Las Vegas massacre casts somber mood on conferences, but events to go on

Key Points
  • The deadliest mass shooting in the U.S. took place in Las Vegas Sunday evening.
  • The attack has called into question the status of countless conventions planned in the city later this month, which are expected to bring thousands of attendees.
  • The Global Gaming Expo is still scheduled to kick off Tuesday at the Las Vegas Sands Expo.
More than 500 injured in Las Vegas shooting
More than 500 injured in Las Vegas shooting

In the immediate wake of the deadliest mass shooting in the U.S., some of Las Vegas' conference halls and resorts served as makeshift shelters, housing injured concertgoers and distraught residents.

But as the day progressed, streets and hotels were reopening, and so far, most events look to be proceeding as planned, but with added precautions.

InsureTech Connect, an insurance innovation conference, is still slated to begin on Tuesday.

"While the mood is somber and our hearts go out to the victims of this senseless tragedy, the people of Las Vegas are united in strength and resilience," Jay Weintraub and Caribou Honig, the founders of the annual event, said in a statement.

"Las Vegas airport has reopened as have most of the streets and the hotels," they added. "Our venue for InsureTech Connect remains open, and we expect no change in the schedule of events."

A representative for the National Business Aviation Association, which will draw more than 25,000 individuals to Nevada on Oct. 10, told CNBC:

"For any NBAA event, our top priority is the safety and security of all participants, and we are in coordination with federal, state and local officials to ensure that show participants are in a safe, secure environment."

The fact that convention planners were going forward with their events is encouraging for the Las Vegas economy.

Still, it's too early to say how Sunday's events will impact Las Vegas' economy, Jeremy Aguero, an analyst at Applied Analysis told CNBC Monday. The main focus into Monday remained making sure people in the area are safe, he said.

To be sure, a lot is at stake. Tourism supports more than 400,000 jobs, or nearly half of the region's total workforce, paying $16.9 billion in local wages, Applied Analysis has found.

Southern Nevada's tourism industry brought a record $59.6 billion in economic activity in 2016, according to a study by the Las Vegas-based market research firm, which counts the state of Nevada among its clients.

According to Aguero, business travelers and conventiongoers, who tend to spend more on their stays, have helped boost economic activity of late.

While the total number of visitors to Southern Nevada increased only 1.5 percent, to 42.9 million, in 2016, the number of business tourists climbed 7.1 percent, to 6.3 million, Aguero's firm found.

While those questions linger, out-of-town guests were filing into the region for the American Gaming Association's Global Gaming Expo, which also will run as planned Tuesday. The conference, put on in partnership with Reed Exhibitions, will bring more than 26,000 gaming enthusiasts to the city.


"The gaming industry is a tight-knit community and Las Vegas is the beating heart of our operations," Reed Exhibitions Americas' President Herve Desky said in a statement.

"AGA and Reed Exhibitions will be in constant contact with local and national law enforcement and our host, Las Vegas Sands," Desky added. "We will closely monitor the situation and safety remains our priority."

The Global Gaming Expo features exhibitions from casino marketers, hotel operators and security experts.

The Electronic Retailing Convention is set to start Tuesday at the Wynn Las Vegas, bringing with it 3,000 attendees. Rodan + Fields is holding its annual conference at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, beginning on Thursday and luring 13,500 attendees to the city. And IMEX America, a massive trade show for international buyers, will still happen on Oct. 10, organizers have confirmed.

Other events on the docket in Las Vegas this month include a gathering by the National Association of Mortgage Brokers, the ABC Kids Expo, the Emergency Medical Services World Expo and Sweet Adelines International's convention and chorus competition. All are expected to bring thousands to the city.

WATCH: Trump: We pray for the entire nation to find unity and peace

Trump: We pray for the entire nation to find unity and peace
Trump: We pray for the entire nation to find unity and peace