Monthly Archives: January 2018

MEMPHIS CONVENTION CENTER TO UNDERGO $175 MILLION EXPANSION & RENOVATION

Transformation of Facility to Be Complete in Q4 2019

MEMPHIS – The City of Memphis has officially filed a construction permit for a ground up transformation of the Memphis Cook Convention Center that will kick-off in Q1 2018, and wrap up construction in Q4 2019. Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland announced plans for the project, pending City Council approval, to coincide with the city’s bicentennial year as part of the Bicentennial Gateway.

Located in downtown Memphis, every square inch of the convention center will be touched by this project, bringing hotel quality finishes and modern amenities desired by meeting planners and delegates. LRK of Memphis and tvsdesign have collaborated to develop a design plan that utilizes and enhances the existing facility. Their collective vision will expand the footprint of the building with outdoor terraces and glass enclosed concourses, prefunction and meetings spaces that embrace the river and skyline views, while adding valuable square footage that includes additional breakout meeting rooms. The project will allow the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau to pursue new meeting and convention opportunities, while also allowing shows taking place in the facility on an annual basis to grow with the expansion and renovation.

“This demonstrates our commitment and desire to be competitive in the meetings and conventions market,” said Kevin Kane, President & CEO of the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau. “As the destination marketing organization for Memphis and manager of the facility, this has long been a goal of the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau and Memphis Management Group. So much more than an expansion and renovation, this transformation of our facility will aid us in sustaining and growing the tourism and hospitality industry’s impressive annual economic impact.”

“Our administration is reinvesting in the core of our city like we haven’t seen in many years,” said Jim Strickland, Mayor of Memphis. “This is more than simply a renovation – this project will enhance the interior and exterior of the convention center in exciting new ways that take advantage of its location overlooking the Mississippi River.”

To accomplish this vital project that will incorporate public art, add digital wayfidning, create a sense of arrival within the parking structure, and include four additional bays for Main Exhibit Hall load in and load out, the City of Memphis has budgeted $175 million dollars in funds generated by the city’s hotel lodging tax and Downtown Tourism Development Zone. To get an idea of the size and scope of this game changing expansion and renovation, explore a gallery of images by visiting: memphistravel.com/conventioncenter.

FACILITY FAST FACTS
– The Memphis Cook Convention Center’s column free Main Exhibit Hall, with more than 125,000 square feet, will feature retractable ceiling lights, upgraded wall finishes and a newly
constructed exterior pre-function concourse overlooking the Mississippi River.
– The expansion will bring the total number of highly flexible breakout rooms to 52, a secondary
flex space will easily convert to a 40,000 sq. foot ballroom, in addition to an existing 28,000 sq.
foot ballroom.
– A new, spacious and modern grand entrance on the east side of the building, conveniently
located across from the Sheraton Hotel and a Main Street Trolley transit station that connects to several downtown hotels, is planned as part of the renovation and upgrades.
– A new sky bridge across Main Street will conveniently connect the 600 room Sheraton Memphis Downtown Hotel to the convention center.
– The impressive 2,100 seat Cannon Center for the Performing Arts connected to the convention
center will also see cosmetic and back of house upgrades as part of the renovation project.
– The expansion will also include a redesign of the loading docks for a total of five permanent
docks that will accommodate five 18-wheelers to load in and load out for shows.
– Underground parking entrances to the building will be greatly enhanced to provide a real sense of arrival with a total of 900 spaces in the parking deck available to convention delegates and exhibitors.

The Memphis Meeting Planners Advisory Board, led by Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau Board Chairman Lani Glancy, played a pivotal role in identifying the necessary improvements that are critical to the future and success of the facility. Equally important in making all of this a reality is the leadership of Wayne Tabor and the Board of Commissioners of the Memphis Cook Convention Center, together they have helped define a bright new future for this important facility.

Through careful planning, the convention center and Cannon Center will both remain open and continue to host events throughout the construction project.

The Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau and Memphis Management Group, operator of the
Memphis Cook Convention Center, support the local economy and the community’s positive image through tourism and convention development, major events and destination marketing. The hospitality and tourism industry in Memphis currently supports over 35,000 tourism-related jobs that produce $623 million in annual payroll. In 2016, 10.5 million people visited Memphis, generating over $3 billion in expenditures and the collection of $158 million in state and local sales taxes from visitors.

