After safely and successfully producing a handful of trade and consumer shows in Florida since last October, Informa Markets  led the way for the industry again by reopening the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) with the production of World of Concrete (WOC) 2021, held June 7-10. After being postponed from its original dates in January, the 46th edition of WOC was the first show to use the LVCC’s new $1 billion, 1.4 million-square-foot West Hall expansion.

“It could not be a more fitting opening for this convention center than the World of Concrete,” said NV Gov. Steve Sisolak during a ribbon cutting ceremony prior to the exhibit hall opening on June 8. Other guests included Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) President and CEO Steve Hill, LVCVA Board Chairman John Marz, who is also a Henderson City Council member, and Clark County Commission Chairwoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick.

“We spent 15-plus months carefully working to balance the health and safety of the public with our economic vitality,” Sisolak said. “It’s been a long time coming, Nevada, but we made it.”

Originally set to open in January 2021 with CES, the West Hall features 600,000 square feet of exhibition space, including 328,000 square feet of column-free space. An open-air atrium features a 10,000-square-foot digital screen. Offering views of the Strip, a 14,000-square-foot outdoor terrace can hold receptions of up to 2,000 attendees.

The WOC exhibit hall opened with 650 exhibiting

companies across just under 300,000 net square feet of exhibit space. The show drew 18,254 attendees over the course of three days. By comparison, WOC 2020, held Feb. 3-7 at the LVCC, drew about 54,000 registered professionals and 1,310 companies exhibiting across more than 700,000 net square feet. International visitors came from 29 countries outside of the U.S. The 2020 show generated $59.6 million in direct and $103 million in indirect economic impact.

Sisolak and other local government officials applauded the return of the hospitality and event industry that had largely been shut down since March 13, 2020. There was much to celebrate: In 2019 prior to Covid-19, the meeting and convention industry represented $11.4 billion in economic impact to the Southern Nevada area.

In addition, there was plenty of media buzz over the debut of the LVCC Loop, the underground transit system developed by Elon Musk’s The Boring Company. The $52.5 million people-mover system transports convention attendees in all-electric Tesla vehicles throughout the 200-plus-acre campus — all 40 feet beneath the ground.

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