The Sphere’s First Corporate Keynote Is Set for June

Skift Take

Las Vegas’ Sphere is now officially working on corporate keynote sessions. These type of events can offer a welcome additional revenue stream for this cutting-edge venue.

The first-ever keynote address hosted at the Sphere in June promises to highlight the facility’s next-generation capabilities and features. Hewlett Packard Enterprises (HPE) will host the presentation, which will feature Antonio Neri, HPE’s president and CEO. 

However, the $2.3 billion project that took five years to complete still leaves its ability to turn a profit in question following a dismal first quarter. The Sphere opened in September 2023 and generated $4.1 million in event revenues compared to a total of $7.8 million in direct operating expenses.

Will a Corporate Keynote Elevate?

Those venturing into the 366-foot-tall, 17,600-seat arena to see Irish rock icon U2 feel like they’re falling off the edge of the earth. The Sphere Experience, shown multiple times a day, invites attendees to enjoy interactive Atrium exhibits and Darren Aronofsky’s Postcard from Earth, which offers a stunning visual display of nature on the venue’s 160,000 sq. ft. LED screen.

The question is how well those features translate for a corporate presentation. Sphere declined to comment on the planned production process surrounding the event.

The week-long event, HPE Discover 2024, will feature general sessions hosted at The Venetian in addition to the keynote presentation at the Sphere. Registration is set at $1,895, or $2,495, with a technical training program.

“Sphere is a next-generation medium and a powerful platform for companies to educate and demonstrate, connecting with their audiences in a way they can only do at Sphere,” said Jennifer Koester, president of Sphere Business Operations at Sphere Entertainment. The HPE keynote will leverage the venue’s cutting-edge technologies to deliver a bespoke experience that sets a new bar for brand storytelling and corporate events.” 

“Big moments call for bold moves,” said Jim Jackson, Chief Marketing Officer at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. “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.”

Sphere Seeks Expansion 

While Koester expressed optimism about the outcome of the venue’s first keynote presentation, Sphere’s parent company, Sphere Entertainment Co., which is the sister company of Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. (MSG), had plans to build another spherical venue on the outskirts of East London. However, the plan fizzled after London Mayor Sadiq Khan rejected the venue last November.

According to a press release, the London mayor cited the potential of light pollution as the deciding factor in banning the project despite Sphere Entertainment claiming that the venue is “world-renowned” for its immersive experiences. The company has indicated that it will continue searching for sites in “forward-thinking” cities to duplicate the Las Vegas venue. 

Meanwhile, the Sphere has expanded its concert series, with Phish announced for four performances in April and  Dead & Company playing shows in May, June, and July.  A residency for The Eagles is reportedly up next. MSG’s Executive Chairman and Chief Executive James Dolan, who is long-time friends with Eagles’ manager Irving Azoff, is also reportedly looking to book Beyoncé with a $10 million price tag.