making the walk between buildings in less than one minute. The bridge was used for the first time during the recent HIMSS Global Health Conference & Exhibition, with great success.
— Jeff Pressman, ConvExx
Thankful for an Industry Like No Other
I’ve been very fortunate to work in this industry for over 35 years, and along the way, to have made lifelong friendships with people across this great country (and the world). This is an industry like no other. You’ve probably heard people describe it as one big family, and that’s exactly what it is—people that are there for each other in challenging times and in the best of times. All of us at NSSF and everyone involved in the production of the SHOT Show are very thankful for you, our SHOT Show family, and we can’t wait to welcome you back to the best “family reunion” we’ve ever had in January.
Registration is in full swing, hotels are booking fast, and our education seminars are already filling up (our ATF/NICS Townhall seminar is already sold out! The quickest sellout of that event since we started it). The SHOT Show is back, and believe it or not, it’s just eight weeks away. We hope you all had a very Happy Thanksgiving, and we’ll see you soon in Las Vegas.
— Chris Dolnack, NSSF