World Trade Center (WTC) Las Vegas is celebrating 10 years of operation this year and to mark the occasion, the organization incorporated innovative programming during CES® 2020, the world’s largest and most influential global technology event, which was held January 7-10, 2020. In partnership with the World Trade Centers Association (WTCA), WTC Las Vegas created the first-ever global CES® delegation program for the WTCA network. This venture represents a joint project between the “Trade Services Member Advisory Council” and the “Conventions & Exhibitions Member Advisory Council.” Response to this effort resulted in participation from 20 World Trade Centers across the world, bringing approximately 160 attendees and exhibitors to Las Vegas to experience CES®. This effort also resulted in the booking of more than 800 hotel room nights for Las Vegas hotel and resort partners, emphasizing the value events and exhibitions can bring to a destination. In total, CES® 2020 attracted an estimated 170,000+ attendees and generated an economic impact of US $283.3 million. Since its inception in 1978, CES® has drawn 4.7 million visitors to Las Vegas and has generated more than US $5.7 billion economic impact on the destination.
During the recent trade show, special presentations from key leaders of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), and the WTCA were delivered at several impactful occasions. On January 6, the recently-established WTC Las Vegas Business Club, the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce, hosted a welcome networking reception for the WTCA delegation. WTCA Vice Chair, Mariette Mulaire of WTC Winnipeg, delivered remarks at the start of the event promoting the importance of meeting face-to-face to accomplish business and trade goals. Additionally, during an exclusive breakfast event on January 9, WTCA Vice Chair, Remy Swaab of WTC Panama, presented WTC Las Vegas with an award for their commitment to driving business opportunities worldwide, in recognition of WTC Las Vegas’ decade of successful operations and innovative programs.
“We are happy to be here with more than 20 different World Trade Centers because we are actually combining the power of the amazing World Trade Center Las Vegas and the CES® show with our global network, and we’re also happy to be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of our global World Trade Centers Association network that has been connecting the business community for so long,” said Swaab.
WTC-associated business partners traveling to Las Vegas for CES® 2020 also received high accolades during the event.
“We started off a couple of months ago at CES® Unveiled in Amsterdam and we were awarded ‘Best of Innovation’ in the categories of sustainability, eco-design and smart energy, which is really fantastic and has given us a lot of visibility,” said Sabine Stuiver of Hydraloop Systems. “The World Trade Centers Association is like one big family, so it’s a warm welcome wherever you go in the world, especially in Las Vegas.” The group also received recognition in categories for ‘Best of the Best’ from additional notable entities participating in the show.
President and CEO of the CTA, Gary Shapiro, also delivered remarks at the exclusive WTC Las Vegas breakfast during the trade show, demonstrating his commitment and support of the network.
“Las Vegas is a great city – an international city,” said Shapiro. “We are so happy to be affiliated with the World Trade Centers Association and World Trade Centers Las Vegas. To me, the value of the World Trade Centers Association is about people doing business globally and creating a venue where people can connect and get to know each other.”
In addition to the extensive programming provided at the trade show last month, WTC Las Vegas developed tailored services to assist delegates with their travel plans to Las Vegas and securing accommodations, experiences, and even event venues. The event came at a pivotal time for Las Vegas, after welcoming a record-breaking 6.6 million business travelers in 2019, as the Las Vegas Convention Center — site of WTC Las Vegas — is currently in the midst of a large-scale expansion and renovation project, slated for completion in December 2020. The facility will be open in time for CES® 2021 and will also welcome an underground people mover system, in partnership with Elon Musk’s The Boring Company (TBC), to transport convention attendees quickly and efficiently throughout the 200-acre campus. This is the first commercial endeavor for TBC and a fantastic demonstration of the forward-thinking concepts taking shape in Las Vegas.
Once again, we would like to give our sincerest thanks to all WTC Members and delegates for participating in this year’s CES®. And a special thanks to Cheryl Smith of WTC Las Vegas for making this delegation program a successful event and forging ahead with new opportunities for our WTCA network.
