In Las Vegas, the Show Goes On

Vegas photo by David_Vasquez (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

As the nation was waking up Monday to news of the unthinkable massacre in Las Vegas, trade show organizers were issuing statements about their events for this week and the days to come. (TSNN has compiled a list of these statements from various shows.) And no, none of them have cancelled.

Meanwhile, venues along the Vegas Strip did cancel many of their Monday activities, and the Bellagio fountains went dark out of respect for the victims. But by Tuesday, most were up and running once again and things along the Strip were back to “normal” (however you define that for Vegas).

So will there be any long-term changes in how mega-hotels and events function as a result of this tragedy? One security expert shares his thoughts in this candid interview by M&C Magazine. And while there’s likely no way to predict the behavior of outliers like the Vegas shooter, he does share some valuable tips for both hotel staff and event organizers to pay attention to.

Ironically, it was less than a month ago I shared a post about the importance of event security, and this is definitely a topic that isn’t going away. I challenge all members of the trade show and events industry – exhibitors, event organizers, venues, or suppliers – to have these difficult conversations and know how to respond to a tragedy. While we may not be able to prevent crazy, evil people from acting out their hateful plans, we can all be better prepared to help our attendees survive.

UPDATE 10.13.17: This week, IMEX America went on as scheduled and took time to pay tribute to both the victims and those who work to make Las Vegas run.

Successful Meetings published an article highlighting the need for enhanced event security. And M&C Magazine shared the incredible story of how one meeting planner responded when the call came in about an active shooter on the floor where staff members were staying at Mandalay Bay. (Includes some great tips for all meeting planners to implement!)

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With experiences as both an exhibitor and a show organizer, Marlys Arnold has a unique perspective on trade show exhibiting. As an exhibit marketing strategist, she travels the country consulting and training on how to create experiential exhibits that produce significantly higher numbers of qualified leads. She’s led workshops for events ranging from local consumer expos to some of the largest trade shows in the U.S. She hosts the Trade Show Insights blog/podcast, and is the author of Build a Better Trade Show Image, the Exhibitor Education Manifesto, and the ExhibitorEd Success System. Exhibit Design That Works (the first book in the YES: Your Exhibit Success series) debuted in July 2017. She’s also the founder of the Exhibit Marketers Café, an online education community.

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