MGM Resorts uses health and safety program to bring back meetings Rege Behe, CDC Gaming Reports · April 8, 2021 at 4:14 pm Don’t look now, but Las Vegas’ meeting industry is ramping up. MGM Resorts International, through its Convene with Confidence program, has hosted nearly 300 meetings and groups since September 2020, the majority of them with less than 100 people. “Convene with Confidence is a result of close consultation with health experts and our increased focus on leveraging innovation to not only provide a better guest experience – but a safer one as well,” MGM Resorts CEO Bill Hornbuckle said in a statement. The Convene with Confidence initiative deploys CLEAR’s Cue Health and Impact Health Pass, an on-site rapid molecular COVID-19 testing regimen. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Venetian also is using CLEAR’s Heath Pass to bring back conventions and trade shows to the Sands Expo and Convention Center and the Venetian Congress Center. The NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights use the heath survey screening to process fans at T-Mobile Arena. The Health Pass uses mobile technology developed by CLEAR, a New York-based subsidiary of Alclear LLC, that connects a person’s verified identity to layers of COVID-19 related health information. Testing includes the following steps: Before entering the property, guests download the CLEAR mobile Health Pass app. Also prior to entry, guests answer a series of health-related questions. At the venue, an antigen or molecular test is administered to attendees. An optional temperature check is followed by a scan of guest QR codes on the app to calculate health insights. Based on survey answers and test results, users are either graded green, which approves entry, or red, indicating further testing and healthcare support may be required. MGM Resorts works with event planners on a case-by-case basis if a guest registers red and may require additional screening. According to a statement released by the resort, guests “have been very appreciative for the extra layer of safety and the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive.” As vaccination rates increase, MGM will also work with clients who desire proof of vaccine for attendees. “There is no singular formula for a successful program,” Stephanie Glanzer, MGM Resorts’ Senior Vice President and Chief Sales Officer, said in a statement. “Our expert team will guide each client in building a framework that works for their organization.” The Convene with Confidence program uses protocols including smart planning of events, contactless check-ins, and increased cleaning of common areas including doorknobs and food contact services. Virtual site visits, hybrid meetings, creative catering and adjusted floor plans to allow for social distancing are also part of the initiative. The largest meeting since Convene with Confidence was launched included 300 visitors. MGM Resorts also hosted a volleyball tournament with approximately 1,000 in attendance. COVID-19 sent the Las Vegas gaming and tourism market to record-settling lows in 2020. The year included a 78-day shut down of all gaming activities. Casino revenues fell to their lowest levels since 1996 and visitation was its lowest figure in more than 30 years. Convention and meeting attendance was also annihilated by the pandemic, with the number of delegates collapsing to a little more than 1.7 million, a decline of 74% from the more than 6.6 million meeting attendees in 2019. Over the last nine months of 2020, Las Vegas recorded zero in the number of convention delegates. Large-scale conferences, trade shows, and corporate meetings are a key market for the Strip’s midweek occupancy rates, which fell to 37% in 2020. Last month, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority said the market will host its first large-scale convention and tradeshow in more than a year when World of Concrete takes over the newly expanded Las Vegas Convention Center June 8-10. Rege Behe is lead contributor to CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at email@example.com. Please follow @RegeBehe_exPTR on Twitter.