Sphere Gets It First Big Booking For A Corporate Event

March 20, 2024 by Dave Haynes

When the Sphere in Las Vegas went up and then opened, all of the attention was on the multimedia show on the exterior and the “residency” of U2 for a series of concerts played with the giant LED backdrop on the inside.

But like any venue, it needs a steady stream of activity to pay the bills, and one of those avenues is booking corporate events.

Sphere Entertainment, which owns and runs the venue, has just announced the first of those – the keynote address from Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) President and CEO Antonio Neri on June 18th, as part of HPE’s Discover conference.

“Big moments call for bold moves,” says Jim Jackson, CMO for HPE and the guy who had to get budget approval for this. “At the core of HPE’s rapid transformation is a commitment to bringing innovative, new experiences that engage new audiences and define the future. Sphere is the perfect venue for us to declare what’s next for our brand and to bring to life the technologies that will enable enterprises to thrive in the AI era.”

I have heard a couple of things about venue rental costs, but not seen anything written down. Block-booking the exterior LED ball is said to cost $450,000 a day, so than you add on the facility cost for booking the interior spaces and the staff. It’s probably well north of $1 million.

However, booking any big space – like an arena – is also big money. The big attractions here are the bling and buzz of Sphere, as well as how the AV tech is already in place, sorted and extremely good. Giant LED screens and other AV tech normally have to be brought in to venues, put up, run, and then torn down … usually at the pace of a touring act.

Sphere, as reported yesterday, will host an InfoComm kickoff just days before the HPE event, but that will be more about using the venue for a mixer, followed by a showing of the grand-scale, custom-made movie for that big interior screen.

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