If you’re planning an annual sales celebration – or having a convention, or having a corporate retreat, or all three – Las Vegas is now the best value in America.
Vegas (one could argue) also has the best food, the best shopping and the best entertainment in all the United States – maybe the world.
Corporate meetings are making a mild comeback. After taking more than a year off, it seems the desire (and need) to gather has returned. UPDATE: Las Vegas has hundreds of meeting venues, and more than 140,000 hotel rooms, and, depending on the dates, many are vacant. Very vacant.
HISTORY: For the past 20 years, Las Vegas was the convention and meeting capitol of the world. That came to a halt when a very high-ranking elected official decided to stick his foot in his mouth, and his nose where it didn’t belong, and discourage businesses from celebrating success (specifically in a city named Las Vegas). He actually warned businesses not to go there. Huh?
The fallout from that was disastrous. Even though we live in a “free” country, businesses took this warning to heart and cancelled hundreds of millions of dollars worth of meetings. Overnight. Las Vegas was the hardest hit.
Personally, I was booked for 10 corporate keynotes in Las Vegas. They all evaporated. Cancelled. Ouch.
WHAT REALLY HAPPENS IN VEGAS? In spite of alluring and suggestive commercials, when businesses meet for a conference or a trade show, “opportunity” happens. Businessmen and women from all over the world converge to plan, strategize, buy, sell, learn, make connections, build relationships and create commerce. All positive things in a negative economy. All progressive economic actions at a time when progress and growth are desperately needed.
At these meetings there is also recognition of people who have done well, made profit, won contests and achieved success. These awards are powerful tools of personal pride and achievement incentive.
CAUTION: Yes, Vegas has diversions – some risqué clubs, gambling everywhere, open 24/7, easy access to liquor and some of the finest wines in the world. My advice is MODERATION. If you’re dying to spend money, play some slots or blackjack – but also buy some clothing. This way you go home with something.
PERSONAL STORY: In spite of the “official” warning, I decided to do my part for the Las Vegas economy and hold two public seminars there in November of 2009. We selected the Green Valley Ranch in Henderson, off the strip, and I could not have been more pleased. EVERYTHING at the resort was first class. The people, the service, the meeting rooms, the hotel rooms and especially the food. Before we left the property, we booked it again for this year. Had to. Too nice of a place, and too good of a deal.
JUST DO IT: Have your meeting this year. Do it in Las Vegas. Celebrate your success, celebrate your customers, celebrate your industry and especially celebrate (and thank) your people.
ADVICE TO POLITICIANS: Stick to making laws, defending our country and keeping our troops out of harm’s way. Keep your nose out of the free enterprise system, or you’ll soon find yourself back in it. Companies go to Las Vegas and other meeting venues because they have had success and want to celebrate, educate and get ready for the next business cycle. Who are you do discourage success? And how many jobs did you eliminate by doing it?
NOTE WELL: Businesses can celebrate because they made a profit. When is the last time the government made a profit?
Don’t gamble on your next meeting. Las Vegas has all-around impact for lovers – business lovers, sales lovers and success lovers. Vegas, baby!
Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible and The Little Red Book of Selling. Chief executive salesman and president of Buy Gitomer, he gives corporate and public seminars, runs annual sales meetings and conducts Internet training programs on selling and customer loyalty at www.trainone.com. He can be reached at (704) 333-1112 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.