Earlier this month, Skift published the trend report Leveraging Local Innovation in the Las Vegas Meetings Industry in partnership with Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Below is an excerpt from the report. Download the full report for free here:

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More than 170,000 people attend the annual CES conference in Las Vegas every January to explore the future of global connectivity and mobility. Once considered the world’s premier marketplace for tech gadgetry, CES has evolved into a forum highlighting innovation in every sector. In terms of its impact on the city, CES has elevated the image of Las Vegas as a global innovation distribution channel, similar to what SXSW has done for Austin.

“Las Vegas is a place where people go to learn, to be inspired, and develop relationships — Las Vegas is about seeing the future,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, which produces CES. He believes that the event will eventually top 200,000 attendees because every brand today is undergoing a digital transformation, and CES is the global showcase for next generation digital platforms.

“Las Vegas is a place where people go to learn, to be inspired, and develop relationships — Las Vegas is about seeing the future.” — Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, Consumer Technology Association

“CES is the largest innovation event in the world, but it’s really at the CXO level where people come from every different industry to see the intersection between their worlds with the future of technology,” Shapiro added. “Technology affects everyone, from agriculture to broadcasting to automotive to content to travel to leisure to everything.”

Hospitality, tourism, meetings, and hotel/travel technology are all central to the future of connectivity, mobility, and digital transformation. Therefore, as a global leader in those areas, Las Vegas has a cluster of expertise directly linked to the future of how communities collaborate to drive industry and society forward.

Karen Chupka, executive vice president, CES, CTA, says CES is a catalyst for knowledge sharing within the region. The show is a perfect example of how leaders in the Las Vegas innovation economy are building stronger networks that the city can leverage to engage outside companies more effectively.

“We work with the Nevada Trade and Development Authority to put on some programs during CES that benefit both of our interests,” said Chupka. “For instance, we usually host a breakfast in conjunction with them. Together we invite the local business community, as well as our CES attendees, to participate in a session with a high-profile speaker who talks about how technology is influencing business overall globally.”

That illustrates the power of events in advanced industries to influence policy and drive local innovation. For the first time in 2018, CES had three U.S. governors on stage to discuss state-level strategies to develop new technology more effectively. In recent years, there’s been a greater emphasis on the part of CES to engage political leaders in Nevada more.

“Because CES is in their backyard, there are many government officials in Nevada who are able to attend more easily,” said Chupka. “Therefore, they see what’s coming down the road as far as technology is concerned, and they’re able to put more specific agendas together to go and attract those businesses. That talks a bit about how we help educate people about technology and innovation in Las Vegas at both the city and state level.”

This is an excerpt from the Skift trend report Leveraging Local Innovation in the Las Vegas Meetings Industry, produced in partnership with Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. 

Get the report

Photo Credit: Gary Shapiro, CEO, Consumer Technology Association at CES 2018