Natchez welcomes diocese conference

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 17, 2005

One of the largest conferences Natchez has ever hosted begins Friday, and it’s time for all of us to roll out the red carpet for our guests.

The annual Council of the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi will meet Friday through Sunday, with most of its activities taking place at the Natchez Convention Center. About 750 have registered so far, and more are expected to come tomorrow.

This is exactly the kind of conference the center was designed for &045; the overnight, multi-day meetings that draw hundreds of people who stay overnight in our hotels and bed and breakfasts and eat at our restaurants. This is where the convention center begins to make money for Natchez &045; not in the rental of the facility itself, but in the money generated by the people who attend the conferences.

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But it’s not just the economic impact of this group but the honor of hosting them that makes this meeting important.

Coming on the heels of meetings such as the Mississippi Library Conference, American Cancer Society and others last fall, the convention center has been able to host some prestigious groups in recent months.

The diocesan meeting has been in the works for more than a year, which should tell us something about the level of planning and the preparation that goes into hosting conventions of this type.

We are honored to be hosting this group, and we hope everyone in the tourist industry and beyond will welcome the conference attendees.

We also hope this meeting and others in the past few months bode well for the future use of the convention center. These meetings can have a positive impact on our economy and our image, which benefits all of us.