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The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center Recognized for Venue Excellence

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A staple of the New Orleans waterfront for several generations, the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (NOENMCC) is an ever-evolving and fundamental lifeline to the city, representing the bedrock values that make New Orleans unique; hospitality and community with a dash of innovation. It is for these reasons and more that NOENMCC is being presented this year with the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) Venue Excellence Award, a prestigious accomplishment honoring the nation’s finest public assembly venues for their operational excellence, team building/ professional development, security, and service to the community.

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“This award represents the hard work and accomplishments of our entire team at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center,” said Michael J. Sawaya, Convention Center President & CEO. “Receiving this high honor is a testament to our staff’s devotion to delivering exceptional events for our clients and memorable experiences for our visitors.”

Originally constructed as part of the 1984 Louisiana World Exposition, the Convention Center contributed to a boon in the New Orleans tourism industry, taking on a staggering twenty-eight events in its first year. Through two additional phases of expansion in 1991 and 1999, NOENMCC supported 24,259 jobs, created $90.1 billion in new spending into the New Orleans economy, and provided $21.1 billion in new earnings for residents. This tidal wave of economic development not only benefited local hotels, bars, and restaurants but also led to the revitalization of the New Orleans Warehouse District from a loose collection of empty storage facilities into a bustling metropolitan arts hub.

In recent years, NOENMCC has looked toward a more sustainable future, updating the now 3 million square feet facility with the latest in environmentally efficient technologies and modern business practices. Updates in over 4000 lighting fixtures save 10-15% in energy costs, a newly constructed 41-acre roof sustainably deflects heat from the entire facility, and 87 water-filling stations have diverted over 200,000 bottles from landfills earning the facility a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certification. On the personnel and community front, the NOENMCC was the first convention center in America to establish a Chief Diversity Officer, earned its eighth Energage Top Workplace Award for a dedication to a “people first culture,” launched a mentor-protege pilot program to help foster up-and-coming local businesses, and pioneered a Mardi Gras bead recycling program with local nonprofit ARC of Greater New Orleans. This active focus on adaptation has primed the NOENMCC to retain its status as one of the premier convention centers in the country.

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Being honored with the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) Venue Excellence Award is just the start of an exciting next chapter for NOENMCC. The Convention Center is proud to bring new events, both classic and novel, to New Orleans. Upcoming events, which include Barrett-Jackson World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions and NOLA Pickleball Fest, are sure to bring the crowds, while NOLA ChristmasFest returns for its tenth year of yuletide fun. With its state-of-the-art facilities, community-forward ideals, and world-renowned staff, the NOENMCC will undoubtedly continue to be an integral ingredient to the economic lifeblood of New Orleans.

“IAVM’s Venue Excellence Awards are the highest honor a public venue can receive,” says Brad Mayne, President/CEO International Association of Venue Managers. “The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center has once again proven to be one of the finest convention centers in North America. Congratulations to the exceptional venue staff on receiving this prestigious award and what this will mean to the City of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana.”


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