WTC Las Vegas is committed to the success of the WTCA network and our team is always available to assist in coordinating opportunities for partners across the globe. As interest in utilizing trade shows and events as a conduit for creating meaningful business partnerships grows rapidly throughout the WTCA and beyond, we invite you to engage with WTC Las Vegas to achieve your goals for any Las Vegas-based tradeshow or large-scale business event. The next venture in the WTC Las Vegas delegation program is in partnership with the National Association of Broadcasters show (NAB Show®) in April 2020 – more information will be available soon on how WTCA Members can participate. For any questions about CES®, please write to Cheryl Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WTC Las Vegas is a partnership between the LVCVA and the CTA, owner and producer of CES®. In addition to marketing and branding Southern Nevada as the leading tourism and convention destination worldwide, the LVCVA operates the Las Vegas Convention Center, the nation’s only convention center designated as a World Trade Center site and one of the largest convention centers in the United States. Together, the LVCVA and CTA market Las Vegas to business travelers around the globe under the World Trade Center brand.
List of WTCs who Attended the CES® 2020 WTCA Delegation Program:
As we enter the new decade, experts throughout the travel industry are preparing not only for an uptick in corporate travel — based on the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) forecast for 3.6% growth — but also for changes in what business travelers expect when they are away from home. Predictions for the top 2020 travel trends include high-tech and high-touch adjustments that will help smooth the difficulties inherent in business trips — whether across the country or around the globe — to make business travel easier and less stressful.
Increased Dependence on and Availability of Mobile Phone Services
Business travelers were early adopters of smartphone technology because the devices allowed them to stay on top of new developments while on the go for both business information and travel conditions. American Express predicts that mobile phones will play an increasingly important role as travelers use them “not just for tracking and managing flight information but also for buying ancillary services such as hotel rooms and ground transportation.” The International Air Transport Association (IATA) adds that smartphones allow airlines to adopt individualized prices that are calculated to reflect corporate agreements, past purchases, and elite-tier loyalty benefits, as well as current market conditions. And in response to traveler demands to stay connected at all times, American Express notes that “the era of patchy, often slow in-flight Wi-Fi may finally be ending” as mobile service providers are invited to offer cellular service on airplanes so that travelers can maintain seamless connectivity.
More Attention to Traveler Well-Being
An increasing number of companies are working to provide business travelers with the resources they need to maintain healthy travel habits. A study by the travel technology company Amadeus concluded that traveler well-being goes far beyond access to a gym and healthy food options. The company found that the constant stress involved with safety concerns and getting from place to place with luggage intact are huge barriers to well-being. “Today’s travelers benefit from in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity, airport technology to minimize waiting lines, hotel technology to provide guests with personalized services, and mobile travel apps with everything a traveler needs,” notes Amadeus. As a result, the company predicts that travel apps, many of which already provide services that were unimagined just a few years ago, will continue to grow throughout 2020 and beyond.
Improvements to Technological Solutions
Technology will continue to play an important role in travel throughout the new year. Increased use of biometrics and digital travel identity tools at airports and border crossings will reduce security lines and wait times. Amadeus also predicts that new artificial intelligence weather forecasting tools using “nontraditional data points, such as connected cars, cell towers and IoT [Internet of Things] devices,” combined with “information from more conventional radar, satellite and weather station sources” will reduce travel delays. Furthermore, an increasing number of personalized travel apps — which do everything from tracking luggage and converting currency in real time to providing foreign language translations — will make the act of moving from one place to another less disruptive.
Better Green Practices
Some travel writers acknowledge, “Travel is a[n] … environmentally destructive activity.” For many businesses, the negative ecological impact of travel conflicts with efforts to reduce the company’s carbon footprint. For many individuals, it adds to the stress of travel. To alleviate this stress, the travel industry has responded with innovative attempts to reduce its impact on the environment. Some notable examples include more hotels replacing disposable mini toiletries with bulk-size dispensers; more designs for hotels, airports, and train stations that use salvaged materials; and airlines working to reduce the nearly six million tons of trash generated by their passengers each year. Expect these trends to continue throughout 2020.
