It will be just eight days since a shooter on the 32nd floor of MGM’s Mandalay Bay killed 58 and wounded 489 others during the Route 91 Harvest festival when IMEX America kicks off for Smart Monday on Oct. 9, at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas.
The deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history will surely weigh heavily on attendees’ hearts and minds. When a front-page story in the Las Vegas Review-Journal called the tragedy “a deadly ambush in a city built as an open invitation to the world,” it could have been speaking directly to Las Vegas’ global reputation as an iconic convention destination. IMEX America will bring 5,500-plus global event decision makers and 3,200-plus exhibitors from more than 130 countries to the city to confer and converse about the business of meeting face to face.
Following the event’s official start at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 10 when the trade show opens, MGM Resorts International will hold a #VegasStrong IMEX press conference. The message of the press conference — at 1:00 p.m. at the Venetian/Palazzo Congress Center, Veronese #2401–2502 — will be “one of an industry united,” Michael Dominguez, chief sales officer for MGM Resorts International told Convene. “We will have Vegas Strong and Vegas United as the theme.” Meetings industry leaders will be present, Dominguez said, in addition to several speakers who will talk.
In the aftermath of the tragedy, many in the industry have asked how they can help, Dominguez said. The MGM Resorts Foundation has set up a special fund to help support victims of the Las Vegas shooting, their families, and the organizations that support local first responders. “One-hundred percent of donations go to those who need it,” Sandy Zanella, public relations director for MGM Resorts International, told Convene. “MGM Resorts International absorbs all administrative costs.”
Stay tuned for IMEX America updates throughout the week.