I go to Las Vegas 20 times a year when the economy is normal – 10 times a year over the past two years.
Times are not normal.
But I was there recently delivering four seminars in three days.
Las Vegas is the seminar capital of the United States – by far. It’s also the hotel capital of the United States, it’s also the gambling capital of the United States, and it’s also the entertainment capital, the shopping capital, and the eating capital.
Oh sure, some people will argue with me about one thing or another I just mentioned, but that’s just because they don’t come here 10 times a year and witness the magnitude of choices on any given night.
Last night we went to see Joan Rivers – 77-year-old, funny-as-hell Joan Rivers. She was not just funny; she was also rehearsed and polished, and her timing was impeccable. Hopefully each of you reading this will be as mentally clear at age 77 as Joan Rivers is.
Through her rough language and somewhat abrasive style, she talked for two hours about the attractiveness of celebrity. Yes, she dropped a lot of other celebrities’ names as friends of hers, but I (and the others assembled) was willing to take her word for it.
About 750 people were attracted to the Joan Rivers’ performance – at somewhere between $89-$199 per ticket. Everyone enjoyed themselves. Happy to pay the money.
And when we left the performance, there were thousands of other people in the Venetian Casino and the Wynn Casino also enjoying themselves. More than half the people were dressed to the nines.
That’s another huge attraction of Las Vegas. People are there to celebrate something and have a good time. And everyone (well, almost everyone) is having a great time 24/7. How good of a time are you having?
At any given moment, upwards of 250,000 people are attracted to Las Vegas to celebrate something. Holidays like Valentine’s Day or New Year’s attract even more people. Halloween, Mardi Gras, or the Super Bowl – forget about it.
The airport is full (well, almost full) of people with positive anticipation, ready to partake in the festivity known as Vegas, Baby! Vegas has its own nicknames and expressions. The region began as “Sin City” and after 50 years blossomed into the slogan “What happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas.”
People come to Vegas for conventions, business meetings, sales rallies, and other forms of annual meetings – to learn, to interact, to network, to sell, and to return home three or four days later with great memories and stories. (NOTE: It doesn’t all stay in Vegas anymore. Some of it gets posted on Facebook.) And at the end of the day, there are some winners and some non-winners – but everyone was happy that they came and can’t wait to come back.
The past two years have not been kind to Las Vegas. The city has suffered harder (maybe hardest) than any other city in the country. The reason is twofold: People have less disposable income, and high-up government officials have discouraged corporations from coming to Vegas for celebration.
One of the best parts about American business is the free enterprise of it. Oh sure, there are going to be abuses. Oh sure, there is going to be greed. But we have a decent check and balance system, decent people live here, and a decent legal system that keeps most people on the straight and narrow.
As the economy tries to rebound from its recession, depression, and debacle, I’m hoping that more people will choose to celebrate their recovery in places like Las Vegas, in order that they might reset the hope that we’re on a better path, and make plans to ensure that hope becomes reality.
Have you made celebration plans?
Have you put your annual meetings back on track?
In 2011, I already have about a half-a-dozen Las Vegas seminars booked. It’s an indicator that we, as an economy, are trying our best to re-set and re-start the success process. It’s important now that sales people re-double their efforts and re-double their commitments to make enough sales and to make enough profit, so that celebration ensues.
As this year draws to a close, please do not wait until the end to count your money or your profit. Dive in now. Work hard now. Make sales now. And I’ll see you in Vegas next year.
Jeffrey Gitomer is the president of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer. He gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts Internet training programs on selling and customer service at www.gitomer.com. He can be reached at (704) 333-1112 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.