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Meeting and Event Industry Reacts to the Las Vegas Shootings

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Meeting and event industry professionals reached out Monday to support the Las Vegas community reeling from the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

“MPI extends our deepest sympathies to the victims of the recent shooting in Las Vegas and their loved ones,” said Paul Van Deventer, president and CEO of Meeting Professionals International, the largest trade association in the world for meeting and event planners. “This incident is being described as the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history; the loss of life from this tragedy is truly senseless. Our thoughts and prayers are with the City of Las Vegas and all those impacted, including our partners and members based in the area.”

At least 58 people were killed and more than 500 injured in a shooting Sunday night during the Route 91 Harvest Festival, a three-day country event on the Vegas Strip. The shooter fired from the Mandalay Bay hotel across the street. MGM operates Las Vegas Village, the venue across the street from the Mandalay Bay and the Luxor, where Sunday night’s tragedy occurred.

"Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims of last night's shooting, their families, and those still fighting for their lives," said Jim Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International, which owns the Mandalay Bay Hotel. "We are working with law enforcement and will continue to do all we can to help all of those involved."

MGM earlier released a statement via Twitter, saying: "Our thoughts & prayers are with the victims of last night's tragic events. We're grateful for the immediate actions of our first responders."

More than 10,000 meeting and event industry professionals from around the world will be in Las Vegas for IMEX America, the annual North American trade show. The event, at the Sands Expo at The Venetian and The Palazzo hotel complex, is hosted by the IMEX Group. MPI is a strategic partner and provides a full day of educations on Smart Monday, the day before the trade show begins. More than 3,200 exhibiting companies are expected, representing nearly 140 countries.

“Our events planned for IMEX America next week in Las Vegas will continue as scheduled,” Van Deventer said. “We will work closely with our partners to ensure the safety and security of attendees, staff, volunteers, vendors and partners.

“A heightened focus on safety, security and risk management within our industry is paramount. This incident reinforces that we must all exercise vigilance for the meetings and events we plan, and MPI is focused on raising awareness, education and preparedness across our industry.”

MPI’s Smart Monday program does include education sessions on safety and security. MGM announced Monday it was providing crisis counseling to hotel guests and employees.

“We are shocked and saddened at the events that have taken place in Las Vegas recently, but IMEX America will certainly still be taking place,” said Carina Bauer, IMEX Group CEO. “This is obviously an evolving situation and we will be speaking with the team in Las Vegas as soon as we are able later today.

“Both IMEX America and the Sands have very strong security in place, with both visible and plain clothes security teams in the venue and at the tradeshow. Over the coming days, we will be working closely with the Sands, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and the Las Vegas authorities to assess any additional security measures that are needed at this time. We will take their full advice in ensuring the best possible security and safety of our guests.”

IMEX America previously announced it will move its trade show to Mandalay Bay in 2021.


About the Author

Rich
Rich Luna

Rich Luna is director of publishing for MPI and editor in chief of The Meeting Professional.