In the week since the shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival near the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas, authorities have uncovered numerous details and continue their intensive investigation. At the same time, victims have been remembered, families have come together and the city has started to try to heal.

The messages on dozens of digital billboards along the city’s highways and roads have been replaced with solemn black and white ads that read simply, “We’ve been there for you during the good times. Thank you for being there for us now.” Alongside the words are the Las Vegas tourism logo and the hashtag #VegasStrong.

The shooting hit close to home for PPAI and the promotional products industry as The Mandalay Bay Convention Center has been the site of The PPAI Expo since 2003. The 2018 show is scheduled at the center in January.

In a statement issued last week by PPAI, President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE, and Chair of the Board Mary Jo Tomasini, MAS, extended their condolences to the victims and their families, and offered support for Las Vegas and the Mandalay Bay properties, whom they called “our Mandalay Bay family.” Bellantone and Darel Cook, director of expositions, also visited with key staff at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center last week to offer assistance and comfort.

Today, PPAI issues this follow-up statement to industry members:

“‘The PPAI Expo—the glue that holds the industry together.’ That description, given by a PPAI member in 2016, was remembered after the tragic event in Las Vegas on October 1. The message we share now is the result of our reflection on The PPAI Expo and PPAI’s long-standing commitment to safety.

“In response to the recent events in Las Vegas, we are speaking out today because we think it is important for you to know that Promotional Products Association International takes your safety seriously.

“Since 1903, PPAI has focused on creating and maintaining a safe and secure meetings and events environment for our attendees, staff and exhibitors. At The PPAI Expo, and all of PPAI’s meetings and events, the safety of attendees and guests is and always will be of utmost importance. Our staff is thoroughly trained and prepared for each event. Strategic planning with each venue begins far in advance to develop and maintain safety protocols that allow high-quality and confident business opportunities in a safe and inviting environment.

“All of this begins with a proactive and forward-thinking PPAI team.

“In May, the PPAI Board of Directors, steered by industry leaders, resolved to reaffirm PPAI’s long-standing commitment to safety at live events. This resolution directs PPAI to continue to institute and execute policies and procedures designed to mitigate known or reasonably foreseeable risks to the health and safety of those who participate in PPAI live events, including through the continued employment and assignment of competent PPAI staff, the hiring of appropriate security personnel, and the execution of reasonable registration and admission processes.

“As a member of the Exhibition and Meetings Safety and Security Initiative’s (EMSSI) Industry Security Council, we frequently collaborate with a large group of stakeholders who represent all aspects of the exhibition and convention center industry. Through this involvement, our team provides and receives important developments and ideas for an array of best practice safety guidelines and opportunities.

“Our commitment to safety remains a priority. No individual, corporation, organization or government can anticipate or prevent every situation or scenario. However, PPAI remains committed to prepare and implement safety protocols designed to protect those who attend, exhibit, work, visit or participate in any PPAI live event.

“PPAI has a strategic goal of transforming The PPAI Expo from great to extraordinary, and our commitment to safety is but one ever-present foundation that will advance that objective. We know how much you value this industry and The PPAI Expo, and we thank you in advance for your investment in both.

“We value the trust you place in us when you attend our events. We look forward to seeing you in January at The PPAI Expo.”