Tupelo, Oxford conference venues honored

news_inthenews_greenBy Errol Castens

Daily Journal

Oxford Conference Center and Tupelo’s BancorpSouth Center are among ConventionSouth Magazine’s 2014 “Elite 50 Conference Centers in the South.”

The two were the Magnolia State’s sole inclusions in the list touted as among the “coolest” and “most meeting friendly” facilities from 16 states and the Caribbean. The sites will be featured in the June issue of ConventionSouth.

“Meeting planners are especially looking for the business-focused environments and top-of-the-line event services that conference centers offer,” said Associate Publisher and Editor Marlane Bundock. “The Elite 50 each offer meeting planners and their attendees a unique set of features such as technology and aesthetics, and are able to host a diverse range of gatherings from cutting-edge business meetings to well-orchestrated social events.”

Todd Hunt, executive director of BancorpSouth Arena and Conference Center, credited his staff with earning the honor.

“Unlike other destinations, we don’t have the luxury of a beach, river or mountain to create an idyllic setting for a meeting space,” he said. “What we do have is one of the best staffs in the country, who deliver top-notch service to all of our clients. That’s the reason groups like the Mississippi Junior/Senior Beta Clubs, the Mississippi Natural Gas Association, Mississippi Society of CPAs and many others return to Tupelo each year for their annual meetings.”

Hollis Green, manager of Oxford Conference Center, was equally complimentary of his staff.

“This honor is a tribute to the Oxford Conference Center’s hard- working employees, loyal customers and to the Oxford community at large,” he said. “We are dedicated to customer satisfaction and believe in taking the extra mile to guarantee a first-class event. We are fortunate to have so many capable vendors that share our vision for great customer experiences. Our dedication extends to the Oxford community as well.”

Oxford Conference Center’s honor highlights the venue’s value just as city officials explore how to stem operating losses.

“This year marks the Oxford Conference Center’s ninth year in operation,” Green said. “Additionally, 2014 will be the strongest fiscal year in sales the facility has ever experienced and can be directly linked to our returning customers. With more than 450 events and 45,000-plus event attendees, the Oxford Conference Center continues to be a valuable asset to the Oxford community.”

errol.castens@journalinc.com