New Orleans Welcomes Biggest Convention Ever

Posted on May 9, 2012 in Local Issues

As Jazz Fest visitors leave New Orleans to return to the daily grind, more than 40,000 visitors are headed into the city Tuesday for the International CTIA Wireless Convention at the Morial Convention Center. Over 1,000 exhibitors are expected to present their products and solutions.

The convention’s director, Rob Mesirow, said that the event is the largest show in North America for the wireless industry, representing 126 different countries.

The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau said attendees are spread out at 57 hotels in the city; that’s almost every hotel in the CBD, Warehouse District, French Quarter and Uptown. “CTIA is the world’s most prominent technology convention and it’s important to New Orleans because it’s the largest convention that the city has ever hosted,” CVB Vice President Kelly Shultz said.

The international non-profit member organization has been in New Orleans a few times prior to 2005, when the show director said CTIA outgrew the city. But as CTIA has grown, so too has post-Katrina New Orleans.

“The technology now, because of the upgrades in this facility, makes it one of the most fiber-rich convention centers that we go to and we go to all the big ones,” Mesirow said.

The CVB’s Schultz stresses this is an important time for the city as more than 1,000 journalists are in town and will be tweeting and blogging about their experience in New Orleans. She’s hoping CTIA organizers will want to return after this year.

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