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LVCC Considering Renovations

wholesale merchandise - las vegas showsThe Las Vegas Convention Center’s need for renovations and new exhibit and meeting space should have already occurred was the consensus among top trade show organizers who spoke Oct. 22 to the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee.

 

In a candid fact-finding session, they urged the 11-member committee to think strategically about the Las Vegas future and its position not just as a U.S., but also as a global trade show destination.

 

The session was the third of five the committee was conducting before making decisions on what would be priorities for next year.

 

The panel of trade show organizers representing the Consumer Electronics Association, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, UBM-Advanstar, the National Association of Broadcasters, the Specialty Marketing Association and the International Council of Shopping Centers expressed their support for the $2.3 billion Convention Center District improvement program proposed by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority that would add indoor and outdoor space, meeting rooms, tech and facilities improvements.

 

Among their concerns was that 2022, the date when the proposed project would be completed, still is too far away, and they need to grow their shows now.

 

Karen Chupka, senior vice president of International CES, said that for the first time in its history, the show that brought more than 160,000 attendees to Las Vegas this year will be capping its attendance in 2016 because of the logistics of moving people around the city.

 

The record-breaking show will run out of space by 2018. “We’re looking for alternatives,” she added. “We’ve just launched an event in China. We see (the convention center project) as a beginning, but it’s only a beginning.”

 

Chris Brown, executive vice president of conventions and business operations for the National Association of Broadcasters, said: “We’re at a point of building tents in the parking lot. We’re completely out of meeting space, which is a key issue for us because we’re unable to add new educational programs.  It impacts our ability to grow attendance.”

 

He also noted that the “tired” facility is not the experience that the high-tech corporations are looking for.