Black Meetings and Tourism

March / April 2023

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MIXING BUSINESS AND CULTURE MAKES MISSISSIPPI POPULAR FOR MEETINGS OF ALL SIZES B Y R U F U S M C K I N N E Y With attractions including casinos, beaches, lakes, nature trails, golf courses and Civil Rights sites, Mississippi offers exciting venues for any group. Whether your trip is built around business, com- mon hobbies or shared interests, the state of Mississippi has got it all! Just 30 minutes south of Memphis, Tennessee, lay the Mississippi River towns of Tunica and Robinsonville. Here you'll find a string of casinos with bright lights, bustling activities and world- renowned entertainment. The Delta, in the northwest part of the state, is best known as the "Birthplace of the Blues." Cleveland's GRAMMY Museum Mississippi (currently the only GRAMMY Museum in the world outside of Los Angeles) immortalizes the region's (and state's) contributions to the world of music. • • JACKSON • • Jackson affords meeting planners the ability to offer your delegates a host of options through their rich musical her- itage, cultural offerings, culinary delights and sporting events, not to mention their friendly people and culinary charm. A growing number of meeting planners looking for state-of-the-art facilities find Jackson full of exceptional service and superb venues while lowering your bot- tom line. Planners have a multitude of options to pick from when deciding the perfect venue for an event of any size. The 330,000-square-foot Jackson Convention Complex (JCC) features a crystalline folding glass façade, and includes a 60,000-square-foot exhibit hall, a 25,000-square-foot carpeted ballroom, ten meeting rooms, 33,000 square feet of carpeted pre-function lobby and regis- tration space, and an outdoor patio over- looking downtown Jackson. The Mississippi Trade Mart is a 110,000 square foot trade show facility on the Mississippi State Fairgrounds. This property offers 63,000 sf. of col- umn-free space that can be divid- ed into three trade halls. The three trade halls can be configured to provide a seamless con- nection to the Coliseum's 26,000 sf. arena floor, allowing for larger trade shows and events than possible in the current facility. After work is done for the day confer- ence attendees are encouraged to check out some of the historical sites the city has to offer. The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum shares the stories of a Mississippi movement that changed the nation. The museum promotes a greater understanding of the Mississippi Civil Rights movement and its impact by high- lighting the stren- gth and sacrifices of its peoples. Smith Robert- son Museum and Cultural Center and the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument are two of the must see his- torical attractions in Jackson. Check in with Visit Jackson Pre- sident/CEO Rickey Thigpen and his tam for assistance in booking your event in Jackson. • • NATCHEZ • • Natchez is a walking city built on an intimate scale, renowned for its Southern hospitality, good times and natural beau- ty. Natchez has the facilities, hotels and attractions you need to make your event extraordinary. Lodging ranges from quaint bed and breakfasts to nationally recog- nized hotels. For those planners looking to find a unique location for the next event big or small Natchez has what you need. Large groups will feel right at home in the state-of-the-art Natchez Conven- tion Center or any of the city's meet- ing hotels or venues. The skilled con- vention services staff will connect you with the experts you need to pull off a perfect event, from delectable cater- ing to skilled audio/visual technicians. Best of all, Natchez offers much to see and do for conventioneers after-hours or group members who want to strike out on their own. Shops and restaurants line the streets of Natchez walkable down- town (also enjoyed via horse-drawn carriage!), and architecture fans will appreciate the numerous historic properties that can be found all over town. WHO YOU GONNA CALL? Visit Natchez – (601) 492-3000 B M & T ••• March/April 2023 ••• 53 • • • STATS • • • HOTEL ROOMS Hilton Jackson 276 The Westin Jackson 203 Hilton Garden Inn Jackson 186 EXHIBITION FACILITIES Jackson Convention Complex Total Space 330,000 sq. ft. Largest Hall 60,000 sq. ft. Largest Ballroom 25,000 sq. ft. Meeting Rooms 10 WHO YOU GONNA CALL? Visit Jackson – (800) 354-7695 Jackson Convention Complex photo credit: JCC M I S S I S S I P P I AREA GUIDES

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