Sphere Hosts its First Corporate Keynote

Interior of Sphere in Las Vegas

Skift Take

Sphere in Las Vegas hosted Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Discover 2024, which gave attendees a glimpse into the future of keynote events.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s four-day HPE Discover 2024 conference was held in Las Vegas at The Venetian Convention and Expo Center. A highlight was the keynote speech by President and CEO Antonio Neri held in the Sphere.

“Big moments require big venues,” said Neri.

HPE is not disclosing what it paid to rent the venue or the production cost. 

“In addition to concerts, cinematic experiences, and marquee events, we have always envisioned Sphere as a powerful platform for companies to educate and demonstrate in innovative ways,” said Chandra Allison, executive VP, sales and service, Sphere. 

Neri’s 75-minute presentation was punctuated with video clips from Darren Aronofsky’s “Postcard From Earth.” At some points, the sound system rattles the seats. Original HPE graphics and images were also featured. 

HPE booked the entire 17,600-seat venue. For smaller corporate groups, there are a variety of lounges, suites, and expo halls. The main atrium hosts private events of up to 3,000. Aura, a humanoid robot, converses with visitors there. In addition, a holographic art installation and a 360-degree avatar capture are other highlights. 

“We see Sphere as a disruptor across every event category, and that includes corporate events,” says Allison.

Another first for Sphere will be June 28-29 when the NHL Draft will be its first live-televised event. What happens inside during the draft will be broadcast on its exterior. 

Sphere also broadcasts different languages simultaneously. For example, for an international keynote, attendees in one section will hear it in Japanese. Others in English and others in Mandarin with no overlap. 

Joining Neri on stage for part of the session was Jensen Huang, co-founder and CEO of Nvidia, the hottest AI growth company and HPE partner. 

In addition to Neri’s keynote, the HPE Discover 2024 Celebration was held in Sphere, featuring Dead & Company.

Industry Celebrates Sphere’s Innovation

Five years in the making, Sphere cost $2.3 billion to build. 

“While this venue is excellent for entertainment and sports, I’m proud to see it also a great venue for the progressive and innovative pioneers of the meetings and convention industry, ” says Lisa Messina, chief sales officer at the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA).

The world’s highest-resolution LED display wraps up, over, and around the audience. At 366 feet tall and 516 feet wide, Sphere is said to be the world’s largest spherical structure.

As the Sphere looks to attract more corporate clients, it recently announced Allison as its new executive vice president of sales and service. Allison is no stranger to Vegas. She spent 25 years with The Venetian Resort, rising to senior vice president of sales and marketing before joining Oak View Group (OVG). She served as OVG’s senior vice president of strategy and growth.