Visit memphistravel.com to learn more about Memphis as a vacation or meetings & conventions destination. For media inquiries, contact Kevin Kern, Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau, at kevinkern@memphistravel.com / 901.543.5320 – or Catherine (Kitty) Taylor, RedRover Sales & Marketing Strategy, at catherine@redrovercompany.com / 901.266.2662. High-res renderings available upon request, or request access to download a gallery of renderings via the MCVB Digital Asset Library.
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ABOUT THE MEMPHIS CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU
Founded in 1925, the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau, a 501(c)(6) membership organization, serves as the official destination marketing
and tourism organization for Memphis and Shelby County. Based in downtown Memphis, the MCVB also has representation in Washington,
D.C., Australia, Germany, France, Japan and the United Kingdom. The MCVB sales staff covers the convention, sports and tourism sales market
segments and is supported by a marketing department that includes advertising, digital marketing, research, public relations and membership.
Each year thousands visit two MCVB owned and operated welcome centers in Whitehaven and Arlington, along with a third downtown center
that is operated in partnership with the state of Tennessee. The MCVB’s commitment to workforce and economic development efforts are
managed through its 501(c)(3) affiliate, Welcome to Memphis, which works to ensure tourism and hospitality professionals are equipped with
customer service skills and destination knowledge to create a positive visitor experience. The Memphis Sports Council operates within the
MCVB and works to bring a variety of large and small sporting events to Memphis and Shelby County each year, in addition to supporting
annual in-market sporting events. Memphis Management Group (MMG), a subsidiary of the MCVB, operates both the Memphis Cook
Convention Center and The Cannon Center for the Performing Arts. For more information about the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau,
visit www.memphistravel.com.

ASAE Foundation Announces Five Innovation Grants Program Award Recipients

WASHINGTON—ASAE Foundation names the five awardees for the Innovation Grants Program (IGP). Each grant recipient will receive $10,000, and they will be recognized during ASAE’s 2018 Great Ideas Conference, March 11–13, at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, CO. These grants are funded by support from the SunTrust Foundation, Whiteford, Taylor & Preston L.L.P, and GEICO.

The five awardees are:

American College of Rheumatology

“Uniting Collaborators for Innovation”

Atlanta, GA

Association of College and University Housing Officers – International

“Centralized Digital Signage Management”

Columbus, OH

BBB Wise Giving Alliance

“Advancing Collaboration”

Arlington, VA

International Association of Fairs and Expositions

“Technology in the Barn: Augmented Reality Usage at Fairs and Expositions”

Springfield, MO

National Association of School Nurses

“Building Leaders and Developing a Guiding Framework for 21st Century NASN Affiliate Infrastructure”

Silver Spring, MD

“We continue to see a diversity of programs being submitted for IGP, which highlights how associations are being innovative to enhance their members’ experiences. The committee had a tough time selecting the five winners this year,” said Paul K. Farrell, Au. D., CCC-A, 2017 chair of the IGP steering committee and Associate Director, Audiology Professional Practices at American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. “Congratulations to the winning associations!”

During the past six years, the ASAE Foundation has awarded a total of 25 IGP grants and has received close to 300 applications from organizations of varied types, sizes, locations, and industries over the past five years. These numbers underscore the value of innovation and processes of innovating have in the association community.

“The IGP awards have given our members the opportunity to explore new ways to provide programs and services, so they can meet the needs of their members and advance their mission. I’m impressed with all the submissions. We appreciate the continued support from SunTrust Foundation, Whiteford, Taylor & Preston L.L.P, and GEICO. Congratulations to this year’s winners,” said ASAE EVP, President, ASAE Foundation Susan Robertson, CAE. “

For more information about the program, visit the IGP website.

MEDIA CONTACT: Sabrina Kidwai, APR, CAE skidwai@asaecenter.org, 202-326-9505.

About ASAE and the ASAE Foundation

ASAE is a membership organization of 39,000 association executives and industry partners representing 9,300 organizations. Its members manage leading trade associations, individual membership societies and voluntary organizations across the United States and in nearly 50 countries around the world. With support of the ASAE Foundation, a separate nonprofit entity, ASAE is the premier source of learning, knowledge and future-oriented research for the association and nonprofit profession, and provides resources, education, ideas and advocacy to enhance the power and performance of the association and nonprofit community. For more information about ASAE, visit http://www.asaefoundation.org/.

Stella Award-Winners Showcase: Best Airline

Northstar Meetings Group is proud to present the winners of our inaugural Stella Awards, which recognize organizations worldwide that deliver the greatest possible service to meetings and events professionals. The awards celebrate critical aspects of the event experience across 18 different categories among six regions, including food and beverage, professionalism of staff, technology innovations, green initiatives and more.

BEST AIRLINE

Delta Air Lines (Winner)

Not all airlines are created equal — particularly when it comes to handling complicated group itineraries that span the globe. Ease of booking, in-flight amenities, quality of staff and a dedication to the meetings market have led to Delta being named Best Airline. The carrier’s group program, Delta Edge Meetings, provides access to a simple booking process, flexible pricing and valuable benefits like Priority Boarding for meeting attendees, plus the option to receive detailed reporting and back-end incentive payments.