Easing the Burdens
In the dawn of the new year, there is clear recognition throughout the travel industry that as travel continues to grow, both in terms of dollars spent on travel and in the number of people traveling, adjustments need to be made to ease the burdens that travel often imposes on business people. As a result, the major trends in travel — increased dependence on and availability of mobile phone services, more attention to traveler well-being, improvements in technological solutions, and better ecological practices — will make business travel easier and more sustainable for years to come.
As part of the World Trade Centers Association’s (WTCA) 50th Anniversary, we look back on one — if not THE — original Members of our organization. At a gala on November 8 World Trade Center New Orleans (WTCNO) celebrated three-quarters of a century with a black-tie gala in the heart of the city. WTCA was on-hand to help celebrate this historic moment, and the event was the culmination of WTCNO’s week-long schedule of events supporting international trade. As our oldest Member, the editorial team at WTCA Meridian asked WTCNO to pen a brief history of their historic participation.
On November 5 through 8, World Trade Center New Orleans proudly hosted the 3rd annual Louisiana International Trade Week & Jubilee in celebration of two 75-year milestones in international trade – the organization’s initial involvement in a consensus that would later form the World Trade Organization (WTO), and its unique position as a progenitor of the WTCA via the International House, and subsequently World Trade Center New Orleans.
In 1944, with the end of World War II in sight, 730 delegates representing 44 countries huddled in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire to forge an international consensus on trade, monetary, and exchange rules. The general agreement on tariffs and trade was the key outcome on trade, with fundamental principles of economic non-discrimination guiding decades of unprecedented global growth, ultimately resulting in the creation of the WTO 50 years later in 1994. While the past 75 years of international trade have not been perfect, the GATT/WTO system has provided security and predictability for global economies once dominated by agricultural and industrial trade, which is now moving to service-based economies filled with digital promise.
Our second 75-year milestone started right here in the Crescent City. As John Maynard Keynes of Britain and Harry Dexter White of the United States were forging new international economic policies in New Hampshire, local leaders William Zetzmann, Sr.; Rudolph Hecht; and E.O. “Archie” Jewell established the International House, and later the International Trade Mart, as institutional vehicles to capture and consolidate post-World War II international commerce in Louisiana.
Leaders of these formative institutions included Alton Ochsner, M.D.; John P. Laborde; Basil Rusovich; James J. Coleman, Sr.; C. Alvin Bertel, Jr.; Hale Boggs; and many other visionaries. The successes of these institutions lead to their merger and creation of World Trade Center New Orleans, which together with its home city hosted the first General Assembly of the WTCA in 1968. Since then, the World Trade Center has been admirably led by the Hon. Thomas B. Coleman; Frank B. Stewart, Jr.; Ambassador Donald Ensenat; John L. Ochsner, M.D.; Hon. Patricia Denechaud; Hon. Donna Fraiche, and many other luminaries dedicated to the promotion of international trade, diplomacy, and peace throughout the state of Louisiana.
As we memorialize 75 years of trade, World Trade Center New Orleans honors Louisiana’s ongoing role supporting international economic growth. Together with our valued clients and business partners we celebrate this milestone with Louisiana’s multibillion-dollar liquefied natural gas (LNG) development projects, record-breaking cargo volumes, and expanding port activities; US-leading manufacturing productivity; and export-lead agricultural growth. World Trade Center New Orleans is driven by a passion for, and dedication to trade, both on a local and global scale. Today’s economic climate faces important systemic challenges deserving the same passion and dedication given in Bretton Woods and New Orleans 75 years ago.
