Effective January 1, 2011 the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau (MCVB) will be responsible for the management of the Memphis Cook Convention Center (MCCC) and the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts. This upcoming change will include sales, marketing and day-to-day operations.
Out of the proposals that were submitted for management rights, the MCVB was unanimously chosen.
“The contract committee and board of the MCCC reviewed three proposals and decided that the MCVB was the appropriate agency to take our largest meetings facility into the future,” said Wayne Tabor, Chairman of the MCCC. “The committee strongly feels that the MCVB could provide more resources locally to enhance marketing and improvements to the building.”
SMG, the current management company that holds operations responsibility for both facilities, will be on a contract service agreement with the MCVB.
“We appreciate the quality service that SMG has provided to the Convention Center and appreciate the ability to continue working with them as we move forward,” said Kevin Kane.
“We enjoy a positive relationship with Memphis and Shelby County and we understand the dynamics facing Memphis in the meetings and convention market,” said Bob McClintock, senior VP of SMG. “We are looking forward to working with them to help fulfill the goals of the city of Memphis and Shelby County.”
Additionally, John Christison, president and CEO of the Washington State Convention Center, has been hired as a consultant to aid with this transition. The MCCC feasibility committee originally hired Christison to assist with the process of looking into a possible expansion or new convention center. His experience and proven leadership will be beneficial to the entire changeover process.
“The future of our destination as it relates to the meetings and convention business is critical to growing the tourism industry in Memphis and Shelby County. The MCCC offers challenges, but we believe it can also provide opportunities while competing in an ever changing convention market”, said Kevin Kane, president and CEO of the MCVB. “We will be in a better position to affect change and opportunity through the development of partnerships with local government, as well as organizations that have specific responsibilities to moving Memphis forward.”
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