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Industry Briefs

The New CAESARS FORUM Hosted its First Major In-Person Conference for Meeting Professionals International in Two of the Largest Pillarless Ballrooms in the World June 15-17, 2021

Don Welsh welcomes WEC attendees on Main Stage

Caesars Entertainment, Inc. , the largest casino-entertainment company in the U.S. and one of the world's most diversified casino-entertainment providers, welcomed Meeting Professionals International World Education Congress (MPI WEC 2021) from June 15-17, 2021. The conference was the first major in-person meeting held at the 550,000-sq. ft. conference center, which is in the center of the Las Vegas Strip and features the world's two largest pillarless ballrooms.

Caesars Forum Pre-Function Main Entrance

Caesars Entertainment Booth at Trade Show

The program included daily WEC general sessions, curated off-site networking programs and professional development workshops. Topics for workshops included everything from "Strategies and Techniques for Producing Effective Hybrid Meetings" and "Next-Gen Event Destination Marketing," to "Forging Your Path: A Journey to Improve Diversity, Equity and Inclusion" and "The Future of Meetings Contracts & Liability…and the Future is Now."

Forging Your Path panel

MPI WEC Opening Session in the 110,000-sq. ft. Summit Ballroom at Caesars Forum

The highlight for many attendees was the opening General Session "Forging Your Path: A Journey to Improve Diversity, Equity and Inclusion," which featured a high powered panel of industry icons including: Elliott Ferguson, President/CEO of Destination DC; Julie Coker, President/CEO of the San Diego Tourism Authority; Jason Dunn, Group Vice President, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Cincinnati USA CVB and Chairman Emiratis of the National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals; Amy Calvert, president of the Events Industry Council; and Melvin Tennant, President/CEO of Meet Minneapolis.   Tennant is also the first African-American in history to ever head a CVB, serving as President/CEO of the Oakland CVB in the 1980s.

Tennant explained the purpose of the session this way.  "While I am blessed to be among some prominent industry leaders, I want to make sure that we convey the importance of making everyone aware of the many unheard voices that we represent.   Those of us with a platform must be good stewards of the privilege."

Cleo Battle                                   Devon Lewis 

Other highlights included: presentations by industry veterans Cleo Battle, recently appointed President/CEO of Louisville Tourism, and Devin Lewis, Director of Regional Sales at Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority - LVCVA; an appearance by the entertainer Usher, who joined MPI President and CEO Paul Van Deventer on the main stage to discuss the power of human connections; and several moving performances by Voices of Service, a four-person acappella group that is composed of veteran and active military service members.

Usher & Paul Van Deventer on Main Stage

While WEC was about business and profession al development, there was no shortage of opportunities for fun and entertainment.  The Opening Reception at Allegiant Stadium boasted a variety of alluring food and drink stations, an array of games where some attendees got the thrill of going long to catch a pass on a professional football field, and of course, an abundance of networking opportunities.  

Opening Reception at Allegiant Stadium

EC was capped off by gala Rendezvous Closing Night Celebration at the Venetian Resort Las Vegas for a final round of networking, mouthwatering cuisine and refreshing cocktails.

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