On behalf of the World Trade Center New Orleans Board of Directors and leadership, we pledge our continued efforts to ensure that Louisiana maintains and grows its rightful position at the forefront of the new international trade economy in this new decade and beyond, hand-in-hand with its fellow WTCA Members around the globe.
Ask most Americans what comes to mind when they think of Europe and the answer is usually vacations, historical places, extended family, and great food. Some may have even done a tour of duty as part of their military service and have proud memories of that time. But ask what comes to mind when you mention the European Union (EU), and these positive, even heart-warming, associations sometimes give way to uncertainty and perhaps even a hushed confession about not really knowing how the EU works, except that it’s complicated.
It is natural that Americans whose ancestors came from Europe have a strong association with "the old country," whichever one it may be. But since returning to Washington, D.C. as the EU Ambassador to the United States (US) last March (after a hiatus of over two decades working outside the US) I have — at times — been baffled that the EU’s collective strength and significance to the US has yet to fully register. Mention World War II and everyone has visions of Americans and Europeans joining forces to defeat fascism and maintain democracy, both at the core of US ideals and security. Yet the EU — which is vitally important to the economic security and prosperity of the US — is still less understood, despite its positive effects on businesses, workers, and families in every single US state.
Numbers may not excite people in the same way as palaces, cathedrals and soldiers in uniform do, but the fact remains that we — the EU and the US are the lifeblood of each other’s economies. We are the two biggest, most open and most free and fair economies in the world, and we trade with and invest in each other more than we do with any other country or region. Together, the EU and the US comprise close to 50 percent of the world’s GDP and make up roughly one-third of the world's trading volume. Our relationship amounts to a total of US $2.2 trillion when goods, services, and income from investments — the three pillars of international trade — are accounted for. It is also highly balanced, with the US even enjoying a slight surplus.
This thriving relationship didn’t just happen. The EU Single Market — the crowning achievement of the EU’s economic integration — has made doing business in Europe highly practical and profitable for American companies. Apart from the EU itself, the US has been the biggest beneficiary of our huge, open, borderless market, giving US commercial entities a pipeline to 500 million potential customers no matter which individual EU country they choose to engage.
Sometimes the EU is painted as “closed” or “highly regulated” but this myth is simply not true: the Single Market is in fact a huge deregulatory exercise, replacing 28 individual countries' disparate laws and regulations with one single set of open market rules. As a result, today 47 out of 50 US states trade daily with the EU more than they do with China, and nearly half export more to the EU than they do to any other place in the world.
Put another way, a strong and united EU is one of the best guarantees for present and future US prosperity. Every year eight million American jobs are created by EU-US trade and by EU investments in all 50 states, where a full 70 percent of all foreign investment comes from EU firms. The livelihood of millions of American households depends on our unparalleled economic partnership, just as seven million EU jobs depend on fair and open US trade and investment in Europe.*
This prosperity is not limited to purchasable items that result in direct income — tangibles like Irish whiskey and Kentucky bourbon, German cars and cars made in Detroit, and Italian herbs and Iowan soybeans. Much of the backbone of the transatlantic economy lies in the intangibles, which focus on people and values. With our goods, services and foreign investment, we export to each other, and to the world, key values we both hold dear.
As leaders in the global market, the EU and the US need to work together now more than ever to ensure that this culture continues to thrive beyond the shared waters of the Atlantic Ocean. If we are united, we can ensure that all players comply with the values of the international trading system. In spite of the inevitable glitches and disagreements between us, trade for both of us has always been a win-win proposition.
And so, in my visits throughout the US, I always encourage others to look at the EU through the lens of US prosperity, and to see our EU member states not just as beautiful destinations but as invaluable trading partners — ones that increase the quality of life on American soil through the benefits brought by EU-U.S trade. Our shared ideals have united us for decades and remain true to our core today. The transatlantic relationship is the embodiment of these interests and values, the avenue for our financial success, and the vehicle for guaranteeing our future security and prosperity.
*Curious to learn more? Check out our EU-US Trade website at www.euintheustrade.org.