With Challenge Comes Innovation

As we near the end of the year, it’s always a good time to reflect on where we’ve been and more importantly where we are headed next. There’s no question, this has been one of the most challenging years for the meetings industry as a whole, and most of us individually as well. But with that, we’ve learned so many lessons. We’ve listened to our partners; we’ve learned how to innovate quickly, and most importantly we’ve come together as an industry to demonstrate incredible resiliency in a time of great uncertainty and change.

The sales team at MGM Resorts International has worked tirelessly to address our clients’ most immediate needs this year and also begin planning for events longer term. We’ve had to pivot quickly as guidelines rapidly evolve and change, and we are grateful to all of our partners who continue to entrust us with their business.

Throughout all of the challenges we’ve faced this year and all of the adjustments we’ve made along the way, the health and safety of our guests and employees remains paramount in all we do.

Earlier in the year, as our resorts began to reopen, we introduced a comprehensive Seven-Point Health and Safety Plan that included numerous health and safety protocols throughout our properties to ensure guests have a safer, comfortable experience as they return to our resorts.

We then took that one step further and developed a robust initiative specifically for groups called Convene with Confidence. This program represents everything we’ve learned about health and safety with an increased focus on utilizing technology and innovation to not only provide a better guest experience – but a safer one as well.

Convene with Confidence consists of detailed protocols to incorporate health and safety into every aspect of the convention and meeting process including virtual site inspections, creative catering options, and venue arrangements that meet all physical distancing requirements. Most notably, however, is the optional on-site rapid testing we are offering so attendees can enjoy their events with a little peace of mind.

We partnered with biometric secure identity company CLEAR to leverage its new Health Pass technology – something not seen before in our industry. Event attendees verify their identity on an app, answer health questions, get a temperature check and take an on-site rapid COVID-19 test that provides results within 20 minutes. Those with positive results will not be allowed into the perimeter of the event and will follow our standard incident protocols in place.

This is truly revolutionary for our industry and we hope it will inspire more confidence and the ability to continue the recovery of the events and meeting industry.

Additionally, this year, we were able to accelerate digital innovations throughout our resorts that are not only convenient, but also help limit interactions in this time of social distancing. For example, we now have mobile check-in at all of our resorts, allowing guests to go straight to their rooms using their phones as a digital key. We’ve also introduced digital queue technology at our restaurants and pools where guests receive a text when their table is ready instead of waiting outside the venue.

As we look toward 2021, we recognize that gatherings may look different in the short term, but we believe that with challenge comes innovation. We will continue to work with each of our partners to develop creative alternatives to how meetings have typically been done and come up with new ways of utilizing not only meeting spaces, but also the many venues throughout our resorts.

We look forward to working with each of you in the coming weeks and months, and can’t wait to welcome you back to our resorts soon. Until then, we wish you a very happy (and healthy) holiday season.

Shelli Cruz, CMP, Director of Global Sales, MGM Resorts International

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