Linda McCarthy is manager of SMG, the firm that manages the Jackson Convention Complex for the Convention Center Commission. The University of Southern Mississippi graduate has worked all over the Southeast in the venue management field and took over managing the convention complex when it opened in January 2009.
McCarthy recently spoke to Sun Staff Writer Anthony Warren about the center’s successful first fiscal year and its future.
So how are things going at the convention complex?
“Our first year (We call that the ‘honeymoon period.’) was very successful. We had 323 event days that brought in more than 128,000 people to the capital city. We’ll probably shift down a bit for the next year, because we have no grand opening activity. The key now is to get some stability over the next three to five years. For our next fiscal year we’re projecting for 294 event days, which is still considerable, considering there are 365 days in a year.”
Did the activity at the convention complex meet projections?
“It well exceeded our projections for the first year. The convention center was only open nine months during the 2009-10 fiscal year. We budgeted for 271 event days and an attendance of 98,652 people. The numbers were for the whole complex, the TelCom Center and convention center.”
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