Welcome to Vegas
On June 15, 2021 Caesars Entertainment was finally able open
to throw open the doors of it spectacular new conference center the “Caesars Forum” and welcome the venue’s first conference group for Meeting Planners International.
The CAESARS FORUM conference center is the newest addition to the Caesars Entertainment world. The new build conference center has a total of 550,000 square feet total usable space, including 300,000 square feet of flexible meeting space and the two largest pillar-less ballrooms in the world. That is worth repeating…the TWO largest pillar-less ballrooms in the WORLD!
This is LEED Silver certified complex that can accommodate up to 10,000 attendees. The two great pillar-less ballrooms are each 110,000 square feet and are supported by two smaller 40,000 square feet ballrooms and more than 100 break-out rooms. The ballrooms can be divided into limitless configurations, with 2.1 miles of airwalls. Caesars Forum also features a dedicated heart of house, equipped with state-of-the-art culinary equipment, providing participants with restaurant-quality dining.
All of this goodness is conveniently located at the foot of the Linq Promenade with direct access to more than 8,500 hotel rooms at Harrah’s Las Vegas, The LINQ and Flamingo Hotels.
MPI’s (Meeting Planners International) WEC Vegas was the hospitality industry’s first large COVID-19 era gathering with more than 1200 attendees. By June 15th, Las Vegas was allowing venues to operate at full capacity with fully vaccinated attendees are not required to wear masks. Yet, both MPI and Caesars had protocols in place to ensure both that everyone felt safe and was safe.
Temperature checks were required when first entering the conference center, after which attendees had a wristband attached that would allow them access without having to go through additional temperature checks. Once inside the building a house physician was available for any issues that may have arisen. While some issues did arise, thankfully they were more along the lines of twisted ankles. MPI also took social distancing serious as the ballrooms were setup with 10 foot rounds, but only 4 seats at each table.
The program included daily WEC general sessions, curated off-site networking programs and professional development workshops. On Tuesday, June 15, Lisa Messina, Vice President of Sales for Caesars Entertainment, welcomed the group during the keynote session in the 110,000-square-foot Summit Ballroom.
A hybrid event, WEC placed an emphasis on safety in bringing together 1,229 people in Las Vegas and attracted another 568 remote attendees. Content reflected the state of the industry, pointing toward ways to hold events responsibly while confronting social issues that reinforce the need for greater diversity and inclusion.
While 1,229 attendees live attendees makes this the largest industry event of the COVID-19 era, it was about half of normal WEC attendance. WEC Vegas attendee count underscores current industry worries as current statistics indicate that business travel is not coming back as quickly as hoped. Industry shows bringing together trade show organizers and meeting planners with destination representatives and venue operators will be important in spurring new events that should help fill many of the still vacant hospitality industry jobs and further resuscitating the U.S. and global economy.
Concurrent with the public launch of CAESARS FORUM, across Las Vegas Boulevard Caesars Palace debuted a new restaurant concept- Amalfi by Bobby Flay. Amalfi brings Flay’s admiration for Mediterranean cuisine to life through its rustic elegance and bold, fresh menu. A focal point of Amalfi is the fresh fish and seafood display, inspired by Amalfi’s coastal markets and staffed by a knowledgeable fishmonger, who is available to answer any guests’ questions—from where the fish is from, when it arrived in Las Vegas and more.
Amalfi by Bobby Flay at Caesars Palace is open 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Reservations are encouraged. For more information and to make reservations, visit www.caesars.com/caesars-palace/restaurants/amalfi.
For information on CAESARS FORUM visit www.CaesarsForum.com