Following its October hosting of the 19th World Routes Development Forum at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) detailed the results of a post-event survey on Nov. 12.
A conference bringing together the aviation industry’s top decision-makers, World Routes attendees consisted of more than 30 CEOs, 150 C-level executives and representatives from 264 airlines. They all represented 143 countries. Also, 7,900 pre-scheduled meetings took place during the event, which was held in the U.S. for the first time from Oct. 5-8.
Of the delegates surveyed, 62 percent said their perception of Las Vegas was positively altered. Prior to coming to the city, many of these decision-makers primarily saw Las Vegas as a leisure destination, according to Cathy Tull, senior vice president of marketing at LVCVA.
“[Airlines] thought they wouldn’t be able to fill their front business-class seats. Coming to Las Vegas brought to mind that they can fill the front seat of the plane,” she explained.
Also, being a leisure destination wasn’t seen as a bad thing. Seventy-three percent said they will return to the city for leisure purposes. Delegates gravitating toward Southern Nevada’s attractions was something seen firsthand by Rosemary Vassiliadis, director of aviation for Clark County Department of Aviation/McCarran International Airport.
When partnering for World Routes, LVCVA and McCarran hosted a golf outing for delegates. Many delegates didn’t sign up. Confused, Vassiliadis said she later realized many of the delegates were venturing out in the community to explore Red Rock Canyon and the Grand Canyon.
“[World Routes] was an unprecedented opportunity for all of us. It highlighted the technology, flexibility and efficiency of McCarran to airlines as well as our community,” Vassiliadis added. “I don’t know how far reaching this event will become.”
One thing she said she does know is that the next World Routes in Chicago won’t come close to Las Vegas. Vassiliadis cited Simon Parker, managing director of UBM Live, who stated that LVCVA and McCarran’s partnership was a model they’ll carry forward at future conferences. Show organizer UBM Live had only worked with airports at previous World Routes.
“Once again, we raised the bar,” Vassiliadis said.
Eighty-two percent of the delegates surveyed said they were satisfied with the experience, and 79 percent said they thought the meetings were effective.
World Routes was considered one of the most expensive conferences for LVCVA but a rare opportunity. The authority will host another aviation conference on a smaller scale when Boyd Aviation Group heads to Las Vegas in 2014.
See related article: “LVCVA and McCarran partnership serves as model for future World Routes.”